Thursday, January 21, 2021

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Horses for Courses: Sentry Tournament of Champions

Recent Winners and Notables

2020: Justin Thomas (-14, 278)

Defeated Patrick Reed and Xander Schauffele in a playoff to win for the second time. … Becomes the fourth multiple event winner. … 10th consecutive American winner. … Increased his victory total on the Pacific Rim to seven. … Led the field with 24 birdies. … In six visits he’s circled 20 or more birdies five times. … Worst birdie output is 18 in 2018. … Joins the list of the last five winners either first or second Putting: Birdie-or-Better Percentage. … Joins the list of the last six winners to finish top three Strokes-Gained: Tee-to-Green. … Entered the week on FIRE with two wins and five of his last six results in the top 10.

Notables:

2015 champion Reed fired 66, the round of the day Sunday, and was the last man knocked out of the playoff on the third playoff hole. … 2019 champion Schauffele was bogey-free thru his first 43 holes; led after 36 and by one after 54 holes before being eliminated on the first playoff hole. … Patrick Cantlay (4th) posted 68, second best on Sunday, to cash his first top 10 in two starts. … Debutant Joaquin Niemann (T5) posted the co-lowest round of the week with 66 in Round 1. … 2018 champ Dustin Johnson (T7) streak of top 10 finishes is now at eight. … Collin Morikawa (T7) posted all four rounds in the red on his debut. … Jon Rahm (10th) hits the top 10 for the third time in three tries. … Only six players were 10-under or better. … Strangely, five of the top 14 were first-timers at Kapalua. … Preferred lies in play the final 54 holes. … Gusty NNE winds were on the menu all week and scoring was the worst since 2007.

2019: Xander Schauffele (-23, 269)

Tied the course record with 62 in Round 4 to win by a shot on the last event before the redesign. … Sat five back of Gary Woodland (not entered this year) entering Sunday before posting his career best round … Holed out twice for eagle in the final round. … Posted 24 birdies (2nd) for the week. … Four of his five career victories are in limited field, no cut events. … Joins the last six winners by not finishing in the top 10 of Driving Accuracy. … Last of five consecutive winners to place in the top three in Bogey Avoidance. … Rolled into Maui after winning WGC-HSBC Champions and picking up T8 at Hero World Challenge.

Notables:

Justin Thomas (3rd) circled the most birdies on the week (25), fired 65 in the final round, but was still five back. … Johnson (T4) was the only player in the top 10 with a round above 72 as he posted 74 in Round 2. … Marc Leishman (T4) picked up his second consecutive top seven payday here. … In his second start, Bryson DeChambeau (7th) bettered his solo 26th paycheck from 2018. … The last time Webb Simpson entered he was T8 (-13). … Jon Rahm backed up his solo second from 2018 with T8. … Debutant Kevin Tway (not entered) shot 66 to lead after Round 1. … Debutant Rory McIlroy (T4; not entered) was the only first-timer in the top 10. … Winds were gusty before a perfect final round. … Top 15 players 10-under or better.

2018: Dustin Johnson (-24, 268)

Trounced the field by eight shots to become the third multiple winner. … Sat one off the 36 hole lead before 66-65 blew the doors off the contenders. … Leading money winner and has made the most eagles in event history. … 65 and 66 were the best and co-second best rounds of the week. … At 33 he’s the only winner in the last six who wasn’t in their 20s. … Of the last six winners thru 2020, all have finished T7 or better in Par-4 Scoring. …. Won TNT and blew a seven shot lead at the WGC-HSBC Champions so he was in decent nick.

Notables:

Jon Rahm (2nd) made 21 birdies on debut. … Hideki Matsuyama (T4) closed with 66 for his third top five in three starts. … Marc Leishman (T7) led after 18 and 36 before coming undone with 76 in Round 3. … Top 14 players all 10-under or better. … Wind gusts of a minimum 30 MPH daily yet only five rounds from the top 20 finishers were OVER par.

Key stat leaders

Top golfers in each statistic on the 2019-2020 PGA TOUR are listed only if they are scheduled to compete this week. * – Top 10 finish here since 2016 or past champion

Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green

 1  *Justin Thomas

 2  *Hideki Matsuyama

 3  *Jon Rahm

 4  *Sergio Garcia

 5  *Collin Morikawa

 7  *Xander Schauffele

 9  *Dustin Johnson

10 Scottie Scheffler (debut)

11 *Tony Finau

12 *Patrick Cantlay

15 Daniel Berger

16 *Webb Simpson

18 Harris English

19 *Bryson DeChambeau

20 Viktor Hovland (debut)

23 *Joaquin Niemann

26 *Patrick Reed

Putting: Birdie-or-Better Percentage

 2  *Webb Simpson

 3  *Justin Thomas

 4  *Bryson DeChambeau

 5  *Patrick Reed

 6  Daniel Berger

 7  *Dustin Johnson

13 Scottie Scheffler

22 *Patrick Cantlay

24 *Jon Rahm

26 * Xander Schauffele

27 Cameron Smith

28 Sungjae Im (debut)

29 *Tony Finau

Scrambling

 1  Daniel Berger

 2  *Xander Schauffele

 3  *Brendon Todd

 4  Kevin Na

 6  Harris English

10 Abraham Ancer (debut)

11 *Jon Rahm

12 *Webb Simpson

16 *Kevin Kisner

17 *Bryson DeChambeau

19 *Hideki Matsuyama

21 *Patrick Reed

23 Lanto Griffin

25 *Justin Thomas

29 Carlos Ortiz (debut)

31 Sebastian Munoz

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