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Sunday, January 4, 2015

Hyundai Tournament of Champions - Preview

The Hyundai Tournament of Champions is set to take place on The Plantation Course at Kapalua Resort beginning Friday of this week, kicking off the 2015 portion of the 2014-15 PGA TOUR season.

The Plantation Course is a par-73 layout, stretching out to 7,452 yards. A common misconception is that this course sets up best for the bombers, but that isn't necessarily the case. Because there are just three par 3s, the course plays shorter that the yardage. Adding to that, the final hole is a 663-yard par 5 that plays dramatically down hill, thus playing much shorter than the yardage would suggest. Digging deeper, players of moderate length can generally reach the other 3 par 5s if tee shots find the fairway.

So what matters at Kapalua? Smooth putting, for one. Winners and those who are contenders are generally pretty solid from inside of 10 feet. There are plenty of birdie looks out there, so converting as many as possible is a key. Since there are 11 par 4s, par-4 scoring average is as important as ever.

Below is a list of winners and runners-up since 2005:

  • 2005 - Stuart Appleby (-21) over Jonathan Kaye (-20)
  • 2006 - Stuart Appleby (-8) over Vijay Singh (-8) in a playoff
  • 2007 - Vijay Singh (-14) over Adam Scott (-12)
  • 2008 - Daniel Chopra (-18) over Steve Stricker in a playoff
  • 2009 - Geoff Ogilvy (-24) over Anthony Kim and Davis Love III (-18)
  • 2010 - Geoff Ogilvy (-22) over Rory Sabbatini (-21)
  • 2011 - Jonathan Byrd (-24) over Robert Garrigus (-24) in a playoff
  • 2012 - Steve Stricker (-23) over Martin Laird (-20)
  • 2013 - Dustin Johnson (-16) over Steve Stricker (-12) (54 holes)
  • 2014 - Zach Johnson (-19) over Jordan Spieth (-18)
One other thing that jumps off the page in regards to this list, is that these guys aren't exactly the most accurate drivers on the planet. The Plantation Course offers generous fairways and relatively benign rough, so a player of average length with a little trouble finding the fairway stands a chance to get away with more than a few sins. 

I will return on Wednesday with a look at the power rankings and various fantasy formats. Until then, happy research!


  1. Looking forward to another fantasy golf season, thanks again for all the research and analysis you do.

    1. Thanks for the kind words. A big reason I maintain the blog in addition to Rotoworld is for you guys!

  2. Thanks for continuing to do this. I look at your site every week

    1. Thanks for the kind words. I appreciate it!