Sentry Tournament of Champions Preview 2018
Dates: January 3-7, 2018
Where: The Plantation Course at Kapalua Resort
City, State: Maui, Hawaii
Par/Yards: 36-37–73/7,452 yards
Field: 34 winners of PGA TOUR events from the 2017 calendar year
2017 champion: Justin Thomas
FedExCup: 500 points to the winner
Format: 72-hole stroke play (no cut)
2018 Sentry Tournament of Champions Preview
- Ten of the 11 winners of the Sentry Tournament of Champions in the FedExCup era (2007-present) have qualified for the FedExCup finale, the TOUR Championship. The lone exception
was Daniel Chopra in 2008.
- The Sentry Tournament of Champions field includes winners from the 2017 calendar year, including the eight official events played in the fall.
- This week’s event marks the resumption of the 2017-18 PGA TOUR Season after a six-week break from official events.
- The Sentry Tournament of Champions marks the ninth official event of the 2017-18 PGA TOUR Season schedule. The 12th year of the season-long FedExCup competition consists of 48 events, including the four FedExCup Playoffs events.
- The Sentry Tournament of Champions has been contested at The Plantation Course at Kapalua Resort since 1999, and since that time, includes past champions Tiger Woods (2000), Ernie Els (2003), Vijay Singh (2007), Dustin Johnson (2013), Zach Johnson (2014), Patrick Reed (2015), Jordan Spieth (2016) and Justin Thomas (2017)
A look at the 2017 Sentry Tournament of Champions
- Justin Thomas birdied the par-4 17th hole in the final round on his way to a 69 and a three-shot win over Hideki Matsuyama, his first Sentry Tournament of Champions win and his second of five eventual wins in the 2016-17 PGA TOUR Season.
- The win was the third of Thomas’ career (he now owns seven), and vaulted him to a season that saw him win the FedExCup.
- Four of the previous six leaders or co-leaders through 54 holes at The Plantation Course at Kaplaua have eventually captured the tournament title.
- Thomas won the Sony Open in Hawaii the following week, setting the PGA TOUR scoring record and shooting 59 in the process.
Breakdown of the 34-player field:
- The 34 players in the field have accounted for 100 PGA TOUR wins, led by Dustin Johnson’s 16 career wins, including his four wins in the 2017 calendar year at the Genesis Open, World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship, WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play and THE NORTHERN TRUST. He is followed by Jordan Spieth (11), Justin Thomas (7), Jason Dufner (5) and Hideki Matsuyama (5).
- Winners of seven major championships including winners of three of the four majors in 2017: Brooks Koepka, winner of the U.S. Open, Jordan Spieth, winner of The Open Championship and Justin Thomas, winner of the PGA Championship. Other major champions in the field include Jason Dufner and Dustin Johnson.
- Two out of the last three winners of THE PLAYERS Championship, including Si Woo Kim (2017) and Rickie Fowler (2015).
- The last three PGA TOUR Players of the Year, Jordan Spieth (2015), Dustin Johnson (2016) and Justin Thomas (2017).
- The field includes four players with multiple wins in the 2017 calendar year:
- Justin Thomas (5) – Sentry Tournament of Champions, Sony Open in Hawaii, PGA Championship, Dell Technologies Championship, THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES
- Dustin Johnson (4) – Genesis Open, WGC-Mexico Championship, WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, THE NORTHERN TRUST
- Jordan Spieth (3) – AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Travelers Championship, The Open Championship
- Hideki Matsuyama (2) – Waste Management Phoenix Open, WGC-Bridgestone Invitational
- Xander Schauffele (2) – The Greenbrier, TOUR Championship
- Thirteen players who competed in the 2017 Presidents Cup.
- U.S. Team: Daniel Berger, Kevin Chappell, Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson, Kevin Kisner, Brooks Koepka, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas.
- International Team: Adam Hadwin, Si Woo Kim, Marc Leishman, Hideki Matsuyama and Jhonattan Vegas.
- There are 14 first-time winners in the field – Ryan Armour, Wesley Bryan, Patrick Cantlay, Kevin Chappell, Austin Cook, Bryson DeChambeau, Adam Hadwin, Patton Kizzire, Grayson Murray, Jon Rahm, Xander Schauffele, Cameron Smith, Chris Stroud and Hudson Swafford.
- Twenty of the top 30 from the 2016-17 final FedExCup standings, including nine of the top 10.
- Fourteen of the top 30 in the 2017-18 FedExCup standings, including all the top five.
- Twenty-one of the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking, including seven of the top 10.
A closer look at the field:
- Justin Thomas won five times in the 2016-17 season (CIMB Classic, Sentry Tournament of Champions, Sony Open in Hawaii, PGA Championship, Dell Technologies Championship) on his
way to claiming the FedExCup and PGA TOUR Player of the Year honors. Thomas became the fifth player under the age of 30 win the FedExCup in its 11 playings. He has advanced to the
season-ending TOUR Championship in two of his first three seasons on TOUR.
- Thomas is off to a good start in the 2017-18 season, winning the inaugural CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES played in Korea.
- He joined Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth as the only players to win five times in season, including a major, before turning 25.
- Thomas made his debut on the U.S. Presidents Cup Team at Liberty National Golf Club last fall, where he recorded a 3-1-1 record in a victorious effort for the U.S. Team.
- Thomas’ win at the 2017 Sentry Tournament Champions came in his second start in the event, finishing T21 in his first start in 2016. He is fifth in the career-stroke average ranking for the tournament (minimum of eight rounds) with an average score of 68.88 in eight rounds.
- The 2018 Sentry Tournament of Champions is the third title defense in Thomas’ career, the first two coming at the CIMB Classic (2016/won, 2017/T17).
- Thomas recorded 12 top-10s in 25 starts last season, including the five wins.
- In 2017, Thomas won the Sony Open in Hawaii the week after the Sentry Tournament of Champions, shooting 59 in the first round en route to setting a new PGA TOUR 72-hole scoring record of 253; he won the tournament by seven shots over Justin Rose.
- Jordan Spieth is making his first official PGA TOUR start since the 2017 TOUR Championship, where he finished T7 and was just shy of capturing his second FedExCup.
- Spieth played at last month’s unofficial Hero World Challenge, finishing T3 in the limited field.
- Dating back to last year’s FedExCup Playoffs, Spieth is on a four-tournament top-10 streak, finishing runner-up at THE NORTHERN TRUST and Dell Technologies Championship and T7 at the BMW Championship and TOUR Championship.
- Spieth won three times in the 2016-17 season, at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, the Travelers Championship and The Open Championship for his ninth, 10th and 11th career wins and his third major championship.
- The 23-year-old advanced to the FedExCup Playoffs for the fifth-consecutive season, and he has progressed to the season-ending TOUR Championship in each season. In the 2016-17 season, Spieth finished No. 2 in the final FedExCup standings.
- Spieth recorded 17 top-25s in 23 starts last season, including 12 top-10 showings.
- Spieth’s eight-shot win at the 2016 Sentry Tournament of Champions was one shy of the tournament record for largest margin of victory and his 30-under total made him the second
player in PGA TOUR history to win a 72-hole event with a 30-under-par score or better, with Ernie Els’ victory at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in 2003 the other instance.
- He made his third Presidents Cup appearance for the U.S. Team, recording a 3-1-1 record for the week in a victorious effort.
- This is Spieth’s fourth appearance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, and he has a runner up finish in 2014 to go with his victory in 2016 and a T3 finish in 2017. His career stroke average of 67.67 in 12 rounds is the lowest in tournament history (minimum eight rounds).
- Dustin Johnson is making his second start of the 2017-18 PGA TOUR Season, finishing T2 at the WGC-HSBC Champions last fall after shooting a closing-round 77.
- Johnson won a career-best four times in the 2016-17 season, including three tournaments in a row – Genesis Open, WGC-Mexico Championship and WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play
Championship. He also won THE NORTHERN TRUST during the FedExCup playoffs
- Johnson’s win at the Dell Technologies Match Play also made him the first player to win each of the four World Golf Championships events, completing the ‘WGC Slam’. Johnson’s five WGC victories are the HSBC Champions (2013), the Mexico Championship (2015), the Bridgestone Invitational (2016), the Mexico Championship (2017) and Dell Technologies Match Play (2017).
- With his eight top-10s in 20 starts last season, finished fourth in the final FedExCup standings.
- In seven previous starts at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, Johnson has five top 10s, including his win at the 2013 event that was shortened to 54-holes due to weather and a T6
finish in 2017.
- Johnson, 33, has now won at least one PGA TOUR event in 10 consecutive seasons, dating back to his rookie season in 2008, the longest active streak on TOUR.
- Johnson compiled a 4-0-1 record for the victorious U.S. Presidents Cup Team.
Miscellaneous Player Notes
- There are three past champions of the Sentry Tournament of Champions in the field this week: Thomas (2017), Spieth (2016) and Johnson (2013).
- Xander Schauffele, 2016-17 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year, is making his first start after recording two wins last season, including becoming the first player to win the TOUR Championship in his first attempt. Schauffele’s father, Stefan spent two years as an assistant pro at Princeville’s Makai Course on Kauai. Other PGA TOUR Rookies of the Year in the field this week include Daniel Berger (2015), Jordan Spieth (2013), Rickie Fowler (2010) and Marc Leishman (2009).
- Rickie Fowler won the unofficial Hero World Challenge in December and finished runner-up in his only start so far in the 2017-18 PGA TOUR Season at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba.
- Patrick Cantlay will make his first start at the Sentry Tournament of Champions after winning the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. Cantlay advanced to the TOUR Championship last season, playing in only 13 events all season and missing no cuts with eight top-25s.
- Spain’s Jon Rahm will make his Sentry Tournament of Champions debut after winning the Farmers Insurance Open in 2017, his first career victory. Rahm showed consistency throughout
the season and finished fifth in the final FedExCup standings in the 2016-17 season.
Sentry Insurance Information
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- Headquartered in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, Sentry employs more than 4,000 associates in 41 states.
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- Along with being one of the nation’s largest and financially strongest mutual insurance companies for businesses, Sentry also owns and operates SentryWorld, the Midwest’s premier parkland golf experience, established in 1982.
- Designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr., the course was recently named site of the 2019 U.S. Girls’ Junior.