Sentry Tournament of Champions Preview

Sentry Tournament of Champions Preview

Sentry Tournament of Champions Preview

2019 Sentry Tournament of Champions Dates: January 3-6, 2019
Where: The Plantation Course at Kapalua Resort
Par/Yards: 36-37 – 73/7,518 yards
2018 champion: Dustin Johnson
Purse: $6,500,000/$1,300,000
FedExCup: 500 points to the winner
Format: 72-hole stroke play (no cut)
Field: 34 (players who qualified but didn’t commit include Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose and Tiger Woods)
Twitter: @Sentry_TOC

2018-19 PGA TOUR Season continues at the Sentry Tournament of Champions

  • The 2018-19 PGA TOUR Season resumes at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Maui, the first FedExCup event of the 2019 calendar year.
  • The PGA TOUR’s winners-only event at The Plantation Course at Kapalua welcomes only those players who have notched victories during the 2018 calendar year, including the eight events played in the fall portion of the 2018-19 season.
  • The 13th year of the season-long FedExCup competition consists of 46 events, including only three FedExCup Playoffs events for the first time after having four Playoffs events for each of the first 12 iterations of the FedExCup.

Significant changes for the PGA TOUR in 2018-19

  1. A season with a better flow from start to finish; a return of THE PLAYERS Championship to March, which kicks off a cadence of significant events over five months; and a season that concludes with the FedExCup Playoffs in August. Every week matters – four of the eight winners during the fall of 2017 qualified for the season-ending TOUR Championship (Justin Thomas, Patton Kizzire, Patrick Cantlay and FedExCup champion Justin Rose).
  2. The FedExCup Playoffs – which have been reduced from four to three events beginning this season and will conclude before Labor Day, allowing the TOUR to own the August sports calendar – will feature fields of 125 for THE NORTHERN TRUST, 70 for the BMW Championship and 30 for the TOUR Championship, where the FedExCup Champion will be determined.
  3. A simplified, strokes-based scoring system at the TOUR Championship that crowns a singular champion. Instead of a points reset at the TOUR Championship, the TOUR is instituting a strokes-based system related to the FedExCup standings through the BMW Championship. The scoring system virtually replicates the win probabilities of the current system but uses strokes instead of points – which is much easier for golf fans, and the casual sports fan, to understand. The leader through the first two FedExCup Playoffs events will begin the TOUR Championship at 10-under par. The next four players will start at -8 through -5, respectively. The next five will begin at -4, regressing by one stroke per five players until players 26-30 start at even par. With the implementation of this change, the player with the lowest total score including FedExCup Starting Strokes will be the FedExCup champion and be credited with an official victory in the TOUR Championship. Two constants include both the drama and the crowning of a deserving champion, as seen over the first 12 years of the FedExCup.
  4. Using next year’s scoring at the 2018 TOUR Championship, Justin Rose – thanks to a birdie on the 72nd hole –would have captured the FedExCup by a single stroke over Tiger Woods, Billy Horschel and Dustin Johnson.
  5. A $10 million Wyndham Rewards-sponsored bonus – the Wyndham Rewards Top 10 –where players will be rewarded for their outstanding play during the Regular Season, prior to the start of the FedExCup Playoffs. The top Regular Season finisher in FedExCup points through the Wyndham Championship will earn $2 million, followed by $1.5 million for the runner-up with the 10th-place finisher earning $500,000. Dustin Johnson led last year’s FedExCup standings through the Wyndham Championship, just 83 points ahead of Justin Thomas.
    Including the Wyndham Rewards Top 10, there will be a doubling of FedExCup total bonus money available to players, from
    $35 million to $70 million.

A look back at Dustin Johnson’s win at the 2018 Sentry Tournament of Champions

  • Dustin Johnson dominated the field with an eight-shot victory over Jon Rahm for his first of three wins during the 2017-18 season and 17th of his career. This winning margin tied for the largest of the 2017-18 season (Francesco Molinari/Quicken Loans National and Michael Kim/John Deere Classic).
  • Johnson won for the second time in eight starts at Kapalua (2013) and became the third player to win the Sentry Tournament of Champions while ranked No. 1 in the OWGR (Tiger Woods/2000, Jordan Spieth/2016). Johnson has finished inside the top 10 in each of his last six starts at the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
  • Johnson’s win in 2018 included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole and two eagles on the par-4 12th hole, tying him at the time with Ernie Els for the most career eagles at The Plantation Course at Kapalua (eight).

Seven things to know

  • Rory McIlroy, the 2016 FedExCup champion, will make his first career start at the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
  • During the 2018 calendar year, 11 PGA TOUR players ended victory droughts of over 1,600 days between wins, compared to only two players in 2017-18 who snapped victory droughts. These 11 players combined to snap a victory drought of 24,815 days (or an average of 6.2 years between victories).
  Player EventDays Between Wins
Charles Howell III The RSM Classic 4,292
Paul Casey Valspar Championship 3,262
Kevin Na A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier 2,472
Keegan Bradley BMW Championship 2,227
Ted Potter, Jr. AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am 2,045
Ian Poulter Houston Open 1,975
Tiger Woods TOUR Championship 1,876
Phil Mickelson WGC-Mexico Championship 1,687
Matt Kuchar Mayakoba Golf Classic 1,667
Webb Simpson THE PLAYERS Championship 1,666
Gary Woodland Waste Management Phoenix Open 1,646
  • Four of the last six FedExCup champions are in the field: Justin Thomas (2017), Rory McIlroy (2016), Billy Horschel (2014), Brandt Snedeker (2012).
  • All eight winners from the fall portion of the 2018-19 PGA TOUR Season are in the field, including one TOUR rookie (Cameron Champ). All eight are in the top-10 in the FedExCup standings.
  • Every week is significant in the race for the FedExCup – 11 of the 12 winners of the Sentry Tournament of Champions in the FedExCup era (2007-present) have qualified for the TOUR Championship (lone exception was Daniel Chopra in 2008).
  • The last three PGA TOUR Players of the Year are in the field: Dustin Johnson (2016), Justin Thomas (2017) and Brooks Koepka (2018).
  • 2018 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year Aaron Wise makes his first start at the Sentry Tournament of Champions as one of eight first-timers in the field after shattering the tournament scoring record at the AT&T Byron Nelson in his win in May.

Top Contenders

Bryson DeChambeau Entering the week #5 OWGR

1              Starts at Sentry Tournament of Champions

0              Top-10s at Sentry Tournament of Champions

73           PGA TOUR starts

5              PGA TOUR wins

1              PGA TOUR starts in 2018-19

1              Wins in 2018-19

1              Top-10s in 2018-19

8              Current 2018-19 FedExCup ranking

Wins (5) 2017 John Deere Classic. 2018 the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide, THE NORTHERN TRUST, Dell Technologies Championship. 2018-19 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

  • Collected fifth career TOUR title, and third in a five-start stretch, at the 2018 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open to become the first player since Dustin Johnson (2016-17) to complete the feat.
  • Back-to-back victories during the FedExCup Playoffs (THE NORTHERN TRUST, Dell Technologies Championship) led to a No. 3 finish in the final FedExCup standings. He joined Vijay Singh (2008) as the only players to win THE NORTHERN TRUST and Dell Technologies Championship in the same season. He also became the sixth player to win back-to-back FedExCup Playoffs events and first since Billy Horschel in 2014 (BMW Championship, TOUR Championship).
  • First qualified for the winners-only event via his win at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide in 2017 where he outlasted Byeong Hun An and Kyle Stanley on the second playoff hole with a birdie.
  • Finished in 26th in his first appearance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in 2018.

Jon Rahm Entering the week #6  OWGR

1              Starts at Sentry Tournament of Champions

1              Top-10s at Sentry Tournament of Champions

56           PGA TOUR starts

2              PGA TOUR wins

1              PGA TOUR starts in 2018-19

0              Wins in 2018-19

0              Top-10s in 2018-19

129         Current 2018-19 FedExCup ranking

Wins (2) 2017 Farmers Insurance Open. 2018 Desert Classic presented by Workday

  • Recorded a runner-up finish at the 2018 Sentry Tournament of Champions in his first career-start and was the only first-time player out of 14 in the field to finish in the top 10.
  • Won the Hero World Challenge in early December by four shots over Tony Finau after closing with a bogey-free 7-under 65 in his tournament debut.
  • Advanced to the FedExCup Playoffs and TOUR Championship for the second consecutive season, finishing No. 23 in the final FedExCup standings.
  • His victory at the Desert Classic, where he bested Andrew Landry on the fourth playoff hole, marked his second TOUR title and one of five top-10s during the 2017-18 PGA TOUR Season. At the time, the win moved him to No. 2 in the FedExCup standings and No. 2 in the OWGR.

Cameron Champ Entering the week #92           OWGR

0              Starts at Sentry Tournament of Champions

0              Top-10s at Sentry Tournament of Champions

12           PGA TOUR starts

1              PGA TOUR wins

  • PGA TOUR starts in 2018-19

1              Wins in 2018-19

3              Top-10s in 2018-19

  • Current 2018-19 FedExCup ranking

Wins (1) 2018 Sanderson Farms Championship

2018-19 results: 6/The RSM Classic, T10/Mayakoba Golf Classic, T28/Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, 1/Sanderson Farms Championship, T25/Safeway Open

  • With three top-10s in five starts, TOUR rookie Cameron Champ leads the PGA TOUR in Strokes Gained – Off the Tee, averaging

328.2 yards, but also sits at 28th in Strokes Gained – Putting.

  • Champ’s first career PGA TOUR victory at the Sanderson Farms Championship came in his ninth start on the PGA TOUR and second as an official member of the TOUR.

Dustin Johnson Entering the week #3 OWGR

8              Starts at Sentry Tournament of Champions

2              Wins at Sentry Tournament of Champions

6              Top-10s at Sentry Tournament of Champions

242         PGA TOUR starts

19           PGA TOUR wins

1              PGA TOUR starts in 2018-19

0              Wins in 2018-19

0              Top-10s in 2018-19

146         Current 2018-19 FedExCup ranking

Wins (19) 2008 Turning Stone Resort Championship. 2009 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. 2010 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, BMW Championship. 2011 THE NORTHERN TRUST. 2012 FedEx St. Jude Classic. 2013 Sentry Tournament of Champions. 2014 World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions. 2015 World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship. 2016 U.S. Open, World Golf Championships- FedEx St. Jude Invitational, BMW Championship. 2017 Genesis Open, World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship, World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play, THE NORTHERN TRUST. 2018 Sentry Tournament of Champions, FedEx St. Jude Classic, RBC Canadian Open.

  • Qualified for the season-ending TOUR Championship for the 10th consecutive season (No. 4 in final FedExCup standings, marking his fifth top-five in the FedExCup).
  • Collected three wins during the 2017-18 PGA TOUR Season (Sentry Tournament of Champions, FedEx St. Jude Classic, RBC Canadian Open) extending his streak of seasons winning at least once to 11.
  • Became the first player since Tiger Woods in 2005-09 to win at least three tournaments in three consecutive seasons.
  • Led the TOUR in Scoring Average and Par-3, Par-4 and Par-5 Scoring Average in the 2017-18 season, just the second player to ever do so in a season (Tiger Woods, 2000 and 2009).
  • Looks to become the first back-to-back winner of the Sentry Tournament of Champions since Geoff Ogilvy (2009-10)

Other key players to watch:

Matt Kuchar: After failing to qualify for the season-ending TOUR Championship for the first time since 2010 in 2017-18, Kuchar captured the Mayakoba Golf Classic and punched his ticket to the Sentry Tournament of Champions for the first time since 2015. Kuchar’s last PGA TOUR victory came at the 2014 RBC Heritage.

Charles Howell III: Howell won The RSM Classic to take the lead in the FedExCup standings for the first time since the 2007 Valspar Championship. His third career victory came 11 years and nine months after his last win at the 2007 Genesis Open. Howell III is making his first start at the Sentry Tournament of Champions since 2008.

Keegan Bradley: Bradley collected his fourth career PGA TOUR title at the BMW Championship – his first win in five years. The victory moved him from No. 52 in the FedExCup standings to No. 6 and into the TOUR Championship for the first time since 2013. The 32-year-old is making his first start at the Sentry Tournament of Champions since 2013.

Brooks Koepka: Koepka is headed back to the Sentry Tournament of Champions courtesy of two major victories during the 2017-18 PGA TOUR Season and one win during the 2018-19 season. The 2018 PGA TOUR Player of the Year collected wins at the U.S. Open, PGA Championship and THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES in 2018.

Justin Thomas: Thomas’ season was highlighted by three victories (THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES, The Honda Classic, World Golf Championships – FedEx St. Jude Invitational) and a No. 7 finish in his FedExCup title defense. The 2017 Sentry Tournament of Champions winner earned double-digit top-10s (10) for the second consecutive season and reached 20 top-25s for the first time in his career.

Patrick Reed: Reed collected his first major championship title and sixth career PGA TOUR win at the Masters Tournament. The 2015 Sentry Tournament of Champions winner advanced to the FedExCup Playoffs for the sixth consecutive season and the TOUR Championship for the fifth time in a row.

Rory McIlroy: The Northern Ireland native will make his first career start at the Sentry Tournament of Champions courtesy of his victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard for his 14th career PGA TOUR victory. McIlroy finished the season No. 13 in the FedExCup and led the TOUR in Driving Distance.

Miscellaneous Sentry Tournament of Champions notes

  • The 34 players in the field combine for 155 PGA TOUR victories, including three THE PLAYERS Championship titles, 10 World Golf Championships titles and 10 major championship titles.
    • The eight first-timers at the 2019 Sentry Tournament of Champions are Cameron Champ, Brice Garnett, Michael Kim, Satoshi Kodaira, Andrew Landry, Andrew Putnam, Kevin Tway and Aaron Wise.
    • There are six countries represented in the 34-player field (Australia, England, Italy, Northern Ireland, Spain, United States)

Sentry Tournament of Champions records and history (since 1983)

(Please note the tournament moved to The Plantation Course at Kapalua in 1999)

  • 18-hole score: 62 (4x) (most recent: Jason Day/final round/2015)
    • 72-hole score: 261 (Ernie Els/2003)
    • Longest drive on 18th Hole: Davis Love III/ 476-yard/final round/2004
    • Margin of victory: 9 (David Duval/1999)
    • Come-from-behind victory: 4 (most recent: Stuart Appleby/2005)
    • Playoffs: 9 (most recent: 2011/Patrick Reed def. Jimmy Walker)
    • Most consecutive victories: 3 (2x) (most recent: Stuart Appleby/2004-06)

About Sentry

  • Sentry is one of the largest business-focused mutual insurance companies in the United States. Because Sentry is a mutual insurance company, their business is built on the foundation of service to our policyholders.
  • Sentry serves companies as diverse as America, from main street, family-run shops to large, Fortune 500 corporations.
  • Sentry believes in the power of smart conversations. We work hard to understand each individual policyholder, their businesses, and their industries, inside and out.
  • Sentry is actively involved in philanthropy, especially workforce development, in communities where our more than 4,300 associates live and work. Since becoming title sponsor of the Sentry Tournament of Champions, that includes Maui County.
  • Sentry has deep connections to the world of golf. Great conversations happen on golf courses. In 1982, we opened SentryWorld,
  • Wisconsin’s first destination golf course, which received immediate accolades for its unique Flower Hole at #16.
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