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2023 Sentry Tournament of Champions: DFS Showdown Strategy for Sunday

2023 Sentry Tournament of Champions: DFS Showdown Strategy for Sunday article feature image
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Pictured: Scottie Scheffler and Collin Morikawa. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

What do you get when you take the top pre-tournament proximity player in my model, give him an 89% GIR rate through three rounds and then allow him to gain 5.965 shots to the field with his putter?

A bogey-free start to the event is what Collin Morikawa has deemed to be the answer. Morikawa boasts a six-shot lead at 24-under par and it’s looking like 2023’s first title could belong to the two-time major winner.

While Morikawa, unfortunately, was not one of my outright picks for the week, it was a wager my two partners over on ‘Links & Locks’ were all over. Not only did the American rank third in my model in the expected increase he would receive on slow Bermuda greens with the flat stick, but the aforementioned top ranking in proximity and tee-to-green increase for Kapalua provided this high-end output that was tantalizing at 20/1, even if I missed out on the fun.

We will see if the 25-year-old closes the show on Sunday, although his 80%+ win probability in my model is a good sign of what to expect in round four.

If you aren’t doing so already, you can find me on Twitter @TeeOffSports. There I will provide a link to my pre-tournament model, a powerful and interactive data spreadsheet that allows user inputs to create custom rankings for golf. That sheet is released every Monday, so be sure to check it out and construct your own numbers from my database of information.

Round 4 DFS Showdown Strategy

I usually write these compositions from a betting perspective, but with head-to-head wagers still trickling into the market and Morikawa holding a stranglehold near the top, let’s talk a little about DFS Sunday showdown contests.

One of the essential things you need to remember is that finishing position totals will matter for round four over on DraftKings (shown in the image below), but not every week provides the same expectation — meaning proper game theory can go a long way toward deciding how we should approach the game.

On an average week, where making birdie isn’t as easy to come by, those totals can add up quickly in deciding who wins a contest. However, I believe gamers are going to make a massive mistake tomorrow by penciling in Morikawa for 13 points and immediately selecting him up top.

Let’s assume he wins the tournament, which I believe is the most likely outcome. The way the point totals are structured for an event like the Sentry Tournament of Champions should start to pique your curiosity in attempting to fade the eventual winner. I will include a point-scoring chart below, but the main takeaway I want everyone to recognize here is that 2.26 birdies in a round will equal the 13-point starting total for the American, and that is before we begin handing out eventual finishing position points for all other players, or scoring marks that will come into play.

None of that suggests Morikawa won’t continue his onslaught, but the issue is the average gamer is going to deploy him into a GPP build way too often, creating this min-cash or worse mentality for lineups and massively inflating ownership — potentially to the point where you are better off not playing if you join the masses down the Morikawa trap.

I will guess Morikawa captures the title of this tournament while not being featured on the winning lineup for many mass-field GPP contests, and even if I end up being wrong with my general thoughts on that stance, we are still doing ourselves a disservice by playing things too safely and selecting him in a tournament where birdies come in bunches.

My advice is to fade Morikawa in DFS, and if you have an outright ticket, enjoy your Sunday trip on cruise control.

DFS Options I Would Consider: Scottie Scheffler, Tom Kim, Sungjae Im, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Cameron Young, Brian Harman, Max Homa, Corey Conners, Adam Scott, Russell Henley, J.T. Poston, Scott Stallings

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