Countdown to Kapalua: Multiple Winners Edition
Sentry Tournament of Champions HOT SHEET
1. "How about we go out there and grab a win or two... or four..."
is probably the pep talk Bryson DeChambeau gave to himself ahead of the 2018 calendar year as he captured not one, but four PGA TOUR victories in a span of five months. #DeChambwoah
The 25-year-old’s victory campaign began in June at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide. DeChambeau three-putted for bogey on the 18th hole for a 1-under 71 to get into a three-way playoff with Byeong Hun An and Patrick Cantlay. On the second playoff hole, DeChambeau sank a 12-foot birdie putt to defeat An and capture his second career TOUR victory. Oh, and how about that celebration?
The campaign revved up during the #FedExCupPlayoffs when DeChambeau collected BACK-TO-BACK wins (yes, you read that right) at THE NORTHERN TRUST and Dell Technologies Championship to join Vijay Singh as the only players to win the first two Playoffs events. DeChambeau advanced to East Lake for the first time in his career and finished at No. 3 in the FedExCup standings.
DeChambeau didn’t have to wait long for his first win of the 2018-19 season, which came in his first fall start at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. The California native made a 57-foot, 7-inch putt from off the green for eagle at the par-5 16th on his way to a one-shot victory over Patrick Cantlay. The win marked his third victory in his last five starts… must have been the siren. #VegasVictory
Although Nos. 2, 3 and 4 were well deserved, DeChambeau’s win at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide had already qualified him for the Sentry Tournament of Champions. #winning
DeChambeau returns to The Plantation Course at Kapalua for the second consecutive year as he looks to improve on his 26th-place finish in his first appearance in 2018.
2. Bubba's Back...
Bubba Watson is back in the Winner’s Circle (and the winners-only field) courtesy of three victories during the 2017-18 PGA TOUR Season. #BubbaGolf
Watson snapped his two-year winless drought when he collected his 10th career TOUR victory at the Genesis Open in February. Watson won the tournament for the third time with a two-shot victory over Kevin Na and Tony Finau. Much to no surprise, the victory was an emotional one.
The Bagdad, Florida native took his winning ways to the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play in March for his second victory of the season and second World Golf Championships title. Watson defeated Kevin Kisner, 7 and 6, with a title-clinching birdie on the 12th hole.
Next, fast forward to June at the Travelers Championship. Starting the final round six shots behind Paul Casey, Watson posted his second 63 of the week to jump past the Englishman to win his third Travelers Championship title. The victory might as well been a flashback to where it all began as TPC River Highlands was the site of Watson’s first TOUR win.
The 40-year-old is set to make his first start of 2019 (and first official start of the 2018-19 PGA TOUR Season) at The Plantation Course at Kapalua. Watson looks to improve upon his career-best finish of T4 in 2013 and is in search of his 13th TOUR victory.
3. Jason (Day)dreaming of Maui
Day notched his first win since 2016 at the Farmers Insurance Open in January, but it didn’t come easy… actually it took six playoff holes for Day to be crowned winner. The 30-year-old and Alex Noren matched each other birdie, birdie, par, par and birdie grinding through five playoff holes Sunday before it got too dark to continue. The pair played the par-5 18th on Monday morning (their fourth time visiting the finishing hole in the playoff) when Day sank an 18-inch birdie putt to defeat Noren. #LongTimeComing
It wasn’t too long until Day was back in the winner’s circle again to collect his 12th career TOUR victory and second of the season at the Wells Fargo Championship in May. Coming off back-to-back bogeys to drop into a tie with Aaron Wise at 10-under-par heading into the final three holes of the tournament, Day’s tee shot on the difficult 230-yard par-3 17th hole hit the pin and settled less than three feet away. He made the putt to take a two-shot lead and held on to seal the victory.
Day is qualified to make his fifth appearance at The Plantation Course at Kapalua as he looks to improve on his career-best T3 finish in 2015.
4. Good looks, Brooks
Brooks Koepka (and his biceps) are headed back to Maui courtesy of two major victories during the 2017-18 PGA TOUR Season and one more win during the 2018-19 season. *insert biceps emoji* Koepka collected his first victory of the 2017-18 season at the U.S. Open. In his first major tournament back since missing three months with a wrist injury, confidence was key for Koepka as he shot a final-round 68 for a one-stroke victory over Tommy Fleetwood. With the win, Koepka became the seventh player to win in back-to-back years and the first since Curtis Strange in 1988-89.
The 2018 PGA TOUR Player of the Year made his 100th career PGA TOUR start a memorable one when he captured his second major victory of the season at the PGA Championship. And did so in dominant fashion when he closed with a 4-under 66 for a two-shot win over Tiger Woods. Oh, and it made him just the fifth player to win the U.S. Open and PGA Championship in the same year… which apparently isn’t good enough for ESPN.
In his first start of the 2018-19 season, Koepka didn’t wait long to catch his next victory, winning in his first start at THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES. The 28-year-old finished birdie-birdie-par-eagle to close out a four-shot victory over Gary Woodland for his 12th victory worldwide. He now has won in seven countries (U.S., South Korea, Spain, Italy, Japan, Turkey and Scotland). #WorldTraveler
Koepka is set to make his third start of the 2018-19 season at The Plantation Course at Kapalua. The 2019 Sentry Tournament of Champions will be Koepka’s third appearance at the event as he looks to improve on his career-best finish of T3 in 2016.