Power Rankings: Tournament of Champions


The 2017 fantasy golf season kicks off in Hawaii, as the PGA Tour heads to the Aloha State this week for the Tournament of Champions. A field of 32 winners from last year will gather to tackle the Plantation Course at Kapalua.

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Jordan Spieth won this event last year by eight shots over Patrick Reed. Here are 10 players to watch in Maui:

1. Hideki Matsuyama: There's no better place to start than with the hottest player for the final months of 2016. Matsuyama has won four of his last five worldwide starts, including an easy victory at the limited-field Hero World Challenge last month in the Bahamas.

2. Jordan Spieth: Spieth took things to another level at this event a year ago, reaching 30 under par en route to an eight-shot win. He also finished solo second here in his 2014 tournament debut and clearly has developed an affinity for the Plantation Course, where he'll look to be the first back-to-back winner since Geoff Ogilvy in 2009-10.

3. Dustin Johnson: Kapalua tends to favor the bombers, and few can match the aerial prowess of Johnson, who won this event in 2013 when winds shortened it to 54 holes. Johnson also finished T-6 here in 2014 and enters off a season where he won three times and was named PGA Tour Player of the Year.

4. Patrick Reed: Reed won this event in 2015, then beat everyone not named Spieth last year in his title defense. While he wasn't able to keep pace with the two-time major winner, Reed clearly thrives in Maui and has now carded eight straight rounds in the 60s on the par-73 layout.

5. Jason Day: The world No. 1 would be much higher on this list were he not coming off a lengthy layoff. Day hasn't played competitively since withdrawing from the Tour Championship with a back injury, and he may try to ease his way back into form. But as his final-round 62 in 2015 indicated, the Aussie has all the tools required at Kapalua.

6. Justin Thomas: Thomas didn't fare especially well in his debut last year, but he quietly ended the year on quite a tear. Thomas had four top-10 finishes in his final five starts of 2016, highlighted by his win in Malaysia, and he appears poised for a strong year that could start with a big week in Hawaii.

7. Tony Finau: Finau is one of 11 players making their first appearance at Kapalua, and few players seem more tailor-made for its lengthy layout with plenty of elevation changes. Finau is arguably the longest driver on Tour, and his first career win came in another tropical location at the Puerto Rico Open.

8. Brandt Snedeker: Snedeker may not fit the profile of a typical Kapalua contender, but he has finished third at this event in two of his last three starts. That includes a T-3 finish last year when he closed with 65-67, and Snedeker has been under par in each of his 15 competitive rounds here.

9. Branden Grace: The South African has been a fixture on major championship leaderboards for the last few years, and he finally broke into the winner's circle at the RBC Heritage. Grace has plenty of pop off the tee, and while he hasn't played in the U.S. since the BMW Championship he could certainly factor this weekend.

10. Bubba Watson: Watson has hit some of the more memorable shots at Kapalua in recent years, and he has the shotmaking creativity to go low on the Plantation Course. But Watson's T-4 finish in 2013 remains his only top-9 finish in five starts at Kapalua, a surprising stat given his advantage off the tee.