- Augusta National
- Augusta, Georgia
- Par 72
- 7,435 yards
- Rye grass fairways & Bermuda greens
- Very fast, undulating greens
- Hilly course with many elevation changes
- Tree lined with most of the water on the back 9
- Rough is almost nonexistent
- A lot of holes that dogleg left
- 3 of the par 3’s are 180 yards or shorter
- 9 of the par 4’s are 440 yards or longer
- Par 5’s are the four easiest holes
- Wind & tough conditions can favor the shorter hitters (might see wind this week)
- Birdie or better
- Par 5 scoring
- SG: putting
- One putt percentage
- SG: off-the-tee
- Driving distance
- SG: tee-to-green
- SG: approaching-the-green
- Par 4 scoring
The field for the Masters this year is set at 87 but with 21 golfers listed at 500/1 odds or worse, you can realistically carve that number down to about 65 or 70. Obviously there is tons of top level talent here mixed in with a couple old-timers, who are only here due to wins of years past, or up and coming amateurs looking to make a name for themselves. With a small, diverse field and one of golf’s best and most talked about events of the year, you may need to execute a unique strategy to win.
Like I said before, you may want to avoid the bottom 15-20 golfers all together who don’t have a shot at winning. There may be 2 or 3 top 20’s out of that group but probably many more missed cuts.
With more people playing DFS this week and with a small field, ownership will be even more important at The Masters. Leaving money on the table will help you avoid more common lineups and checking ownership projections throughout the week will help you pinpoint smart pivot plays.
Big Dogs ($9,100 and up on DK)
- Solid (Cash)
- Rory McIlroy ($11,600 DK – $12,100 FD) – Rory is in the top spot this week and rightfully so, he’s had five straight finishes at Augusta of 10th or better and five straight finishes of 6th or better in his most recent events. He’s the favorite to win The Masters and the story line of McIlroy circling a career grand slam has added to the buzz surrounding him. For these reasons he’ll probably be the first pick when many people start making their lineups so I like him in Cash games more but if you want to play him in GPP I would advise going in heavy.
- Tommy Fleetwood ($9,200 DK – $11,000 FD) – with all of this talent in the $8,000’s and $9,000’s it’s tough to tell where the ownership will go here, especially with more inexperienced DFS players entering contests this week, but that probably just means you should follow your gut more than you normally would. Fleetwood is 4th in SG: off-the-tee and 5th in scrambling this year and is coming off of two consecutive top 5 finishes. My gut is telling me that he’s not going to get in much trouble and when he does he will be able to rebound, giving him a high floor and many potential scoring opportunities.
- Jason Day ($9,100 DK – $11,300 FD) – speaking of high floors, Jason Day has played at Augusta the last five years and hasn’t finished worse than 28th in that time. He did miss his last cut at the Valspar which scares me but with his recent form, being fairly well rested since the WD (back issues), and his 5th in SG: off-the-tee and 4th SG: putting, I think Day lines up well for another top 20 here.
- Risky (GPP)
- Justin Rose ($10,800 DK – $11,800 FD) – Rose is behind Rory and DJ, and in front of Tiger in pricing this week. His ball striking game hasn’t really been there recently and he’s coming off of a missed cut and 63rd place finish in two of his three last events. With all of this swirling around I think Rose is gonna be lighter ownership and he’s got great course history with five straight years of 14th or better in The Masters so he could be a great GPP play. He’s also 1st in one putt percentage, 1st in three putt avoidance, and 7th in scrambling so it’s no wonder why he plays so well here.
- Jon Rahm ($10,000 DK – $11,600 FD) – when you can get Rickie, Koepka, Bryson, Fleetwood, and Day for cheaper, and people will lean towards being more balanced this week with their lineups, I can see Rahm getting passed up quite a bit. He’s coming off of a 4th place at Augusta last year and six of his last seven events have been 12th or better. People have been ragging on his around the green game but he’s rated about the same as everyone priced around him that I mentioned earlier besides Fleetwood. He’s the best of those guys off the tee and avoiding three putts so I really like Rahm here.
- Brooks Koepka ($9,500 DK – $11,500 FD) – Koepka is one of the longest hitters on tour (15th) and that helps him to score well on par 5’s (12th) which is more important here than the average course. His worst stats right now are knocking down putts and scrambling which have shown in his recent form but he has decent course history with a 33rd, 21st, and 11th in his last three tries. We’ve seen what he can do in big events so if he can sharpen up is short game and recovery shots then he’ll continue to improve his finishes at The Masters.
Value ($7,500 – $9,000 on DK)
- Solid (Cash)
- Paul Casey ($9,000 DK – $10,800 FD) – Casey has a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place finish in his last five starts and has a 6th, 4th, 6th, and 15th in the last four years at The Masters. He’s great in ball striking and a good par 5 scorer so with this recent form and strong statistics I would imagine that Paul Casey goes highly owned but will still be a good pick in Cash lineups.
- Hideki Matsuyama ($8,700 DK – $10,600 FD) – Matsuyama and Casey are very similar picks in my eyes this week. They rate out close to the same (Casey is more accurate off of the tee and Hideki is better into the greens and scrambling) on top of that their recent/course form is similar too (Hideki has four top 20’s in his last four starts at Augusta and five top 20’s in his last six tournaments). He’ll probably attract some ownership as well so I like these guys in Cash but if you want them in GPP you may have to go all in on one.
- Matt Kuchar ($7,900 DK – $9,700 FD) – from what I’ve heard Kuch sounds like he will be the highest owned player of the week. He has a couple of wins this season and rates out very well for The Masters where he’s made five out of his last five cuts with two top 5 finishes. He’s 6th or better in SG: approaching-the-green, driving accuracy, GIR, and par 5 scoring so $7,900 is going to make him a very attractive pick.
- Honorable Mentions: Sergio Garcia ($7,700 DK – $10,000 FD) & Ian Poulter ($7,600 DK – $9,500 FD) – I like both of these guys and wouldn’t hesitate to play them in small contests but I could see them as being two of the highest owned players in the field, especially in DraftKings.
- Risky (GPP)
- Xander Schauffele ($8,500 DK – $10,300 FD) – Xander is coming off of a missed cut and has only played here one time which was a 50th place finish last year. I’m hoping this mixed with his inconsistency and a loaded field has him lower owned because he rates out very well in my model. Xander has a good, well rounded game with confidence on the green and is top 10 in both par 5 and par 4 scoring.
- Adam Scott ($8,400 DK – $10,100 FD) – Scott and Xander seem to have similar games this year when looking at the stats. Adam isn’t quite as good tee-to-green but has vastly improved his putting and is tied with Xander at par 5 scoring. If he is being overlooked this year alongside Schauffele, Phil, and Finau, I could see this as a good price range to go contrarian in… especially on a guy who has won here before.
- Patrick Cantlay ($7,700 DK – $9,900 FD) – Cantlay is priced the same as Sergio and is above Stenson, Poulter, Woodland, and Simpson, who I can see as all being potential popular plays in this field. Patrick is 7th in driving distance and 10th in SG: tee-to-green, pair that with is all around solid game and lower ownership due to him coming off a missed cut and a 58th finish here last year — and you have one good GPP play.
Sleepers ($7,400 and under on DK)
- Solid (Cash)
- Matthew Fitzpatrick ($7,300 DK – $9,300 FD) – Fitzpatrick has only shot worse than +1 in a round once in his last five events (19 rounds). Pair that with two top 40’s in his last two years here and a 7th place finish in 2016 at The Masters AND THEN a 2nd place finish at the Arnold Palmer Invitational a few weeks ago and I bet he goes highly owned this week with roster construction favoring the picks around the $9,000’s and upper $8,000’s (people will have to dip down here quite a bit).
- Brandt Snedeker ($7,200 DK – $9,400 FD) – I originally had Brandt as a GPP play in this category but after listening to a bunch of Masters previews it seems like a lot of people are going to be on him. He’s made four straight cuts here with a 10th place finish in 2016 and he’s coming off of a good stretch where he finished 5th at The Players several weeks ago. Brandt is a solid short game player but lacks elsewhere so I’m not crazy about him, especially at higher ownership, but he’s a good Cash game pick and could turn out to be a decent GPP pick.
- Charles Howell III ($7,000 DK – $8,600 FD) – Howell has been a top 25 machine and although he hasn’t played here before I still envision him as being very chalky at $7,000. His tee-to-green game has been stellar and that has led him to 2nd on Tour in GIR, 3rd in bogey avoidance, and 1st in par 4 scoring. Cash lineups I love Charles here but if his ownership goes as high as I think it might then I would avoid him in GPP like the plague.
- Risky (GPP)
- Billy Horschel ($7,100 DK – $9,100 FD) – Horschel was one of the higher owned players last week and after burning a bunch of people and finishing 136th I see a lot of people passing him up this week. He hasn’t been great here and he’s in a little bit of a slump but let’s not forget that at the FedEx Cup Playoffs he took 3rd twice and 2nd once in those four events. Billy’s a big game hunter and has plenty of experience at Augusta to run off of so I like him here.
- Eddie Pepperell ($7,300 DK – $8,800 FD) – Eddie hasn’t played at The Masters but is coming off of a 3rd place at The Players and had an amazing run last year at The Open so it seems to me that he isn’t shy in the big moments. He seems to be a fan favorite so that might bump his ownership so I would definitely watch out for that.
- Keegan Bradley ($7,000 DK – $9,300 FD) – Keegan is one of the best ball strikers in the world but is lost on the greens and it’s no secret. I’m thinking with the greens as fast and as crazy as they are a lot of people will look to him as a guy that can’t score here. He hasn’t played Augusta in over two years but does have some experience here so maybe he can keep gaining strokes from tee-to-green and somewhat figure the greens out, and sneak his way into a top 20.
- Solid (Cash)
- Charley Hoffman ($6,800 DK – $8,500 FD) – with a 2nd place performance last week at Valero and excellent course history I think it would surprise no one to see Hoffman as being a popular pick. I don’t trust him all that much so I probably won’t touch him but he’s like the off-brand Jordan Spieth this week, if you want to roll the dice on him I wouldn’t blame you.
- Kevin Kisner ($6,700 DK – $8,700 FD) – these next two guys are also going to be very popular so I wanted to go against the current but couldn’t find anyone else I like down here. Kisner has been very consistent off the tee and is great on the greens so he has a high floor for this price tag. He also finished 43rd or better here each of the last three years and has six straight finishes of 30th or better coming into this week.
- Si Woo Kim ($6,700 DK – $8,800 FD) – Si Woo had a commanding four stroke lead after the second round last week but ended up giving it away before finishing 4th. His stats also look great with top 15’s in scrambling, one putt percentage, birdie or better, par 5 scoring, and par 4 scoring. He was also 24th at Augusta last year so I really like Kim at $6,700.
- Risky (GPP)
- Kiradech Aphibarnrat ($6,700 DK – $8,500 FD) – my confidence stats this week are scrambling and one putt percentage… there are three guys that are in the top 25 of both this year: Justin Rose, Si Woo Kim, and Kiradech. His only two tries at The Masters were 44th last year and 15th in 2016 so he seems to like this course and based off of his recent form he has very big boom or bust potential.
- Emiliano Grillo ($6,600 DK – $8,900 FD) – Grillo could end up being a decently owned guy this week so watch out for him (I’ve heard some DFS experts talking him up as a sleeper). He’s played here twice and had a top 20 finish in 2016 (17th) with a made cut after that in 2017 (51st). He has kind of been disappointing this year but is coming off of a 26th place finish at The Players so maybe he is gearing up for another top 20 finish.
- Aaron Wise ($6,600 DK – $8,300 FD) – Wise hasn’t been scoring all that great lately but is typically being held back by one bad round per tournament. He finished 19th in Mexico at the WGC and that was after an opening round +2. If he can eliminate that one over par round this week then he might have a shot at surprising people this year.
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