The Masters Tournament needs no introduction. But, if you’re new, the PGA TOUR heads to Augusta National for the first major of the season, The 85th Masters Tournament. The course is a par 72, measuring 7,475 yards and be putt on bentgrass greens. The field is set at 88 golfers, and the top 50 and ties will make the cut. There are no alternates here, so if players WD before the tournament start, the field gets smaller. There will be 18 former Masters Champions teeing it up this week. We did a Course Preview of Augusta National back in November, so make sure to check that out.
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Last year’s tournament took place just five months ago, where Dustin Johnson (+950, $11,500) gained 19.1 strokes total en route to his victory, and much of the course will play the same. Tiger Woods will not be in attendance, but Brooks Kopeka (+2800, $9,200) will be playing shortly after his knee surgery. Early reports say the course is playing much firmer and faster than November’s edition, and Johnson’s 20-under may be a thing of the past. Still, with course history and experience being such an important factor this week, we may see a similar leaderboard as we did in the Fall.
There’s never a week where you should be blindly fading golfers who are in good current form, even this week. Last year, seven of the top 10 were ranked inside the top 25 in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green in their previous 12 rounds leading into the tournament. Still, course experience will be an essential factor, as it is every year at Augusta National. The players will also be without green books this week, and experience on and around the greens will be invaluable. The top five in Strokes Gained Total here since 2016 are Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy (+1900, $10,200), Jordan Spieth (+1150, $9,400), Jon Rahm (+1250, $11,000) and Justin Rose (10000, $7,200). First-timers will have an uphill battle this week, but it’s not impossible to do well with only having one or two starts under your belt here. Sungjae Im (+4150, $8,600) has been one of the best ball-strikers this year and contended last year, Collin Morikawa (+3150, $9,600) just won a WGC event and Joaquin Niemann (+5500, $7,400) is one of the best drivers of the ball on TOUR. All three have just one start here.
Having all six players on your roster make the cut is a prerequisite this week if you want to win the Milly Maker. Username: ep3550(5) won the Milly Maker in November’s tournament, and he did it by rostering two players above $10,000 and four under $7,500. Of the top-10 finishers in DraftKings scoring last year, four were priced under $7,500 (Sungjae Im, Cameron Smith, Cameron Champ and Dylan Frittelli). Lineups must also have the eventual winner with such a high percentage of the field making the weekend.
Bryson DeChambeau (+1150 to Win, $10,800 on DraftKings)
No one has been better Tee-to-Green over the previous 24 rounds than DeChambeau. He’s the top-ranked player Off-the-Tee on TOUR, which will help on the four par 5s players need to take advantage of this week.
The broadcasts will talk about his driving prowess ad nauseam this week. Still, people shouldn’t overlook the consistency of his irons and bentgrass putting, ranking 12th in Strokes Gained: Approach-the-Green and fourth in putting over the last two dozen rounds. His T21 back in 2016 in his best finish over the past five years, but he’s been one of the best players on TOUR since January, ranking fourth in Strokes Gained: Total. He’s won or done well on similar traditional American tracks like Muirfield Village and TPC Sawgrass and is the second-highest ranked playing in this salary range in Strokes Gained: Around-the-Green over the last four rounds. Starting with DeChambeau and Rahm may be a trendy build, but these two are playing consistent golf and are the preferred plays in this range.
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Webb Simpson (+3500 to Win, $9,000 on DraftKings)
You could find a reason to roster any of the players in this range. Brooks Koepka, for example, just had knee surgery but hasn’t finished outside the top 11 in his last three starts, with a runner-up in 2019. Still, Webb may go a little unnoticed this week, with narratives pointing to favoring the longer hitters. Augusta National is still a second-shot course, and although Simpson’s been a little off with his approach, he’s still one of the best iron players on TOUR. Webb’s last three finishes here read 10th, fifth and 20th. He’s only missed one cut since 2015 and has one of the best short games, ranking second in Strokes Gained: Around-the-Green over his previous 24 rounds.
Justin Rose (+10000 to Win, $7,200 on DraftKings)
You should only consider Rose if you’re a believer in course history being important this week. He’s also coming off a WD at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and didn’t play at THE PLAYERS, citing lower back pain. Rose has had ample time to rest and recover, and he should feel right at home here. Since 2016, only four players rank higher than him in Strokes Gained: Total, and three of those golfers are above $10,000 this week. Caveat: if we hear murmurs about his back flaring up, we should pass. If we don’t, and all is clear on the injury front for Rose, he could be an excellent low-rostered player to pair with some studs at the top.
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