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DraftKings PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf Preview: The Masters Course History vs. Current Form

Zach Thompson takes a look at golfers with the best course history and current form ahead of the The Masters.

The PGA TOUR has reached its first major championship of 2021, as the top golfers in the world head to Augusta National Golf Club for this year’s edition of The Masters. The “tradition unlike any other” is back in its traditional spring setting after a move to last fall due to the pandemic. It sets up to be another great week of fantasy golf, so make sure to get all your lineups locked and take advantage of the DFS PGA 21 Countdown to Augusta bonuses available throughout the week.

Each week this season, this post examines two of the key factors to consider when building your DraftKings fantasy golf teams—course history and current form. In the charts below, check out the most notable players scheduled to tee it up this week who have had success at this venue in the past or have been playing well in recent weeks.

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Course History

The Masters is the only major championship that is held in the same location each year, and the course at Augusta National is legendary, world-famous and truly one of the most recognizable venues in all of sports. Here’s how some of the top contenders have fared at Augusta over the past five years:

Course History

Player Name Salary 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Player Name Salary 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Dustin Johnson $11,500 4 -- 10 2 1
Jon Rahm $11,000 -- 27 4 9 7
Bryson DeChambeau $10,800 21 -- 39 29 34
Justin Thomas $10,600 39 22 17 12 4
Rory McIlroy $10,200 10 7 5 21 5
Jordan Spieth $9,400 2 11 3 21 46
Patrick Reed $9,300 49 71 1 36 10
Brooks Koepka $9,200 21 11 -- 2 7
Tony Finau $9,100 -- -- 10 5 38
Webb Simpson $9,000 29 62 20 5 10
Hideki Matsuyama $8,300 7 11 19 32 13
Cameron Smith $8,200 55 -- 5 51 2
Sergio Garcia $7,900 34 1 82 63 --
Bubba Watson $7,800 37 62 5 12 57
Paul Casey $7,700 4 6 14 79 38
Adam Scott $7,600 42 9 32 18 34
Jason Day $7,500 10 22 20 5 78
Louis Oosthuizen $7,500 15 41 12 29 23
Francesco Molinari $7,000 -- 33 20 5 83
Marc Leishman $6,900 58 43 9 49 13
Matt Kuchar $6,800 24 4 28 12 63
Jimmy Walker $6,200 29 18 20 36 60

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Dustin Johnson ($11,500) dominated the course, the field and the record book in November, securing his first green jacket with a comfortable five-stroke margin of victory over Sungjae Im ($8,600) and Cameron Smith ($8,200). Justin Thomas ($10,600) finished fourth while Dylan Frittelli ($6,700) and Rory McIlroy ($10,200) tied for fifth. Johnson dominated Augusta National on his way to a record-low score of 20-under and broke or tied nine different records on his way to a wire-to-wire victory.

Johnson is one of 18 former champions in the field this week with only Tiger Woods a significant absence from recent champions. Patrick Reed ($9,300), Sergio Garcia ($7,900), Danny Willett ($6,600), Jordan Spieth ($9,400), Bubba Watson ($7,800), Adam Scott ($7,600) and Charl Schwartzel ($6,300) have combined with Johnson and Woods to win the past 10 tournaments.

Looking at players who have had success here lately, distance is definitely a big help since it sets up shorter approaches. Shots gained off the tee (SG: OTT) is definitely a key stat that correlates to winning, but shots gained on approach (SG: APP) is an even more important statistic to consider. The greens aren’t especially small or hard to hit, but putting is tricky since they tend to be far more contoured than other greens on tour. The use of green-reading books is also prohibited, so players have to read the green in real-time and rely on their past experience. The absence of green-reading books may be one reason why experience on the course and course history have been such important factors.

The course itself features some of the most famous holes in all of golf, highlighted by Amen Corner, the nickname for holes No. 11, No. 12 and No. 13. Those three holes each offer major risk-reward options and usually go a long way to deciding who ultimately dons the green jacket on the 18th green. The rumblings from Augusta so far this year are that the course is playing firm and fast, so get ready for what could be a wild ride if the course plays that way all week after giving up such low scores last fall.

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Current Form

Most of the top pros haven’t played a stroke play event since THE PLAYERS Championship almost a month ago. The most recent event that drew all the stars was the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play in Austin two weeks ago, while most top players skipped last week’s Valero Texas Open. The one major exception was Spieth, who claimed his first PGA TOUR victory in almost four years. Here’s who else has been putting together good results coming into this major:

Current Form

Player Name Salary The American Express Farmers Insurance Open Waste Management AT&T Pebble Beach Genesis WGC-Workday Arnold Palmer THE PLAYERS Honda Valero
Player Name Salary The American Express Farmers Insurance Open Waste Management AT&T Pebble Beach Genesis WGC-Workday Arnold Palmer THE PLAYERS Honda Valero
Jon Rahm $11,000 -- 7 13 -- 5 32 -- 9 -- --
Bryson DeChambeau $10,800 -- -- -- -- CUT 22 1 3 -- --
Justin Thomas $10,600 -- -- 13 -- CUT 15 -- 1 -- --
Xander Schauffele $10,000 -- 2 2 -- 15 39 -- CUT -- --
Patrick Cantlay $9,800 2 -- -- 3 15 -- -- CUT -- --
Collin Morikawa $9,600 -- -- -- -- 43 1 -- 41 -- --
Jordan Spieth $9,400 -- CUT 4 3 15 -- 4 48 -- 1
Patrick Reed $9,300 CUT 1 -- -- -- 9 CUT 22 -- --
Lee Westwood $8,800 -- -- -- -- -- 61 2 2 CUT --
Sungjae Im $8,600 12 32 17 -- -- 28 21 17 8 --
Daniel Berger $8,500 -- -- CUT 1 -- 35 -- 9 -- --
Cameron Smith $8,200 -- CUT -- -- 4 11 -- 17 -- --
Matthew Fitzpatrick $8,100 -- -- -- -- 5 11 10 9 -- --
Paul Casey $7,700 8 -- -- 5 -- -- 10 5 -- --
Will Zalatoris $7,300 -- 7 17 55 15 22 10 21 -- --
Max Homa $7,100 21 18 42 7 1 22 10 CUT -- --
Corey Conners $6,900 -- 37 17 -- CUT -- 3 7 -- 14
Jason Kokrak $6,900 29 32 9 8 9 --
Ryan Palmer $6,500 -- 2 42 -- -- 54 -- 17 -- 17

Spieth’s resurgence has been one of the big stories of the season so far, as the 2015 Masters’ champion appears to have rediscovered his top form and posted several near-misses throughout the season leading up to his win last week. Spieth has six top-25s and four top-10s in his seven career starts at Augusta and has never missed the cut. His current form has him peaking at just the right time and setting up a potential convergence with his great course history for this week.

Another player coming off a big win is Thomas, who won his most recent stroke play event at THE PLAYERS Championship against a similarly elite field to what he’ll face again this week. JT has four straight top-25 finishes at August with improving results each year, culminating in last year’s fourth-place finish. He led the field tee-to-green in 2019 but couldn’t get his putter rolling at all. Last year he did better on the greens but was shakier on approach. Both Thomas and Collin Morikawa ($9,600) have been near the top of SG: Approach all season long and should both be set up for a good week if they can continue their success in that metric. If you’re looking for length and shots gained off the tee, it’s hard to overlook Bryson’s current form which included a win at Bay Hill and a third-place finish at THE PLAYERS in the run-up to this event.

In the midrange, there are a pair of international players who come in with strong form as well. Matthew Fitzpatrick ($8,100) and Paul Casey ($7,700) have both been playing well. Fitz has posted four top-12 finishes in his four events since coming stateside to build up to The Masters. Casey hasn’t played a typical schedule, playing the Arnold Palmer Invitational and Pebble Beach while passing on the WGC-Workday and the Genesis Invitational. He has posted good results when he does tee it up, though, with three top-10 finishes since coming stateside after picking up a win in January at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic on the European Tour.

There are some affordable options that could be good values if they continue their current form as well. Three options under $7K with strong recent results are Corey Conners ($6,900), Jason Kokrak ($6,900) and Ryan Palmer ($6,500). Palmer has only made the cut in three of his five career trips to Augusta, and Kokrak missed the cut in his debut last fall. Conners fared much better finishing T10, which was his second straight year making the cut. He has the kind of iron game needed to succeed at Augusta and makes a nice sleeper based on current form after three straight top-15 finishes.

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Z.Thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.

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