Masters Preview 2019

Ladies and gentlemen, this is the best golf week of the year. We have the most iconic, beautiful course in the world, full of tradition and pageantry and the worst sandwiches known to man (ever have a Pimento Cheese sandwich? Terrible). The Masters abounds with awesome stories (like this one) and incredible performances (like this one and this one). Let’s take a gander at what to expect this week!

The Course

Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, GA

Par 72, 7,435 Yards

Scoring Average: +0.9/Round

Projected Cut: +2

Key Holes: #2, #11, #15, #17

Projected Winning Score (Totally Dependent on Weather): -10

This place needs no introduction. In its 83rd rendition, the tournament has overgone some changes through the years, but remains the pristine venue it always has been. Augusta’s skin is perfect. You ain’t going to find pock marks or blemishes on this course, and high-def TV has really enhanced the viewing experience for all of us.

At Augusta, the player that plays the best that week wins. At some events you get the super-streaky red-hot putter, or the bomber that can simply overpower a track, but it isn’t so at Augusta. The undulations on the greens (and the entire track for that matter) will make certain 5-footers more like 20-footers, and if a player misses they could have a 10-footer coming back. It’s simply the best golf tournament in the world.

The Field

The Masters, for all its glory, has the weakest field of all the majors. 87 golfers will peg it this week, with the top 50 and ties moving on and anyone within 10 shots of the lead making the cut. There are 10-15 geriatric former winners and a few amateurs we can pretty much cross off the list, so around 75% of the “good” players are going to make the cut. That is a much higher number than your typical tour event, which means you’ll want to take some chances if you’re playing DFS Golf.

Key Stats (In No Particular Order)

Driving Distance

Strokes Gained: Approach

Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee

Par 5 Scoring

Bogey Avoidance

Masters Experience

That last one may be the most important. There have been a few first-timers that have finished well (see Spieth, Jordan and Finau, Tony), but in general you’ll want to look at golfers that have played here before. There’s just so much to the course, greens and the pressure The Masters brings that taking shots on first-timers is probably unwise (now watch one win).

The fairways are wide and the rough isn’t very penalizing, which is why bombers have had a lot of success. Players do need to miss on the right side of holes to hit greens, however, and many approaches are going to be better if they’re fired to 20+ feet from the hole rather than right at it (another experience plus). This place is going to test every facet of everyone’s game, so targeting great all-around players is a must (duh).

Prediction

While the field overall may be weak, we have the best of the best teeing it up. Realistically I see 25 – 30 golfers who have a chance to win, and 10 with a REALLY good chance to win. First, I’ll be fading Jordan Spieth this week. He has an unbelievable record at Augusta, but he’s been awful this year. Every time he puts himself into contention there’s a triple bogey lurking around the corner, and Augusta is one of the easiest courses in the world to make a big number. I just can’t do it.

I’ll be heavy on all the big names at the top, including DJ, JT, Rory, Rose, Tiger, Rickie, and Rahm (among others), but if I had to pick one guy to win it would be Tommy Fleetwood. Everything sets up well for him here, and he’s been known to perform on the biggest stages. A breakthrough win is coming at some point, so why not now? Here’s another stat: there are six golfers in the field that have gained at least 13 strokes tee-to-green in their last two events. Fleetwood is one of them. The best part? The last FOUR Masters winners have met that criteria. Let’s go Tommy!

DFS

Losing Million $ DK Lineup (Balanced)

Tommy Fleetwood

Tony Finau

Hideki Matsuyama

Francesco Molinari

Henrik Stenson

Rafa Cabrera-Bello

Losing Million $ DK Lineup (Studs-and-Duds)

Justin Thomas

Brooks Koepka

Jason Day

Emiliano Grillo

Thorbjorn Oleson (Thunder Bear)

Gary Woodland

Have a great Masters week everyone! Hopefully this snow melts quickly and we’re outside again shortly. If you haven’t submitted a pick for our Masters Contest yet be sure to do so by tonight. Good luck and happy golfing!