PGA First Look: The Masters

The PGA First Look is complete with a course preview, odds, salaries, Official World Golf Rankings, and course history.

Event Preview

Like many golf fans, this is officially my favorite week of the year. Due to the scheduling changes of the PGA Tour, The Masters is now held on the same weekend as my anniversary. While my wife loves golf and will play some occasional DFS, I might have to miss an hour or two of the live coverage on Saturday. It will be difficult, but I have no choice but power through it. Before we get into the course breakdown, I wanted to give a shoutout to Corey Conners. He Monday qualified for the Valero Texas Open (after winning a six-man playoff), went on to win the event, and is now playing in The Masters. Golf is a funny game, isn’t it?

There is nothing quite like The Masters. Even if you aren’t a golf fan, you know about the piano playing in the background with Jim Nance calling everyone his friends. The perfectly manicured Augusta National provides a viewing spectacle whether you are there in person or watching on television. Even though The Masters has the worst field of all four majors, it is everyone’s favorite because of the course and the sense of nostalgia that you can’t escape. The storylines are always endless for the year’s first major, but this Masters in particular has some great ones — Rory McIlroy chasing his career Grand Slam, Tiger Woods looking to end his major championship drought, and Jordan Spieth looking for his first top 25 finish of the year.

There are 87 golfers teeing it up this week and at least 50 are guaranteed to make the cut. The official cut rule is that the top 50 and ties will move on to the weekend or any golfer within 10 shots of the lead. With a few amateurs and a few older gentlemen in the field, there are realistically only 75 golfers that can make the cut. Basically, we can expect around 75% of the golfers that we can actually consider in DFS to make the cut this week. This number is much higher than your average PGA Tour event and should change the way we build lineups. We can afford to be more aggressive and we can look for ways to gain leverage on the field.

Augusta National is a Par 72 that measures 7,475 yards. For the first time ever, hole number five will play 495 yards, which is 40 yards longer than it has played in the past. All four of the par fives are reachable and golfers will need to take advantage of their scoring opportunities if they want to be the one wearing the green jacket when all is said and done. The course features wide fairways and little rough, which is why longer hitters have had so much success here. It’s not a requisite to be a bomber, but it certainly helps. The length of the course doesn’t look daunting on paper, but they mow the grass against the hole direction to limit driving distance.

While the rough isn’t penalizing, golfers will have to miss on the right side of the hole if they are going to hit the green after a missed fairway. They’ll also have to play out of the pine straw at times and hopefully avoid the water hazards featured on five of the holes. The many undulations create unnatural lies on approach shots, which is yet another area where Masters experience is helpful. Once we get up to the greens, there are collection areas that gobble up errant approach shots. The bentgrass greens are lightning fast (sometimes up to 14 on the stimpmeter). Having experience on and around these greens is a lot more important than scrambling or strokes gained putting at another PGA Tour event.

This is a course where patience is key. There are plenty of birdie holes at Augusta National, but you can’t try to attack every pin. If you make a mistake, you have to take your medicine rather than trying to hit a miraculous recovery shot. You’ll hear about the first timer narrative and while there is certainly something to it, most golfers aren’t in their prime the first time they play here. I am not expecting a first timer to win this season, but we’ve seen younger golfers play well here in their first attempts (Jordan Spieth and Tony Finau to name a couple). It’s hard to put any real weight into this, but a right to left ball flight does help on a number of holes (likely why we’ve seen so many lefties play well here).

The cut line and winning score are both at the mercy of the weather. There has been rain in the area recently, which could lead to a slightly softer course. With that said, Augusta National might have the best drainage system of any course in the world, so I still expect it to play firm and fast. The course has ranked inside the top seven in difficulty on tour in each of the last three years. It’s only Monday, but it looks like we could be in for a windy week. On Thursday, double digit winds are expected throughout the day with gusts in the mid-teens. On Friday, the winds pick up a little bit with gusts around 20 MPH. As always, make sure to check the weather on Wednesday night and look for a possible edge with tee times.

That should just about do it with the course breakdown. This is a week that I am incredibly excited for. I know everyone wants to chase the big prize pools, but this is a great week to play cash games and small-field tournaments. The majors bring in a lot of casual viewers and in turn, casual dollars into DFS ecosystem. If you are chasing the top-heavy payouts, I have two pieces of advice. Number one — don’t roster any golfer that you don’t think can finish inside the top five. You’ll be surprised at how many golfers you can cross out from your player pool if you do this. And number two — manage the overall ownership for each lineup. You can roster the chalky golfer, but only if you build in some contrarian plays around them.

Best of luck everyone! If I can’t take down a big prize, I hope one of you can.

Cut Rule: Top 50 and ties move on after the first two rounds or any golfer within 10 shots of the lead.

Recent Winners of this Event: Patrick Reed (2018), Sergio Garcia (2017), Danny Willett (2016), Jordan Spieth (2015), Bubba Watson (2014)

Key Statistics (In Order of Importance)

1) Masters Experience
2) Strokes Gained Off the Tee
3) Strokes Gained Approach
4) Par 5 Scoring
5) Bogey Avoidance

This Week Only — 50% Off the Top PGA RotoAcademy Course

Sports Betting Card

It was a brutal week of bets and the worst part was that we didn’t even have a sweat heading into Sunday. I was hoping for a big week to help out the bankroll heading into The Masters, but that was wishful thinking. After losing all 11 of the bets last week, the profit is down to +8 units overall. But you know what, we didn’t want to waste our big week at the Valero Texas Open, right?

YTD: 3 wins, +8 units

Outright Bets

Tiger Woods 14/1
Brooks Koepka 25/1
Hideki Matsuyama 28/1
Matt Kuchar 40/1

Top 10 Bets

Patrick Cantlay 5/1
Ian Poulter 7/1
Charles Howell 10/1

Top 20 Bets

Matt Wallace 4/1
Emiliano Grillo 6/1

Salaries, Odds, and Course History (2014-2018)

Golfer DK Salary FD Salary FDRFT Sal OWGR Odds DK % FD % FDRFT % Cuts 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014
Rory McIlroy $11,600 $12,100 $18,500 3 7 0% 0% 0% 5/5 5 7 10 4 8
Dustin Johnson $11,300 $12,000 $17,700 2 10 0% 0% 0% 3/4 10 500 4 6 68
Justin Rose $10,800 $11,800 $17,100 1 12 0% 0% 0% 5/5 12 2 10 2 14
Tiger Woods $10,500 $11,100 $16,900 12 14 0% 60% 0% 2/2 32 500 500 17 500
Justin Thomas $10,200 $11,700 $16,600 5 17 -20% -50% -20% 3/3 17 22 39 500 500
Jon Rahm $10,000 $11,600 $16,500 8 16 17% 0% 17% 2/2 4 27 500 500 500
Rickie Fowler $9,700 $11,400 $16,000 9 17 0% 0% 0% 4/5 2 11 69 12 5
Brooks Koepka $9,500 $11,500 $15,800 4 23 -25% -67% -11% 3/3 500 11 21 33 500
Bryson DeChambeau $9,300 $11,200 $15,700 6 28 -56% -56% -40% 2/2 38 500 21 500 500
Tommy Fleetwood $9,200 $11,000 $15,700 13 25 -10% 0% -10% 1/2 17 62 500 500 500
Jason Day $9,100 $11,300 $15,600 14 26 -18% -63% -8% 5/5 20 22 10 28 20
Paul Casey $9,000 $10,800 $15,600 11 25 0% 8% 0% 4/4 15 6 4 6 500
Jordan Spieth $8,900 $10,400 $15,500 33 18 38% 53% 43% 5/5 3 11 2 1 2
Bubba Watson $8,800 $10,200 $15,300 17 31 -14% 16% -7% 4/5 5 62 37 38 1
Hideki Matsuyama $8,700 $10,600 $15,200 26 29 0% 0% 6% 4/5 19 11 7 5 68
Francesco Molinari $8,600 $10,900 $15,900 7 21 44% 25% -13% 3/3 20 33 500 500 50
Xander Schauffele $8,500 $10,300 $15,000 10 38 -12% -6% -6% 1/1 50 500 500 500 500
Adam Scott $8,400 $10,100 $14,800 29 38 -11% 0% 0% 5/5 32 9 42 38 14
Phil Mickelson $8,300 $10,500 $15,100 22 39 -11% -31% -24% 3/5 36 22 58 2 52
Tony Finau $8,200 $9,900 $14,600 15 37 10% 18% 18% 1/1 10 500 500 500 500
Louis Oosthuizen $8,100 $9,700 $14,900 19 37 19% 35% 11% 5/5 12 41 15 19 25
Patrick Reed $8,000 $10,700 $14,500 18 50 -14% -79% -9% 3/5 1 71 49 22 72
Matt Kuchar $7,900 $9,700 $14,300 16 39 4% 15% 8% 5/5 28 4 24 46 5
Marc Leishman $7,800 $9,800 $14,300 20 46 0% 0% 0% 2/4 9 43 58 500 52
Patrick Cantlay $7,700 $9,900 $13,800 21 61 -8% -23% 0% 0/1 58 500 500 500 500
Sergio Garcia $7,700 $10,000 $14,700 27 42 8% -10% -10% 3/5 82 1 34 17 52
Ian Poulter $7,600 $9,500 $13,500 32 75 -15% -3% -7% 4/4 44 500 49 6 20
Henrik Stenson $7,600 $9,600 $14,200 38 55 4% 7% 0% 4/5 5 62 24 19 14
Gary Woodland $7,500 $9,800 $13,400 24 67 0% -21% 3% 1/4 75 81 500 56 26
Rafael Cabrera-Bello $7,500 $9,200 $12,600 31 101 -28% -3% -3% 2/3 38 62 17 500 500
Webb Simpson $7,400 $9,500 $13,300 23 83 -6% -10% -3% 3/5 20 62 29 28 52
Cameron Smith $7,400 $9,600 $13,400 28 74 3% -7% 0% 2/2 5 500 55 500 500
Matthew Fitzpatrick $7,300 $9,300 $12,700 35 95 -9% -6% -6% 3/4 38 32 7 500 52
Eddie Pepperell $7,300 $8,800 $12,300 40 119 -36% -2% 0% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Charl Schwartzel $7,300 $8,900 $12,300 104 131 -45% -14% -7% 2/5 54 3 63 38 52
Tyrrell Hatton $7,200 $9,100 $12,600 37 117 -19% -13% -19% 1/2 44 90 500 500 500
Brandt Snedeker $7,200 $9,400 $12,800 47 81 11% 0% 3% 3/4 500 27 10 56 37
Hao-Tong Li $7,200 $9,400 $12,700 39 105 -6% -19% -12% 1/1 32 500 500 500 500
Matt Wallace $7,100 $9,000 $12,600 36 112 -5% -3% -14% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Billy Horschel $7,100 $9,100 $12,500 41 109 -3% -5% -3% 2/4 78 500 17 67 37
Branden Grace $7,100 $9,200 $12,500 44 117 -13% -22% -13% 2/5 24 27 63 67 80
Charles Howell $7,000 $8,600 $12,500 46 107 7% 19% 0% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Keegan Bradley $7,000 $9,300 $12,400 34 113 0% -24% 0% 2/3 500 500 52 22 80
Thorbjorn Olesen $7,000 $8,200 $12,300 53 133 -17% 16% -9% 1/1 500 500 500 500 44
Zach Johnson $6,900 $9,000 $12,200 87 131 -4% -18% 2% 2/5 36 54 63 9 63
Danny Willett $6,900 $8,400 $12,100 78 136 -16% 2% -2% 2/4 58 54 1 38 500
Alexander Noren $6,900 $8,600 $12,400 30 135 -13% -6% -21% 0/2 69 62 500 500 500
Keith Mitchell $6,800 $8,500 $11,600 60 168 -15% -10% 2% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Charley Hoffman $6,800 $8,500 $12,200 66 84 29% 32% 29% 4/4 12 22 29 9 500
J.B. Holmes $6,800 $8,700 $12,200 45 124 4% 0% 4% 2/3 500 50 4 56 500
Martin Kaymer $6,800 $8,400 $11,200 190 231 -27% -15% -2% 4/5 48 16 49 80 31
Kevin Kisner $6,700 $8,700 $13,700 25 62 46% 39% 0% 3/3 28 43 37 500 500
Si Woo Kim $6,700 $8,800 $12,000 55 86 33% 20% 34% 1/2 24 84 500 500 500
Kiradech Aphibarnrat $6,700 $8,500 $11,800 42 180 -8% -12% -4% 2/2 44 500 15 500 500
Kyle Stanley $6,700 $8,100 $11,100 48 267 -19% -3% -2% 1/1 52 500 500 500 500
Shane Lowry $6,700 $12,400 50 133 0% 0% 1/3 500 54 39 56 500
Emiliano Grillo $6,600 $8,900 $11,700 59 167 5% -29% 2% 2/2 500 51 17 500 500
Corey Conners $6,600 84 200 0% 0/1 500 500 500 73 500
Aaron Wise $6,600 $8,300 $11,500 67 204 -2% -4% -2% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Jimmy Walker $6,600 $8,300 $11,300 102 219 -5% -7% -2% 5/5 20 18 29 38 8
Andrew Landry $6,600 $7,400 $10,400 128 395 -18% 1% -2% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Kevin Na $6,500 $8,100 $11,400 54 213 5% 2% -2% 2/3 500 54 55 12 500
Stewart Cink $6,500 $8,400 $10,600 96 340 -5% -23% -2% 1/1 500 500 500 500 14
Patton Kizzire $6,500 $8,200 $10,500 97 343 -6% -14% -2% 0/1 65 500 500 500 500
Bernhard Langer $6,500 $7,200 $10,200 835 444 -10% 3% 1% 3/5 38 71 24 56 8
Adam Long $6,400 $8,000 $10,200 108 505 -11% -18% -6% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Kevin Tway $6,400 $7,600 $10,700 98 310 3% 3% -2% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Lucas Bjerregaard $6,400 $7,900 $12,100 43 142 20% 16% -4% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Vijay Singh $6,400 $7,700 $10,300 480 445 -5% -6% -3% 3/5 49 71 69 54 37
Shugo Imahira $6,300 $7,500 $10,200 77 464 -1% -6% -3% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Justin Harding $6,300 $10,800 49 286 0% 0% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Satoshi Kodaira $6,300 $7,200 $10,300 68 457 0% 0% -4% 1/1 28 500 500 500 500
Michael Kim $6,300 $7,000 $10,100 330 755 -7% -1% -3% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Alvaro Ortiz $6,300 $7,000 984 -13% -7% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Fred Couples $6,200 $7,800 $10,200 469 4% -13% -4% 3/4 38 18 500 89 20
Trevor Immelman $6,200 $7,300 $10,000 461 833 -3% -12% 0% 0/5 69 81 58 89 80
Viktor Hovland $6,200 $7,100 $10,100 911 578 1% -3% -1% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Angel Cabrera $6,100 $10,000 1000 -3% -4% 2/5 82 78 24 22 72
Takumi Kanaya $6,100 $7,100 $10,100 813 3% -6% -4% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Devon Bling $6,100 $7,000 1333 -4% -9% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Kevin O’Connell $6,100 $7,000 1417 -5% -11% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Jose Maria Olazabal $6,100 $7,000 $10,000 1857 -9% -15% -10% 1/4 54 71 500 77 34
Jovan Rebula $6,000 $7,000 $10,100 850 6% -5% -7% 0/0 500 500 500 500 500
Mike Weir $6,000 $7,000 $10,000 1714 -1% -14% -9% 1/5 78 81 77 96 44
Sandy Lyle $6,000 $7,000 $10,000 1607 0% -12% -8% 1/5 54 92 81 77 44
Larry Mize $6,000 $7,000 $10,000 1976 -4% -16% -12% 3/5 81 52 52 80 51
Ian Woosnam $6,000 $7,000 $10,000 3119 -5% -18% -13% 0/5 78 78 88 73 63

Color Coding
Course history in BLUE indicates a top ten finish.
Course history in GREEN indicates a top 25 finish.
Course history in YELLOW indicates a made cut with a finish outside the top 25.
Course history in RED indicates a missed cut.

Legend

Term Description
Site % Odds The percentage differential between a golfer’s salary rank and odds rank. The higher the %, the better.
OWGR Official World Golf Ranking
Cuts Cut record of each golfer at this course in the last five seasons.
2013 – 2017 Columns Course history at this event in the last five seasons.

About the Author

  • Derek Farnsworth (Notorious)

  • Derek Farnsworth, aka Notorious, is one of the most recognizable names and faces in all of DFS, thanks in large part to the great advice he gives on a daily basis in RotoGrinders.com’s Grind Down for NBA and MLB as well as the First Look column that gives a preview of the day’s games from a DFS perspective. Before joining the RotoGrinders team, Derek received a Masters Degree from the University of Utah. When he’s not busy providing content, he’s dominating the industry as evidenced by his consistent top rankings in multiple sports. Farnsworth provides expert analysis for RotoGrinders Premium members on a daily basis during the NBA season and has also been nominated for five different Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association (FSWA) awards.

    Interview after $100,000 Win

Comments

  • apotratz09

    Why do you keep leaning towards Koepka? He’s let me down multiple times this season.

  • Notorious

    Lead RG Analyst

    • 68

      RG Overall Ranking

    • Ranked #52

      RG Tiered Ranking

    • 2018 DraftKings FBBWC Finalist

    • 2013 FanDuel WFBBC Finalist

    @apotratz09 said...

    Why do you keep leaning towards Koepka? He’s let me down multiple times this season.

    Not playing him a ton for DFS, but love the 25/1 outright number. Using outright bets to hedge DFS fades can be beneficial.

  • ifthethunder

    What to do with Spieth? His history is great, but form isn’t there lately.
    ~

  • ifthethunder

    Thank you Kevin Kisner for bailing out my round 1 double up. Even though I put Justin Rose in it.
    ~

  • X Unread Thread
  • X Thread with New Replies*
  • *Jumps to your first unread reply

New to DFS?

Be sure to click through our links and use our exclusive promo codes to receive the industry's best sign-up bonuses, including free access to our premium content.

RotoGrinders.com is the home of the daily fantasy sports community. Our content, rankings, member blogs, promotions and forum discussion all cater to the players that like to create a new fantasy team every day of the week. Our goal is to help all of our members make more money playing daily fantasy sports!

Disclosures: All RotoGrinders content contributors are active DFS players. Contributor screen names can be found on their respective RotoGrinders profile pages. Contributors reserve the right to use players or strategies not discussed in their content on RotoGrinders.