Fantasy PGA Preview: The Masters

After months of build up the road to the Masters is traveling down Magnolia Lane. Players are checking in, media is setting up and fans are starting to flock. For us fantasy players it marks the first of five events (The Masters, US Open, British Open, PGA Championship and THE PLAYERS) where every lineup looks like a winner.

Join DraftStreet’s $100,000 Guaranteed Masters Tournament Here

Shell Houston Open Recap

What can I say about the Shell?
Could it be, Dustin Johnson leaving a bad smell?
Plunging fantasy owners in a bit of hell!
Or Matt Jones solid play ringing the bell?
Surpassing Matt Kuchar, his game did propel!
Two weeks in a row, Kuch’s Sunday game has refused to gel.
Is his mind right for Augusta?, its just hard to tell.
With last weeks event I will no longer dwell
Time to dive into The Masters well!!!!

The Masters preview

There is not much I can tell you about The Masters that most have not already heard. To sum up this course in one word . . . “majestic”. From the 1st tee to the 18th green there isn’t much about this course that isn’t stunning. The prize at the end, the most famous article of clothing in sports, The Green Jacket. The current defending Masters champion is Australian Adam Scott.

Being the first major of the year, The Masters also boasts the smallest field. In 2013 officials took the cut line from top 44 and ties and being within 10 shots of lead, to the top 50, ties and being within 10 shots of the lead. So out of a field of almost 100 you can expect the number of golfers making the cut anywhere between high 50’s or low 60’s. Since past Masters champions have an automatic invite to the tournament, we tend to see at least one elder player surprise over the week. On the flip side though is that we have 24 Augusta rookies this year. That is a record for the Masters. The way this season has gone, don’t be surprised if we see a player in his first Masters take the Green Jacket.

Though rain has washed out practice Monday, the forecast for the rest of the week show be great for the tournament itself.

Golfers

I really wanted to do a complete rundown of who is in the Masters, and how they qualified but time has gotten the better of me lately. If you want to look over players in the field that have won or qualified by winning a major within the last 5 years then here is the Countdown to The Master: Major Winners article I wrote a few months back.

One thing about DFS golf during a major. Every team looks awesome. You can make a case for 20-30 players every event. Not to mention the trend of late is no-name players shining while the top names struggle. Also every favourite has a question mark hovering about their head. I think this might be the most wide open Masters in recent history. 49 of the top 50 players in the world are here and 90 of the top 100. Lets not forget 19 past champions.

Jason Day flag_australia $23,977
If you look at the state of Australian golf recently you had to know my top guy was going to be an Aussie. Do I like Adam Scott, yes. Though Scott is affordable, I just like my teams better with Jason Day in them. He says he is 100 percent healthy now and will be wearing tape on his troubled thumb. Day has been in Augusta since Wednesday from last week getting in extra practice rounds. Day has a great history here at Augusta and his focus on winning tournaments has never been stronger. With a win Jason Day could jump into the number 1 spot in the world golf rankings. Day has the distance and short game that suits Augusta.
Dustin Johnson/Bubba Watson $20,526
Okay I’m going to cheat here with two players. I am using this pick to talk about a tournament pick. About a month ago if you were to ask me who were my favourites to place high in the Masters it would have been all three of the players I have listed so far. If we look at the 20K players we have three. Dustin, Bubba and Sergio. With the way Sergio has been playing out of the three 20K players he will be the one most will be on. Both Dustin and Bubba are coming off first round withdraws, neither were injured though. If I had to lean towards one or the other I would pick 2012 Master champ Bubba over Dustin but if you want to zag when everyone might be zigging then picking one of these guys might put you in a nice position. Both players have the same average finishing place in the Masters career which is 16 places better than Sergio.
Charl Schwartzel $18,044
I really like Charl’s price on Draftstreet. $18K for a player in good form with a 100% made cut rate at Augusta. Three of the four events here he has placed 30th or better with a win in 2011. He is also a decent pick for a big tournament. Though it happened a while back, Charl did burn a lot of DFS players when he was HEAVILY owned. It human nature to shy away from players that have burnt you in the past so in Charl’s price range we have Zach Johnson, Sneds, Keegan and Spieth. All favourites amongst regular DFS players.
Harris English $14,769
This is my dark horse for a top 10 finish. His game suits this course. A long hitter and his natural ball flight fits with this course. He has a nice touch in his short game. He is a rookie to Augusta but with so many newbies in this tournament I could easily see English have a great week. In his last event (Arnold Palmer) he was in the top 15 for greens in regulation, driving distance and putting. English is also a Georgia native and went to university in Georgia. Georgia winners has been a trend so far this season. He is my pick for a first time Augusta player to win The Masters. There I said it.
Rickie Fowler $14,485
So as I am writing this I am streaming live from the Masters. Rickie Fowler just went out with a practice round with Phil and Dustin Johnson and “blitzed them”. Now I don’t pick players off just one little comment. Though I went with Sam Saunders at the Arnold Palmer due to a combination of what Arnold Palmer said and a little research, Sam went on for a T21 as a 6K player. Well last season 7 of the 8 players who finished in the top 10 of the Shell Open went on to make the cut at that years Masters. Rickie finished within the top 10 of the Shell Open last week.

Super Sleeper

Kevin Stadler $10,513
Is there a rookie to this years Masters that has more inside information that Kevin Stadler? He was 2 years old when his dad Craig won his Masters. He has spent his entire life around Augusta at this time of year. Now I won’t speculate but I would assume they would have let Kevin play Augusta with his dad at some point in his life. Craig Stadler has publicly stated that for him, this Masters is all about Kevin. It is a great story in golf and history making with both Kevin and Craig being the first father/son duo to play in the same Masters.

So there you have it folks, a few picks for the Masters.

Good luck to all.

Cheers!

Gibb

About the Author

  • Gibb Pollard (gibbathy)

  • Gibb Pollard has been a member of RotoGrinders since 2012. He is an example of the power of the RotoGrinders blog section, taking a little weekly PGA blog in 2012 and turning it into a two-time FSWA nominated column. In 2014 he took down the FSWA Golf Writer of the Year award. Originally hailing from Australia, he is a regular on our PGA GrindersLive shows, giving our cast of hosts some international flavor.

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