Golf Masters

Here we are! It is the second week of April and the eyes of the world will tune into the Augusta National course in Atlanta Georgia for the next edition of the Masters Tournament. An event like no other, steeped in tradition with its quirks of jumpsuit caddies, champion’s dinners and green jackets. We all grew up watching the best achieve their ultimate goal of becoming the Masters champion. Unfortunately we are not in a position to compete at Augusta but that doesn’t mean we can’t be part of the event in the world of daily fantasy sports!

Augusta is a long course measuring 7,495 yards that has many undulations from the tee box to the extremely quick greens, yet most of the scoring will come from the par 5’s which all are reachable in two strokes. Whilst I could provide many forms for statistics for the ideal golfer to target, I only want to rely on one key stat - course history. Whilst Jordan Spieth nearly did it in 2014, no golfer has won the tournament since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979 at their first attempt. It’s a special place at Augusta, where you need to know where to drive the ball, which side of the green you approach, the roars of the crowd holes away, the pressure. So my targets this week are course history and golfers in great form.

For this huge event, the DFS sites have come to the party headlined by the introduction of golf contests for the first time on Draftstars. The first Draftstars contest for the Masters is a $15,000 Guaranteed contest with a $15 buy-in.

Moneyball have also gone big and provided a $5,000 guaranteed contest for an entry fee of $25 per lineup, while PlayON have provided a US$2,000 guaranteed contest for an entry fee of US$22.

However the big one is over at DraftKings where a millionaire will be made! DraftKings have presented us with a massive US$4,000,000 Fantasy Golf Millionaire contest for a US$20 entry will get you a shot at the US$1,000,000 first place prize!

If you're new to fantasy golf, then make sure you check out our "Learn How to Play DFS Golf on Draftstars" article for details about how fantasy golf works and the points scoring used on the major Australian DFS sites.

Draftstars Golf

For the Masters I am going to group golfers in particular categories which as you go on, their relevance in your DFS line-ups are heightened. Let’s have a look at who is in the field this week!

(All prices are quoted from Draftstars)

“The Grandpas”

Angel Carberra - $8,800
Fred Couples - $9,700
Bernard Langer - $9,400
Sandy Lyle - $8,000
Larry Mize - $8,000
Jose Maria Olazabal - $8,000
Vijay Singh - $9,700
Mike Weir - $8,000
Ian Woosnam - $8,000

Oh man, this lot are the first line you should put through and you should be ashamed with yourself if you deploy in DFS. Ok, that was a bit harsh. I loved Fred Couples contending in his skate shoes and no surprises if he makes the weekend. Also Bernard Langer is too good for the Champions tour and if you can find a market for him to be Top German, go right ahead.

“The Amateurs”

Devon Bling - $8,000
Viktor Hovland - $8,300
Takumi Kanaya - $8,500
Kevin O’Connell - $8,000
Alvaro Ortiz - $8,000
Jovan Rebula - $8,200

Outside of O’Connell who is in his 30’s these young pups get to have two rounds around Augusta and one of them will get their mug on the telly in Butler Cabin at the end of the Tournament. The one I am slightly keen on his Viktor Hovland. The Norwegian may well be a star on the Ryder Cup European team for years to come. Hovland was T13 at the Australian Open and a winner of the US amateur, and has a brutal swing off the tee. But again I need to set expectations low for this crew and probably won’t have any in my lineups. Will dabble Hovland as leading amateur though.

“The One Hit Wonders”

Stewart Cink - $9,600
Trevor Immelman - $8,500
Martin Kaymer - $10,400
Danny Willett - $11,500
Charl Schwartzel - $12,300

Cink is back after a five-year hiatus from Augusta after playing so well at the PGA Championship last year somehow, but the rest of this lot are hopelessly out of form. It is all well and good and look up course history and go “wow” they won a green jacket (well Kaymer didn’t, but this is the last time we will see him at Augusta) but for this lot I’ll be astonished these guys are contending on Sunday. Keep the funds in the account for this lot.

“The Debutants”

Lucas Bjerregaard* - $10,600
Justin Harding - $9,800
Shugo Imahira - $9,100
Michael Kim - $8,700
Andrew Landry - $9,500
Andrew Long - $9,100
Keith Mitchell* - $10,100
Eddie Pepperell* - $11,200
Kevin Tway - $9,800
Matt Wallace* - $10,700
Aaron Wise - $10,000
Corey Connors - $9,800

The one thing we need to consider this week is course history, and this lot have zero history on the resume at Augusta. But all these golfers are here as they have earned the right to play with the best. Some have won tournaments whilst others are actually in the top 50 in the world right now. The four with an asterix (*) against their name are going to be considered in DFS player pools for their value. Bjerregaard is one hell of a good-looking specimen who hits it big, plus he took it up to Justin Thomas and Tiger Woods at the Dell Match Play. Mitchell is the Honda Classic champion and is a University of Georgia native, plus he has a great first name. Pepperell is a highly-touted European player who came third in the Players Championship. Matt Wallace is going well on the PGA tour with a T6 at Bay Hill and has the game suited for Augusta. Sure, these lot are at 101/1 on the betting markets, but if you can find a best finish for debutants, zero in on these four.

“These guys are just too cheap”

Rafa Cabrera Bello - $10,400
Kiradech Aphibarnrat - $10,100
Emiliano Grillo - $10,100
Tyrrell Hatton - $10,300
Thorbjorn Olesen - $10,600
J.B Holmes - $10,800
Charley Hoffman - $12,000

The golfers here need to be seriously considered as rostering them in will open up the big studs on the slate. They all have great upside and, quite simply, Draftstars made them too cheap. I have a lot of love for RCB and the “Barn Rat” at those prices, but if you are planning to mass entry, you will need to diversify this lot. Try not to zero in on one of these cheap guys, spread the ownership around.

“The past champions that are actually still good”

Sergio Garcia - $18,000
Phil Mickelson - $18,200
Patrick Reed - $18,660
Adam Scott - $19,100
Jordan Spieth - $21,900
Bubba Watson - $20,000
Tiger Woods - $22,900

Now we are talking! If you are simple person like myself and just wants to back a winner that has won before then take your pick. Sure, Patrick Reed has had his struggles in the past 12 months but you cannot rule out another run at it. You can make a case for all of these golfers to grab another jacket. Their game is built for Augusta and having the prestige of a past champion is glorified like no other at the Masters. Alas, you will need to pay top dollar in DFS for these guys and that means we can only pick 1 or 2 at best. Lefties love it here so no issues having Mickelson or Bubba as your core. Do you go the massive upside in Sergio who wants to dearly make amends for his MC last year? Or do you go to Spieth who has finally caught some sort of form in Texas and has the best scoring average at Augusta in the field at 70.05 (7/20 sub-par 70 scores). Then you have Tiger Woods. Man, I don’t know what to say here. The data suggests that the upside is not there - his last win was 14 years ago! But the win at the Tour Championship last year and the realisation that the body is now settled for tour golf means we cannot rule out some Tiger magic. Gotta have him/fade him (man I’m torn).

“The Breakouts”

Patrick Cantlay - $16,000
Matt Fitzpatrick - $14,300
Kevin Kisner - $16,100
Marc Leishman - $18,700
Cameron Smith - $15,800
Matt Kuchar - $16,700
Xander Schauffele -$17,500
Tony Finau - $17,900

These are the crew that, as the name suggests, have the potential to make a name for themselves and contend at the pointy end. Both Smith and Leishman had T10’s last year and certainly have the confidence to contend on Sunday. While the remaining lot I can see as the sleepers of the field. They are not the flashy players who don’t kill the statistics on tour, but they are well respected and are sneaky low-owned plays. Matt Kuchar has been talked up from his recent hot form and certainly will be followed on the course. He will also garner good ownership as well. Dabbling in Smith or Leishman as best Australian is not a bad idea at value either.

“The not quite top 5 in betting group”

Justin Thomas - $21,800
Francesco Molinari - $20,700
Brooks Koepka - $21,600
Paul Casey - $20,500
Tommy Fleetwood - $20,200
Hideki Matsuyama - $19,600
Bryson DeChambeau - $21,000

Casey has an excellent course record with four T10’s in a row and a win on tour at the Valspar. DeChambeau, who will look stylish in a Green Jacket with his Cheese Cutter hat, has a massive chance here and a win back in Dubai earlier this year which capped off a streak of five wins between June 18’ to January 19’. Molinari is the Open champion and Ryder Cup hero who for years was just a grinder from Italy but now has gone “Whooska” and plays outstanding golf for fun. Form at the Match Play was superb, but can he make the next step and take the Green jacket? Maybe his Ryder Cup buddy in Tommy Fleetwood might have a say here. The DFS community love Fleetwood as he can get hot really quick and his PGA tour form this year is exemplary. Plus, he has nice hair. Koepka is just a brute and his majors record is fantastic. If he is leading after 36 hours then shut the gate. Every golfer including myself wishes I can drive a ball like ol’ Brooks.

Matsuyama has always had the potential at Augusta with some great results, but Matsuyama hasn’t won a tournament since 2017 which could be a concern if we are trying to win on the back nine on Sunday. Justin Thomas just has the upside with all the statistics from the tour this year meaning is certainly in contention. Thomas hits so many greens, which at a place like Augusta is the number 1 priority. This is the value group here, but I will look at top 5 markets instead of the winner market.

“The Shizzle”

Rory McIlroy - $24,900
Dustin Johnson - $23,800
Jon Rahm - $22,300
Rickie Fowler - $21,200
Justin Rose - $23,700

Rory is the big favourite and with that favouritism comes expectation and pressure. But McIlroy's form is excellent because he has won the Players Championship (which I did pick on the Players podcast). I can’t see why he can’t win and win well. Being here 10 years now and has been top 5 for the last five years! But he is the most expensive player on the slate and without at least a top 3 finish, will be seen as a failure. Johnson is another in excellent form with two wins this season and a game that means the par 5’s are big scoring opportunities. Johnson just knows how to win and no doubt loves pressure.

Pressure might get to Jon Rahm who I am not that keen on, although the more I investigate Rahm, I might need to reconsider. Rahm was on fire in last year’s tournament after fluffing up the first round, then went on to win many tournaments since then. Sure, we can look at the recent meltdown at the Players but in the end that will just lower his ownership. The boy Fowler, the “bridesman”, nearly got through for that elusive Green jacket after missing out to Reed last year. He will be the narrative outside McIlroy for that first win after nine attempts at Augusta. He needs to beat the cream here, but his salary on the sites will garner some ownership. For Justin Rose, he watches Garcia win back in 2017 for 2nd place, he sat inside the top five after six of his 13 opening rounds, a quite magnificent record, as is a run of 13 cuts made dating right back to his debut some 16 years ago. He’s twice runner-up and would be a popular winner and looks as likely as any to give his running. Just spectacularly solid as a rock.

Good luck with the line-ups and enjoy the early morning viewing!  

To further help you with your lineups for the Masters, we spoke with leading Australian DFS player “jayk123” to talk about golf on Draftstars and tips for the Masters on the DFR Podcast! Check it out below:


DFR Dragon's Picks

The Daily Fantasy Rankings "Dragon" has scoured the Australian sports betting markets and found some great value picks for these games. Check out his picks for the day below and click on the links to follow his betting plays!

Dragon's Picks Odds Sportsbook
Rory McIlroy to Win $7.50 Bet now at BetEasy!
Brooks Koepka to Finish Top 5 $6.00 Bet now at Neds!
Viktor Hovland to be Top Amateur $2.80 Bet now at BetEasy!
Jordan Spieth to Finish Top 10 $2.50 Bet now at Pointsbet!
Bernard Langer to be Top German Player $2.00 Bet now at Sportsbet!


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