Daily Fantasy Golf Picks Preview | PGA The Masters 2017

Daily Fantasy Golf Picks Preview | PGA The Masters 2017

It’s the big one. The one we’ve all been waiting for. Should I go on with a lousy, uninspired, introduction? Nope. We’re going to get right into this, as we know you guys have lots of studying to do.

Let’s get to the course. We all know about Augusta National Golf Course. It’s a par 72, 7435 yards. A magnificent test of golf. It has some very long Par 4’s, and reachable Par 5’s. Especially on the back nine. The greens are fast and undulating. The edges of the green are shaved, so you better hope for a soft landing, or you’ll get to know the run offs pretty well. Short hitters have won here and so have the bombers. However, since the increase in yardage in 2010, only 300 yards hitters have won, and besides Matt Kuchar, Brandt Snedeker, and Ian Poulter,  there aren’t many sub 290 hitters that show up in the top 10. In years past, specifically the years that Mike Weir and Zach Johnson won, the weather was frigid. Cold weather means shorter shots, which seem to help level the playing field. Also, we’ve done a lot of digging, especially looking at players like Bill Haas and Ryan Moore. Players who make a lot of cuts here. We went year by year and looked deeper into the stats. We came away feeling, that to make the cut here, you are better off being a very good GIR player over being a great putter. Yes, of course putting helps and wins you every tournament. However, at the Masters, you want to stay out of trouble as much as possible. This isn’t a regular golf tournament where you can scramble to victory. Jordan Spieth won here because he hit greens. Bubba Watson makes cuts here because he hits greens, then wins when his putter shows up. I could go on and on, but we’ll just get to the list below.

Here’s a list of the 26 players that were active in the last 8 years with at least 3 starts, and very good scoring averages. 

Jordan Speth, Tiger Woods, Jason Day, Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson, Bo Van Pelt, Matt Kuchar, Angel Cabrera, Nick Watney, Ernie Els, Geoff Ogilvy, Charl Schwartzel, Jim Furyk, Adam Scott, Rickie Fowler, Rory Mcilroy, Justin Rose, Bill Haas, Brandt Snedeker, Lee Westwood, Sean O’Hair, Ian Poulter, Vijay Singh, Hunter Mahan, Bernhard Langer, Dustin Johnson, Padraig Harrington, Ryan Moore.

So of everyone listed above, we searched for the correlation stats, as there’s a mixture of all different types of players in there. So what gives? I’ll tell ya. They are all outstanding long iron players and most of them are known as being top GIR players. There are exceptions on this list of course, like Snedeker, who hasn’t hit tons of greens at the Masters. However, for the most part, they give themselves opportunities for birdies, but also limit their opportunities to get bogeys. 

In 2010, the course was made even longer by around 200 some odd yards. When comparing top 10’s from 2005 – 2009 to 2010 – 2014, the one noticeable thing was the prevalence of mid to long hitters. From 2005-2009, 24 of the 50 players were short off the tee, and from 2010 – 2014, only 14 of the 50 players were short off the tee. So when it comes to ball flight on these long irons, it’s much harder to hit and stick the quadrants of the green you want to be on. In my opinion, the short hitters have zero leeway, they must be perfect, whereas a guy like Bubba, can be off here or there, but he has eagle opportunities and easy birdie opportunities that the short guys don’t have. He can be flawed and still win. I don’t think Matt Kuchar, Brandt Snedeker, or Ian Poulter have that luxury. They can’t make up shots like that, they need to be perfect. 

Another thing you’ll notice is that they also posses, scrambling/short game skills. You’re probably saying Vijay Singh won here and he wasn’t much of a putter, nor was Fred Couples, but they did have a particular putting skill that was needed here. The lag putt.  Judging distance and speed is key and it’s what other players like Ernie Els, Dustin Johnson, and even Bubba Watson have in common. It’s why they’ve been able to play well here. Bogey avoidance is just as key as making birdies.

So how was that little course primer? Those are the skills we’ll be looking for mostly. Length, with Long Iron Play and a Short Game. For cash game purposes, we will focus more on GIR plays over putting, like Bill Haas, as they have better chances of making the cut, even though they might not be great bets at winning. 

Please note, as of right now, it’s going to be cold and windy this week. This could throw a wrench into everything.

Good Luck To All.

 

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