We’ve finally made it to the most anticipated week of the golf season. it’s Masters week at Augusta National. With so many of the top golfers in the world coming into form over the past few months, this should be one of the most exciting golf tournaments in a long time. Augusta is a par 72 setup that plays just over 7,400 yards and is famous for it’s quick, undulating bent grass greens. Due to the speed of the greens here, many people may put an emphasis on putting stats leading up to Thursday’s lock. But make no mistake, this is a bombers golf course. The par fours play extremely long and the par fives are gettable for longer hitters. With this in mind, I am placing an emphasis on total driving, strokes gained tee to green, and par five birdie or better percentage. Let’s get into the picks.
- Justin Thomas: $11,800
- Tiger Woods: $11,500
- Jordan Spieth: $11,000
- Kevin Chappell: $9,400
- Brendan Steele: $8,900
- Rafa Cabrera-Bello: $7,400
Justin Thomas ($11,800)
Thomas is in great form heading into Augusta this weekend, coming off a fourth place at WGC Match Play, a second-place finish in Mexico, and a win at the Honda Classic. Although he is ranked second in the OWGR, JT has been playing like world number one for quite some time. He is ranked fifth in the field in driving distance and sixth in strokes gained tee to green. Additionally, he is ranked second in par five birdie or better percentage. With so many stars in the field this week, Thomas has flown under the radar in the build-up to the Masters. He should be in the hunt this weekend.
Tiger Woods ($11,500)
I haven’t recommended playing Tiger Woods yet this season, but I don’t think I can talk myself into fading him this week. He should soak up a ton of ownership and his price tag is elevated, but Woods’ last three starts have proven that he is ready to win again on the big stage. His driving has been a bit erratic this season, but Woods ranks 16th in the field in driving distance and has been making up for his wild driver with phenomenal iron play and putting. He ranks 14th in the field in strokes gained tee to green and fourth in strokes gained putting this season. Don’t be afraid to fire up the Big Cat at high ownership.
Jordan Spieth ($11,000)
Spieth is famously one of the most consistent golfers at Augusta National, as he has finished 11th, second, first, and second in his four tries here. His putter hasn’t been great this season, but he has made up for it with a tee to green game that ranks third in the field. While his driving statistics don’t really stand out, Spieth’s mid-to-long iron play is arguably the best in the field, and he clearly is comfortable playing at Augusta. He put together a strong performance at the Houston Open last week and his game seems to be coming together a bit leading up to this tournament. At a price tag of $11,000, Spieth is one of my favorite plays on the board this week.
Kevin Chappell ($9,400)
After paying up for my studs, I am looking for players that are a statistical fit based on my key stats. In the $9,000-$9,9000, Chappell checks a lot of the boxes. He is ranked seventh in the field in total driving, 10th in strokes gained tee to green, and 24th in par five birdie or better percentage. He also finished seventh in his only attempt here last year. There is a decent amount of firepower in the $9k range this week, but Chappell stands out for me based on key statistics and course history.
Brendan Steele ($8,900)
In the $8k range, Steele stands out to me for reasons that are similar to Chappell. Steele ranks 14th in the field in total driving, 13th in strokes gained tee to green, and 21st in par five birdie or better percentage. He also made the cut here last year and finished just outside the top 25. Steele has been in good form this season and has yet to miss a cut, highlighted by a win at the Safeway Open and a T3 at the Waste Management Open in Phoenix in early February. He is a strong option to make the weekend at a price tag under $9,000.
Rafa Cabrera-Bello ($7,400)
The best part about this week? FanDuel royally messed up their pricing by assigning Cabrera-Bello’s $10k+ price tag to the 48-year-old Angel Cabrera. Cabrera-Bello was clearly given Angel Cabrera’s price tag, as he was priced at $11,500 last week in Houston and is now $4,100 cheaper here for the Masters. Although he missed the cut last weekend, he has been in terrific form this season and finished third in a deep WGC field in Mexico last month. I will gladly own 100% Cabrera-Bello this week and it really doesn’t make sense to fade him, as it opens up the salary cap immensely. I’m able to afford JT, Woods, and Spieth in this build, but the possibilities really are endless with Cabrera-Bello in your lineup. This is a free square that shouldn’t require any thought.