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The Masters Preview: Power Rankings & DFS Picks

Power Rankings

5. Tiger Woods

Image result for tiger masters

The question is never- does Tiger look like he can handle Augusta? But rather, is he coming in hot enough to make a run on Sunday? Because Tiger is 20/21 on cuts made here (and is perfect since the start of the 21st century). He has 4 green jackets and 13 top-10 finishes, though last year he finished T32 with only one round sub-70. Once again Woods has been lethal tee to green as well as around the green (top-10 SG in both categories), but thus far it has been his putter that is letting him down (SG: putting 74th). He’s finished insides the top-30 of every tournament and looks poised for a solid finish at Augusta.

4. Justin Rose

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He’s 13/13 on cuts made here, and sports 2 runner-up finishes. The world #1 won the Farmers Insurance Open at the beginning of 2019 and did well at THE PLAYERS last month. While he hasn’t done anything special in the main strokes gained categories, he is 3rd on Tour in birdie average at 4.90 (20 rounds) and leads the Tour in putting average and 3-putt avoidance (just 0.83% of the time).

3. Jon Rahm

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He only has 2 career starts here but has made the most of them, particularly last year when he finished T4 after a 3rd round 65. Not only has me not missed a cut this season, but in 10 starts he has 7 top-10s including a win at the Hero Challenge and a T6 at the Valspar Championship. His SG: off the tee has been his saving grace with mediocre putting and AtG stats. If he can hit greens and putt well, consider him a top-10 lock.

2. Dustin Johnson

Image result for dustin johnson masters

DJ has missed the cut at Augusta just once in 8 starts, and over his last 3 appearances he has finishes of T6, T4 and T10. His overall game is just peaking in his career right now, as he ranks 2nd in SG: total, 5th in SG: off the tee and 13th in SG: putting. Only big concern is his driving accuracy, which at just over 53% ranks him 195th on Tour this season. He’s finished in the top-10 in each of his last 4 starts, including a win at the WGC-Mexico Championship.

1. Rory McIlroy

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McIlroy’s 2019 resume thus far is absolutely insane- T5, T4, T5, 2, T6 and then a win at THE PLAYERS. The only thing better is his recent Masters record, where he hasn’t finished outside the top-10 since 2013. McIlroy’s sole lingering drawback is his Sunday scoring average. Last year near the top of the leaderboard he shot a Sunday 74. He memorably blew it at the 2011 Masters with a Sunday 80. The new Rory though looks calmer, composed, and can drive the ball FAR. He is 6th in driving distance at over 312 yards, 1st in SG: off the tee and 1st in overall SG. I agree with Vegas- he is the favorite and this will be the year he completes the career grand slam and gets his hands on a green jacket.

Vegas Odds (VegasInsider.com updated 4.9.19)

Rory McIlroy 8/1
Dustin Johnson 11/1
Justin Rose 15/1
Rickie Fowler 15/1
Jordan Spieth 16/1
Tiger Woods 16/1
Brooks Koepka 20/1
Francesco Molinari 20/1
Jon Rahm 20/1
Justin Thomas 20/1
Tommy Fleetwood 25/1
Bryson Dechambeau 30/1
Paul Casey 30/1
Bubba Watson 35/1
Hideki Matsuyama 35/1
Jason Day 35/1
Matt Kuchar 35/1
Tony Finau 35/1
Louis Oosthuizen 40/1
Xander Schauffele 40/1
Adam Scott 45/1
Phil Mickelson 45/1
Cameron Smith 50/1
Marc Leishman 50/1
Sergio Garcia 50/1
Patrick Reed 60/1
Henrik Stenson 65/1
Kevin Kisner 65/1
Patrick Cantlay 70/1
Brandt Snedeker 75/1
Charley Hoffman 75/1
Gary Woodland 80/1
Si Woo Kim 80/1
Ian Poulter 100/1
Webb Simpson 100/1
Billy Horschel 125/1
Branden Grace 125/1
Charles Howell III 125/1
Hao Tong Li 125/1
Keegan Bradley 125/1
Matthew Fitzpatrick 125/1
Rafa Cabrera Bello 125/1
Shane Lowry 125/1
Alex Noren 150/1
Charl Schwartzel 150/1
J.B. Holmes 150/1
Matt Wallace 150/1
Thorbjorn Olesen 150/1
Tyrrell Hatton 150/1
Zach Johnson 150/1
Danny Willett 175/1
Eddie Pepperell 175/1
Lucas Bjerregaard 175/1
Corey Conners 200/1
Emiliano Grillo 200/1
Keith Mitchell 200/1
Aaron Wise 250/1
Jimmy Walker 250/1
Kevin Na 250/1
Kiradech Aphibarnrat 250/1
Martin Kaymer 300/1
Justin Harding 350/1
Kyle Stanley 350/1
Kevin Tway 400/1
Stewart Cink 400/1
Andrew Landry 500/1
Bernhard Langer 500/1
Fred Couples 500/1
Patton Kizzire 500/1
Satoshi Kodaira 500/1
Shugo Imahira 500/1
Vijay Singh 500/1
Adam Long 600/1
Michael Kim 750/1
Takumi Kanaya 750/1
Viktor Hovland 750/1
Alvaro Ortiz 1000/1
Angel Cabrera 1000/1
Devon Bling 1000/1
Jovan Rebula 1000/1
Kevin O’Connell 1000/1
Mike Weir 1000/1
Sandy Lyle 1000/1
Trevor Immelman 1000/1
Larry Mize 1200/1
Ian Woosnam 2000/1
Jose Maria Olazabal 2000/1

DFS Picks

We discussed this heavily on The Wrightway Podcast over the last few weeks, but there are several schools of thought when it comes to drafting line-ups in Major tournaments, particularly with The Masters because it is without a doubt a course you need to learn over time. In the past I’ve usually gone with just 1 line-up, but this week I’m going with 3 with different ideologies for each one. I also don’t believe in “pay walls” for gambling advice- I cover the PGA Tour weekly but someone can pick 6 names and beat me any given week. Even if you don’t like these line-ups, maybe they will give you a new idea or strategy that you can use for yourself. Point is- have fun with it and know that at the end of the day everyone is just guessing- this isn’t an exact science.

#1 The Classic

Rahm ($10,000) | Fowler ($9,700) | Casey ($9,000) | Mickelson ($8,300) | Kisner ($6,700) | Imahira (6,300) -> $0 Remaining

Pros: This line-up legitimately has 3 potential winners plus Phil, who has 3 green jackets hanging in his closet. Rahm finished solo 4th last year after opening with a 75, and he sets up well for Augusta with his amazing length off the tee. Fowler nearly claimed his 1st major here last year, and also sports 3 other top-15 finishes here since 2014. Casey is my favorite pick at The Masters because of his consistency- he has made 9 of 12 cuts in his career here including his last 4 appearances. During that stretch since 2015, he has gone T6, T4, 6 and T15. Phil is a risk at a fairly high price, but I’d be shocked if he missed the cut after struggling the past month. Kisner is insane value at $6,700 fresh off a win at the Dell Technologies Match Play.

Cons: Fowler didn’t play well at THE PLAYERS in March and opted to skip the Dell Technologies Match Play, so we haven’t seen him stack up against solid competition yet this year. Phil is definitely a risky pick- by not advancing out of the group stage a few weeks ago he has effectively missed 3 cuts in a row. Kisner has made all 3 cuts at Augusta but never broken E over the course of 72 holes. With the exception of his victory at the WGC, he hasn’t finished in the top-20 of an event since November. This is Imahira’s 1st appearance at Augusta, but at 77th in the OWGR (he started out 53rd at the beginning of 2019) he still retains some value, particularly if the eventual winner is closer to E than -20.

#2 The Highs & Lows

McIlroy ($11,600) | Fleetwood ($9,200) | Kuchar ($7,900) | Poulter ($7,600) Howell III ($7,000) | Woo Kim ($6,700) -> $0 Remaining

Pros: Somehow I was able to concoct a line-up headlined by Rory that still has other potential winners. McIlroy is red hot after a win at THE PLAYERS and hasn’t finished outside the top-6 of a stroke play event in 2019. Fleetwood is also looking good after back-to-back top-5 finishes and is 9/9 on cuts this year- plus he is a STEAL at $9,200. If Fleetwood is a steal, Kuuuuch is a diamond heist mega-robbery at JUST $7,900. He literally always makes the cut at Augusta and hasn’t missed a cut this season (he also won the Sony Open in January). Poulter played well to start off 2019 but has relegated to the middle of the pack now- however, he is 12/13 in cuts made at Augusta including his last 4. Woo Kim and Howell III have each had a mixed history at Augusta, but combined they have made 21/25 cuts this season.

Cons: Rory is being bet on so heavily I’m nervous that the pressure might get to him, especially with his tough finishes here in the past. Fleetwood has only played Augusta twice, and some experts are projecting him to be a tier I guy to fade (as well as Koepka). Having 4 guys under $8,000 is also a questionable philosophy, but in a tournament with a small field, taking guys who can simply make cuts is imperative to a high finish in DFS this week. Regardless, I still think Kuchar is the biggest steal of this tournament, rivaled only by perhaps Matsuyama.

#3 The Veterans

Johnson ($11,300) | Matsuyama ($8,700) | Oosthuizen ($8,100) | Stenson (7,600) | Snedeker ($7,200) | Grace ($7,100) -> $0 Remaining

Pros: DJ is a top guy to win it all this week and for good reason. He has a win at the Saudi International plus another in February at the WGC-Mexico Championship. He has 7 top-10s and is 10/10 on cuts this year. But the biggest reason to pick him is that he is finally starting to figure out this golf course- his last 3 starts have been T6, T4 and T10 (and who knows what would have happened if he didn’t fall down the stairs in 2017, causing him to WD). I also love Matsuyama at $8,700. He is a having a great turnaround year, and played well at THE PLAYERS last month. He has made his last 4 cuts at Augusta and is 15 strokes under par during that span of 16 rounds. Oosthuizen is a toss up but was runner-up at the Valspar Championship last month, and he has had some success at The Masters over the course of his career (and made the last 5 cuts).

Cons: I am VERY concerned about Stenson and Grace, but in general I like picking mid-level Europeans/South Africans over mid-level US players because back in their respective countries/tours, they are the best and are used to competing in high pressure events (I.e like a major). Stenson is having an up and down year but is coming off his only top-10 finish at Augusta in his career last season. Still, he is just 4/8 on cuts this year with just 1 top-10 finish. Grace has made the cut at Augusta the past 2 years but only broken 70 here 3 times EVER. This is just a high risk line-up but potentially has a winner and runner-up in it, so we will see how they play this weekend.

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