Riding the Course Horses: 2018 Masters

This year’s Master’s golf tournament at Augusta National is perhaps the most anticipated golf tournament ever. Tiger Woods looks to be back as a contender. Phil Mickelson is playing as well as ever. All of the best players in the world are in the field – and they are all playing well.

Course history is a big consideration at any tournament but The Master’s is different. This course is the same every year and the same players seem to perform well each year. The nuances and intricacies of the course don’t normally treat rookies very well. In fact, Fuzzy Zoeller was the last first-timer to win The Master’s when he donned the green jacket in 1979.

Certainly current form is important for any golf tournament but for these four days, course history outweighs form. The Master’s has a way of serving as a sweet-tasting medicine to those who have played well here before but might not be in the best current form.

There are only 87 golfers in the field this week. The top-50 plus ties will make the cut. Additionally, any golfer within 10 strokes of the lead will also make the cut. We could easily see 65-70% of the golfers make the cut. From a DFS perspective getting 6/6 of your golfers through the cut doesn’t guarantee success. You will need golfers to finish high and score points.

Here are the players that I am considering as core plays based upon course history (most recent finishes listed first and prices are from DK)…

 

  • Dustin Johnson (11,400) – The world’s number one player seemed to be unstoppable last year before an injury during Master’s week put him on the sideline. In the prior two years, he finished 4th and 6th. 
  • Justin Thomas (10,800) – Only finished 22nd and 39th in his two previous trips but those are promising finishes for the first two times, especially considering he might be playing better than anyone else on the planet right now.
  • Jordan Spieth (10,400) – Worst-ever finish was 11th last year. All he did prior to that was go 2nd, 1st, and 2nd.
  • Tiger Woods (10,000) – Has arguably the best history of anyone ever at The Master’s. However, he hasn’t played here since 2015 when he finished T17
  • Rory McIlory (9,900) – In the last four years, he has never truly been in contention on Sunday, but he still has managed to have four straight Top-10 finishes. 
  • Justin Rose (9,200) – He seems to be everybody’s favorite this year. He had a heartbreaking runner-up finish last year on the heels of finishing 10th, 2nd and 14th. 
  • Paul Casey (8,800) – Finished 6th, 4th, and 6th in his last three trips to Augusta. 
  • Bubba Watson (8,700) – He has won twice here. He has a game made for this course but can be a boom or bust player. His ball change last year is widely blamed for his missing the cut. He is back to playing the same ball that he used when he won twice. 
  • Hideki Matsuyama (8,400) – Provided his wrist injury is truly healed, this will test the notion of course history over recent form (though his poor recent form was caused by an injury). In the last three years, he has finished 5th, 7th, and 11th. 
  • Thomas Peters (8,300) – Arguably the greatest ball-striker in the world finished 4th in his debut performance last season.
  • Adam Scott (8,000) – Doesn’t seem to be someone that has the game for Augusta since he is such a suspect putter but has three Top-15 finishes in the last five years, including a win in 2013.
  • Louis Oosthuizen (7,900) – He struggled to a 41st place finish last year but had three straight top-25 finishes before that.
  • Matt Kuchar (7,600) – Kuchar has three top-8 finishes in the last five years.
  • Daniel Berger (7,500) – I really like the way he is playing but more importantly he has played decently in his two attempts (27th and 10th), 
  • Charley Hoffman (7,100) – Was the first-round leader last year before fading to 22nd. He finished 29th and 9th in the two years prior. 
  • Russell Henley (7,100) – Has gotten progressively better each year with 11th, 21st,  and 31st place finishes. If the numerical sequence continues, then he will win this year!

Here are articles or podcasts that I highly recommend as you prepare to make your DFS lineups…