It’s Masters Week. Green jackets, Amen Corner, a “Hello Friends” from Jim Nantz and we’re off to the races. Augusta National is a par 72 that plays over 7,400 yards. If you’re interested in how the course has played historically, check out the preview and trends article here.
Checking the Chalk
There’s a relatively unknown golfer named Eldrick that will play at Augusta National this week. Tiger Woods ($10,500) doesn’t really need much of an introduction when it comes to the Masters. We all know the iconic shots and the times he’s donned the green jacket. Woods has only played this event twice since 2014, but he’s performed reasonably well over that stretch with 17th and 32nd place finishes on his resume. What makes people more interested in him than those results is his recent form. Woods has teed it up in stroke play four times so far this year. He’s hit at least 70 percent of greens in regulation in those starts and, perhaps more importantly, he’s hit over 65 percent of fairways in three of those four starts. The Tiger that struggled off the tee seems like more of a 2018 outlier than the new Tiger. If his off-the-tee game is fully back, he’ll certainly be one to watch this week.
If a DFS-er was frozen in time for the last two years and you told them Jordan Spieth ($8,900) was at this price, they’d tell you to get your head examined. If you’re arguing for Spieth, you’d yell the loudest when talking about his course history. In his five starts here, he’s donned the green jacket, finished in the top three on three other occasions and had an 11th place finish. There was some cause for optimism coming into the weekend last week but shooting 73-72 while only hitting 54.2 percent of GIR isn’t exactly what we had in mind after Thursday.
One of the hottest golfers on the planet right now is Matt Kuchar ($7,900). He’s generated quite a bit of buzz this year already. From Caddy-Gate to the awkward golf cart press conference with Sergio, he’s been in his fair share of controversy in 2019. All the craziness hasn’t negatively affected his play for a second, though. Since the start of September 2018, he’s hit at least 60 percent of his greens in regulation each time that he’s teed it up. That’s good for a streak of a dozen starts in a row. Kuchar has added a couple of trophies to his case over that time, too. He seems pretty underpriced relative to his recent form, and that doesn’t even take into account that he’s made seven straight cuts at Augusta National with four top-10 finishes.
Note: As always, make sure you check out the model and ownership projections below. As I’m writing this, it looks like these are some of the popular options, but things change as the week goes on.
The top of the salary range seems like it will be relatively flat with no true underowned plays. Rory McIlroy ($11,600) and Dustin Johnson ($11,300) are at the top of the model, for good reason. They will see their fair share of ownership. If you’re looking for a cheaper version of Rory, Tommy Fleetwood ($9,200) is the closest comp per our Sim Scores and Pivots App. He’s cheaper for a reason as he’s hitting about one less green per round than McIlroy, but the rest of their games are quite close over their past three events. DJ’s closest comp in the field is Keith Mitchell ($6,800). They are both plenty long off the tee and Mitchell has been keeping pace with Johnson in the ball-striking department as well.
At the time of this writing, Matt Kuchar ($7,900) is projected to be the highest owned golfer this week. Kuchar has been striking it about as well as anyone could possibly be expected to at any point in their career. Hideki Matsuyama ($8,700) isn’t necessarily on that level, but he’s almost at 70 percent and is longer off the tee than Kuchar. Matsuyama isn’t going to be low-owned but he will be lower than Kuchar for sure.
Everyone is talking about how it’s Rickie Fowler’s ($9,700) time. That might be true, and from a storyline standpoint, it would be great to see. But, the consensus is that he’ll perform well here so that means that he will be owned. What if I told you there’s a guy over his last three events at $7,000 that has hit more fairways, more greens, and has more distance off the tee. Charles Howell III ($7,000) fits the bill there.
So far this season, the totals for the cash locks are 24/26 made cuts, 18/26 Top 30s, and 11/26 Top 10s. Let’s keep it rolling with this week’s locks.
- Hideki Matsuyama ($8,700)
- Charles Howell III ($7,000)
|Rafael Cabrera Bello||7500||5.0||0.44|
|Charles Howell III||7000||13.0||0.98|
|Si Woo Kim||6700||9.0||0.15|
|Jose Maria Olazabal||6100||0.3||0.13|