Hello, friends! Welcome to Masters week! I feel like a kid on Christmas Eve just waiting to open my presents. This Masters is one of the most anticipated in years, as we have plenty of great storylines and so many top players coming into this week in good form. Historically, the players who perform best at Augusta excel in three key areas:
- Iron play, specifically from 150 to 200 yards
- Hitting solid irons is key, as it allows players not to worry about three-putting on some of the most difficult greens at any tournament course.
- At Augusta we typically see a GIR percentage smaller than tour average. This means players have to get up and down more often from some of the trickiest green surrounds they face all year. Controlling your wedges around the green is key.
- Driving distance
- The longest hitters in the field will have the best chance at attacking the par 5s for easy birdies. With the rain early this week, length of the tee will play even a bigger role than usual.
Let’s dive into some players to consider for DraftKings and One-and-Done leagues this week:
Hideki Matsuyama $8,700
Matsuyama has played very steady this year, and I look for him to have another solid finish this week. With his elite iron game, it is no surprise that he has finished 19th or better in each of the last four Masters. In his last six events, he has gained 29 strokes on approach!
Matt Kuchar $7,900
Kuchar will be the highest owned player this week and for good reason. He has played great at Augusta, finishing 8th or better in four of his last seven starts. He is playing the best golf of his career right now, with two wins and five top-seven finishes so far this season.
Rose will be the most popular choice behind Rory McIlroy and deservedly so. He has finished 12th, second, 10th and second in his last four Masters. He played well enough in 2015 and 2017 to win. In 2017, he lost in a playoff to Sergio García, after he and García had finished three shots clear of third place. In 2015, he was runner-up to Jordan Spieth, who shot -18 in one of the best Masters performances ever. Rose already has a win at the Farmers under his belt this season, and he has always been a good fit for Augusta. His caddie Mark Fulcher will return to the bag this week after undergoing heart surgery earlier this year. Having his caddy of 10+ years back with him could help Rose capture the green jacket on Sunday.
If you are far down in the standings in your league and need to make a move, Molinari is a great option. Most people will glance over him this week based on his less-than-stellar record. However, Molinari became a new player last year, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him win another major in 2019. His combination of elite iron play and improved touch around the greens should breed success at Augusta.