The 2018 Masters

Fantasy Golf Picks for the 2018 Masters

THE OVERVIEW

Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, Georgia – Augusta National Golf club is a 7,435-yard, par-72, Bobby Jones design that is carved through a gorgeous Georgia Pine forest. It is deeply rich in history and beauty and the back nine on Sunday has produced sensational finishes more often than not. The tree-lined, ryegrass fairways mostly bend right to left, heavily favoring a draw from the tee (or a fade for left handers, which is more easily controllled). The bentgrass greens are slightly larger in size, kept super quick, and can be tricky to read at times.

Familiarity with the course is seen by most as a must to seriously contend. Very few players are able to make a serious bid on their first or second attempts, with the exception of Jordan Spieth and a few others. So, this week we’ll be looking at course history and current form, as well as Par-5 Scoring, SG Tee-to-Green, and longer hitters, when selecting players. That said, this is The Masters, so you really have to take some gut plays and ride your faves.

No matter how it plays out, the abundance of fascinating story lines and quality players here this week ensures a fabulous week of golf and a stunning backdrop for it to unfold upon.

 

PAST WINNERS

2017  -9   Sergio Garcia   (Runner Up, Playoff:   Justin Rose)

2016  -5   Danny Willett   (Runners Up:   -2   Jordan Spieth, Lee Westwood)

2015  -18   Jordan Spieth   (Runners Up:   -14   Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose)

2014  -8   Bubba Watson   (Runners Up:   -5   Jonas Blixt, Jordan Spieth)

2013  -9   Adam Scott   (Runner Up, Playoff:   Angel Cabrera)

2012  -10   Bubba Watson   (Runner Up, Playoff:   Louis Oosthuizen)

 

THE ODDS    (Bovada 4/2/2018)

Rory McIlroy  +900

Jordan Spieth  +1000

Justin Thomas  +1000

Dustin Johnson  +1100

Tiger Woods  +1100

Bubba Watson  +1400

Justin Rose  +1400

Jason Day  +1600

Phil Mickelson  +1600

Rickie Fowler  +1800

Jon Rahm  +2000

Paul Casey  +2200

Sergio Garcia  +2800

Hideki Matsuyama  +3300

Alex Noren  +4000

Henrik Stenson  +4000

Matt Kuchar  +4000

Patrick Reed  +4000

Tommy Fleetwood  +4000

Adam Scott  +5000

Ian Poulter  +5000

Louis Oosthuizen  +5000

Marc Leishman  +5000

Bryson DeChambeau  +6600

Thomas Pieters  +6600

Tyrrell Hatton  +6600

 

WHO’S HOT

Justin Thomas

Patrick Reed

Phil Mickelson

Sergio Garcia

Paul Casey

 

HORSES FOR THE COURSE

Jordan Spieth

Justin Rose

Bubba Watson

Tiger Woods

Rory McIlroy

 

LONGER SHOTS

Branden Grace  +8000

Brian Harman  +8000

Charley Hoffman  +8000

Daniel Berger  +8000

Patrick Cantlay  +8000

Rafa Cabrera-Bello  +8000

Tony Finau  +8000

Xander Schauffele  +8000

Cameron Smith  +10000

Charl Scwartzel  +10000

Kevin Chappell  +10000

Kevin Kisner  +10000

Kiradech Aphibarnrat  +10000

Matthew Fitzpatrick  +10000

Ryan Moore  +10000

Zach Johnson  +10000

Adam Hadwin  +12500

Gary Woodland  +12500

Pat Perez  +12500

Russell Henley  +12500

Brendan Steele  +15000

Francesco Molinari  +15000

Dylan Frittelli  +17500

Hao Tong Li  +17500

 

FAITHFULS

Justin Rose

Phil Mickelson

Sergio Garcia

Matt Kuchar

Louis Oosthuizen

 

THE ‘FORE’ SOMES

‘FORE’ SOMES are chosen by selecting one player from a “low tier” betting pool (30:1 or better), two players from a “mid tier” (30:1 – 75:1), and a final player from a “high tier” (75:1 & up).  

KEITH’S ‘FORE’ SOME 

Rory McIlroy (9:1).  By far the toughest selection of the year for myself. Spieth, Watson, Rose, Mickelson, Garcia…so many great names and some just absolutely blowing up the charts. For current form, few are hotter than Watson and Mickelson. For my model this week, few rank consistently better than D.J. or J.T. It seems everyone in the podcast/twitter spheres have all but given the jacket to Rose already. Garcia sitting at 28 to 1 seems preposterous to me. However, all that said, something in my gut is saying that Rory has been building (over the past six to eight months, or even year or two) to this moment. His near misses here in the past, I believe, bother him. I believe he thinks of himself as the best golfer in the world. I think it is highly likely that he has planned his playing, practicing, and traveling schedules to all culminate in peaking here in Georgia this week. Chalk, yes. Do I generally like chalk? No. But if Rory wants to prove that he is the elite among the elite that he believes himself to be, he will need to exorcise his demons and conquer the golfing world here at Augusta. And it’s highly likely (in my mind) that he is both capable and prepared to do so. His recent win at Bay Hill is evidence of this.

Alex Noren (40:1) & Bryson DeChambeau (66:1).  Since the beginning of the West Coast swing, I don’t know if any player has shown the consistency, skill, humility, and affability that Alex Noren has. The 35-year-old Swede (by way of Oklahoma State University) finished runner-up at the Farmers, T16 at the Genesis Open, 3rd at the very-difficult Honda Classic, T14 at the WGC-Mexico, and 3rd at the WGC Dell Match Play. He has done all of this while remaining impressively self-moderated and projecting an unwavering smile. Perhaps it’s a Scandinavian thing, but the persistent self-control and awareness translates incredibly well to good golf.  His only appearance at Augusta was last year where he failed to make the cut. Mark that as a deficiency in model form as far as course history goes. However, I have total faith that his outstanding current form, worldwide experience, and maturity can overcome that. I was on Bryson DeChambeau for this tournament back in October, where I booked him at 100 to 1. Add to that that he ranks stupid good this season in SG T2G, Par-5 Scoring, and Driving Distance, and I don’t even know why I’m still talking. The 24-year-old from Southern Methodist University is a MAD Genius. I’ve said it before, and I will say it again. His three best finishes of the season are T7 at The Shriners, T5 at the Waste Management, and 2nd to Rory at Bay Hill. This kid is going to win a major. It may not be this one, or even this year, but it is going to happen. I’m on the DeChamceau train and it is moving. (By the way, Bryson was one behind Spieth in the first round here as an amateur in 2016, before he realized where he was and fell apart on 18. Chalk that up to a valuable learning experience.)

Adam Hadwin (125:1).  How do you pick from such a lovable bunch of long shots: The Hoffman, The Barn Rat, Woodland, Perez, Hao Tong? So tough. So, I have to go with the gut once again. Something is saying to me that Hadwin has what it takes to go low at Augusta (and it’s not just me being a sucker for polite Canadians). Hadwin finished 36th here last year in his first attempt. That’s more than pretty impressive. Toss in 3 top 10s since the beginning of the year (including T6 at the Genesis and T9 at the WGC Mexico) and it starts to look even better. It would be a stretch for the 30-year-old from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan to take the green jacket, but a T10 certainly isn’t out of his reach and a T5 would vault him one notch higher in class of pro player. Neither of those scenarios seem too far-fetched to me.

 

**(differing odds come from Will Hill)

 

JOHN’S ‘FORE’ SOME 

Bubba Watson   18:1

Alex Noren   45:1

Tommy Fleetwood   45:1

Daniel Berger   125:1

 

GAVIN’S ‘FORE’ SOME 

Jordan Spieth   10:1

Tommy Fleetwood   45:1

Louis Oosthuizen   60:1

Tyrrell Hatton   80:1

 

Listen to this week’s podcast to hear the team’s thoughts on the event and tweet us @fantasygolfww or #fgww.