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BlogMasters Preview and Picks

Masters

April 11th – 14th, 2019

Augusta National G.C.

Augusta, GA

Par: 72 / Yardage:

Purse: $11 million (last year)

with $1,980,000 (last year) to the winner

Defending Champion:
Patrick Reed

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

The field includes 65 of the top-100 and 50 of the top 50 in the latest Official World Rankings.  

The field includes 22 of the top 25 on the FedEx point standings for 2019.   Those players are #1 Matt Kuchar, #2 Rory McIlroy, #3 Xander Schauffele, #4 Paul Casey, #5 Gary Woodland, #6 Charles Howell III, #7 Marc Leishman, #8 Rickie Fowler, #9 Justin Thomas, #10 Dustin Johnson, #11 Brooks Koepka, #12 Justin Rose, #13 Corey Conners, #14 Kevin Kisner, #15 Phil Mickelson, #16 Francesco Molinari, #17 Bryson DeChambeau, #18 J.B. Holmes, #19 Keith Mitchell, #22 Patrick Cantlay, #23 SiWoo Kim and #25 Jon Rahm.

Those in the top-25 but not playing are #20 Sungjae Im, #21 Jim Furyk and #24 Lucas Glover.

The field includes 21 past champions: Patrick Reed (2018), Sergio Garcia (2017), Danny Willett (2016), Jordan Spieth (2015), Bubba Watson (2012 & ’14), Adam Scott (2013), Charl Schwartzel (2011), Phil Mickelson (2006, ’04 & ’10), Angel Cabrera (2009), Trevor Immelman (2008), Zach Johnson (2007), Tiger Woods (1997, 2001, ’02 & ’05), Mike Weir (2003), Vijay Singh (2000), Jose Maria Olazabal (1999 & ’94), Mark O’Meara (1998), Bernhard Langer (1993 & ’85), Fred Couples (1992), Ian Woosnam (1991), Sandy Lyle (1988) and Larry Mize (1987).

A perfect way for fantasy golfers to check on the past performance of all the players in the Masters’ field is our performance chart listed by the average finish.  Another way to check who is the best is through a special formula worked out in Golfstats that gives us the best average performances at the Masters in the last five years or check out our sortable 8-year glance at the Masters.

A good cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmakers in England.

Another cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmaker in Las Vegas.

Time to look at our who’s hot and who isn’t:

Who’s Hot in the field for the Masters

Player Valero Texas WGC Dell Match Play Corales Puntacan Valspar Champ. The Players Arnold Palmer Honda Classic WGC Mexico Puerto Rico Genesis Open AT&T Pebble Phoenix Open Farmers
Rory McIlroy
(339.5 pts)
DNP T9
(67.5)
DNP DNP Win
(132)
T6
(40)
DNP 2
(50)
DNP T4
(26.67)
DNP DNP T5
(23.33)
Kevin Kisner
(296.83 pts)
DNP Win
(198)
DNP T24
(26)
T22
(28)
T23
(18)
DNP T27
(11.5)
DNP DNP T28
(7.33)
T26
(8)
DNP
Paul Casey
(276.17 pts)
DNP T9
(67.5)
DNP Win
(132)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T3
(45)
DNP T25
(8.33)
2
(33.33)
DNP DNP
Matt Kuchar
(272.83 pts)
T7
(55)
2
(150)
DNP DNP T26
(24)
DNP DNP 50
(0.5)
DNP T28
(7.33)
T22
(9.33)
T4
(26.67)
DNP
Francesco Molinari
(239.5 pts)
DNP 3
(135)
DNP DNP T56
(0)
Win
(88)
DNP T17
(16.5)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Dustin Johnson
(227.67 pts)
DNP T40
(15)
DNP T6
(60)
T5
(70)
DNP DNP Win
(66)
DNP T9
(15)
T45
(1.67)
DNP DNP
Louis Oosthuizen
(207.5 pts)
DNP T5
(105)
DNP T2
(100)
T56
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T25
(12.5)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Sergio Garcia
(197.33 pts)
DNP T5
(105)
DNP T54
(0)
T22
(28)
DNP T9
(30)
T6
(30)
DNP T37
(4.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Tommy Fleetwood
(193.5 pts)
DNP T24
(39)
DNP DNP T5
(70)
T3
(60)
DNP T19
(15.5)
DNP T28
(7.33)
T45
(1.67)
DNP DNP
Jon Rahm
(191.17 pts)
DNP T24
(39)
DNP T6
(60)
T12
(38)
DNP DNP T45
(2.5)
DNP T9
(15)
DNP T10
(13.33)
T5
(23.33)
Hideki Matsuyama
(172.5 pts)
DNP T24
(39)
DNP DNP T8
(50)
T33
(11.33)
DNP T19
(15.5)
DNP T9
(15)
DNP T15
(11.67)
T3
(30)
Bubba Watson
(166.83 pts)
DNP T40
(15)
DNP T4
(80)
T56
(0)
T17
(22)
DNP T27
(11.5)
DNP T15
(11.67)
DNP T4
(26.67)
DNP
Tiger Woods
(166.67 pts)
DNP T5
(105)
DNP DNP T30
(20)
DNP DNP T10
(20)
DNP T15
(11.67)
DNP DNP T20
(10)
Justin Rose
(161.5 pts)
DNP T9
(67.5)
DNP DNP T8
(50)
T63
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP Win
(44)
Rickie Fowler
(160.33 pts)
T17
(33)
DNP DNP DNP T47
(3)
T40
(6.67)
T2
(66.67)
T36
(7)
DNP DNP DNP Win
(44)
T66
(0)
Lucas Bjerregaard
(155.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
4
(120)
DNP DNP T30
(20)
DNP T12
(25.33)
69
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Justin Thomas
(153.17 pts)
DNP T24
(39)
DNP DNP T35
(15)
DNP T30
(13.33)
9
(22.5)
DNP 2
(33.33)
DNP 3
(30)
DNP
Rafael Cabrera-Bello
(142.17 pts)
DNP T24
(39)
DNP T30
(20)
CUT
(-10)
T3
(60)
DNP T19
(15.5)
DNP T25
(8.33)
T22
(9.33)
DNP DNP
Keith Mitchell
(136 pts)
DNP T40
(15)
DNP DNP T47
(3)
T6
(40)
Win
(88)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
73
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
Si Woo Kim
(133.67 pts)
T4
(80)
T61
(0)
DNP DNP T56
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP 3
(30)
T4
(26.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
T29
(7)
Brandt Snedeker
(126.33 pts)
DNP T24
(39)
DNP T30
(20)
T5
(70)
T50
(0.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T55
(0)
T62
(0)
Charles Howell III
(125.33 pts)
DNP T24
(39)
DNP DNP T35
(15)
T15
(23.33)
DNP T14
(18)
DNP 6
(20)
DNP DNP T20
(10)
Charley Hoffman
(118.67 pts)
2
(100)
DNP DNP T18
(32)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T61
(0)
T20
(10)
CUT
(-3.33)
Gary Woodland
(118.67 pts)
DNP T17
(49.5)
DNP CUT
(-10)
T30
(20)
DNP T36
(9.33)
T17
(16.5)
DNP DNP DNP T7
(18.33)
T9
(15)
Ian Poulter
(112.5 pts)
DNP T17
(49.5)
DNP DNP T56
(0)
T23
(18)
DNP T3
(45)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Kevin Na
(111 pts)
DNP T5
(105)
DNP DNP 78
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T36
(7)
DNP T33
(5.67)
DNP T60
(0)
DNP
Henrik Stenson
(105.5 pts)
DNP T9
(67.5)
DNP T24
(26)
CUT
(-10)
T17
(22)
DNP T54
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Marc Leishman
(104.5 pts)
DNP T9
(67.5)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
T23
(18)
DNP T62
(0)
DNP T4
(26.67)
DNP DNP T43
(2.33)
Matt Wallace
(103.5 pts)
DNP T40
(15)
DNP DNP T30
(20)
T6
(40)
T20
(20)
T33
(8.5)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Branden Grace
(100 pts)
DNP T9
(67.5)
DNP CUT
(-10)
T72
(0)
DNP DNP T33
(8.5)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T28
(7.33)
2
(33.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Billy Horschel
(99.17 pts)
CUT
(-10)
T24
(39)
DNP DNP T26
(24)
T50
(0.67)
T16
(22.67)
T45
(2.5)
DNP DNP DNP T39
(3.67)
8
(16.67)
Eddie Pepperell
(90 pts)
DNP T56
(0)
DNP DNP T3
(90)
57
(0)
DNP T67
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Jason Day
(86.67 pts)
DNP T61
(0)
DNP CUT
(-10)
T8
(50)
WD
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T4
(26.67)
DNP T5
(23.33)
Tyrrell Hatton
(85.33 pts)
DNP T9
(67.5)
DNP CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
T29
(14)
DNP T19
(15.5)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T15
(11.67)
DNP
Matthew Fitzpatrick
(83.83 pts)
DNP T61
(0)
DNP DNP T41
(9)
2
(66.67)
DNP T27
(11.5)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP
Adam Scott
(83 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T12
(38)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP T7
(18.33)
T61
(0)
DNP 2
(33.33)
Xander Schauffele
(80.33 pts)
DNP T24
(39)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T14
(18)
DNP T15
(11.67)
DNP T10
(13.33)
T25
(8.33)
Tony Finau
(80.17 pts)
T61
(0)
T40
(15)
DNP DNP T22
(28)
DNP DNP T25
(12.5)
DNP T15
(11.67)
T38
(4)
CUT
(-3.33)
T13
(12.33)
J.B. Holmes
(78.17 pts)
T71
(0)
T17
(49.5)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP Win
(44)
CUT
(-3.33)
T26
(8)
CUT
(-3.33)
Patrick Reed
(72.33 pts)
DNP T24
(39)
DNP CUT
(-10)
T47
(3)
T50
(0.67)
DNP T14
(18)
DNP DNP T22
(9.33)
DNP T13
(12.33)

How Player Rankings are Computed

Who’s Not Hot in the field for the Masters

Player Valero Texas WGC Dell Match Play Corales Puntacan Valspar Champ. The Players Arnold Palmer Honda Classic WGC Mexico Puerto Rico Genesis Open AT&T Pebble Phoenix Open Farmers
Kevin Tway
(-41 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T43
(2.33)
Michael Kim
(-40 pts)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Stewart Cink
(-29.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-6.67)
T75
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T50
(0.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Andrew Landry
(-19.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T46
(4)
T47
(3)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T60
(0)
DNP
Trevor Immelman
(-10 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T59
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Adam Long
(-3.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP T79
(0)
T10
(26.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Angel Cabrera
(-3.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Fred Couples
(-3.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP
Patton Kizzire
(1.5 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T60
(0)
T79
(0)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T27
(11.5)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Viktor Hovland
(3.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T40
(6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)

How Player Rankings are Computed

The Buzz:

This week is always my favorite week of the year.  It’s back to Augusta National and getting together with a bunch of old friends.  The golf writing field has been devastated by cutbacks and firings over the years, but it seems that old friends from the golf industry that we don’t see much anymore always find their way back for the Masters each year, so it’s like your college reunion.  Sorry to say that one of the reasons this review is late is because of all the old friends you run into, takes time away from other pressing issues.

You can see my love for the Masters, going through the gates of Augusta is always unique.  The place is a Shangri-la, a permanently happy land that is isolated from the outside world.  The course is extraordinary in being challenging but very fair, one that adds excitement and rewards for the best.  In the long run, if one were to script the perfect place to hold a championship, Augusta National would be on top of the list for not only the course but the facilities and ability to handle spectators.

Because of this, I hold the Masters in high esteem. Just like Baseball today, this is the opening day of the 2019 golfing season.  Yes, there have been 24 events already played on the PGA Tour and 17 events on the European Tour, which means the season is 40% over but all of those are a prelude to this week.

The year has been great, we have seen the reemergence of Rory McIlroy, Matt Kuchar, Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Jason Day, Justin Rose, Xander Schauffele, Rickie Fowler, Francesco Molinari and Paul Casey to the winner’s circle and trust that Tiger Woods is not far behind.  We have seen Rory McIlroy come so close to total domination only to fall flat on Sunday in all but the Players Championship in which he won.  We have seen Dustin Johnson back in the winner circle, but wonder why he seems so reasonable but never dominates.  We have also seen how good Justin Rose and Rickie Fowler can be and wonder if they could go wild and win multiple times in 2019.  And how about Kevin Kisner winning two weeks ago at the Dell Match Play, gosh just a year ago he lost in the finals of the Match Play but now he is the champion.  Yes it’s been a very good year and should get even better this week.

So going into the Masters, the excitement is at fervor pitch.

With that you have lot’s of storylines from Rory going after a major slam, can Phil Mickelson do it at the age of 48 and Tiger does he have enough gas in the tank to win his first major in almost 11 years.  If that isn’t staggering enough, it’s been 14 years since Tiger won his fourth and final Masters the big question will be if he is still good enough to win a major.

But the biggest question and probably the biggest story is Rory McIlroy.  He has never played better, a combination of great play every week he plays with the only downer being him not playing well on Sunday.  But he seems to take all of this in stride possibly because he knows that his odds are very good this week and if he could play like he has done over the last three months, he will again have a great shot at completing the Grand Slam.

The “Buzz” for the week is who will win.  There are 87 players in the field, with 17 Masters rookies.  We all knew about the Masters, rookie jinx.  It’s now been 40 years since Fuzzy Zoeller won and even though the rookie class includes guys that have won in the last year like Keith Mitchell, Eddie Pepperell and Kevin Tway I can say that we will have to wait until next year, I can’t see any rookies winning this week.

We have read all of the stories over the years that say only a dozen or so could win the Masters; I put that number at about 30.  I am writing this on Monday late in the evening and seeing some powerful storms come through, the same for Tuesday with rain and we may see some poor weather over the four days of play

One thing that everyone should be happy about is that the forecast doesn’t call for wind, the worst day will be Saturday and Sunday at 12 mph, but with a 50% chance of rain, the odds are the weekend could be very long.

So buckle up and get ready for a wild week, the Masters will be exciting again.

Things you need to know about the Masters

This week will be the 83rd edition of the Masters. It has been played every year, except for between 1943 and 1945 when the war suspended the championship.  Every year it has been played at Augusta National, the only major played on the same course each year.

The Masters was conceived by Bobby Jones, who had always dreamed of having a U.S. Open played on Augusta National.  But with the hot summers in June, Jones approached the USGA with the idea of playing the Open at Augusta in April, but the USGA turned him down.  So Jones and Clifford Roberts decided to hold their annual event beginning in 1934.  Roberts proposed that the event is called the Masters Tournament, but Jones objected thinking it was too presumptuous.  The name Augusta National Invitation Tournament was adopted, and that title was used for five years until 1939 when Jones relented, and the name was officially changed.

Course information:

  • August National Golf Club
  • August, S.C.
  • 7,475 yards     Par 36-36–72

While playing championship golf, Bobby Jones had always hoped that one day he would be able to build a championship golf course near his Atlanta home.  Upon his retirement after the 1930 U.S. Amateur, Jones set out to complete his dream.  In the 1920s he met New York banker Clifford Roberts who helped Jones with his vision. After looking at several places, they both decided on Augusta, Ga. as the site because it provided the best weather in the winter months.  They scouted the area for a piece of land that according to Jones plans would utilize the natural shape and slope of the property to build the course.  Jones didn’t want a venue that relied on severe rough as a hazard and hoped that he could find a piece of property that would have a stream running through so that he could build several holes around it for water hazards.  He also wanted to create a championship course that would be playable for the average golfer, one that would use mounds and slopes as hazards instead of sand bunkers.

Also helping Jones and Roberts in their search were Thomas Barrett Jr. He knew of a piece of land in Augusta that he thought would be perfect for Jones’ dream course.  He recommended a piece of property called Fruitlands Nursery.  The land consisted of 365 acres that were once an indigo plantation the family bought in 1857.  The man was Louis Mathieu Edouard Berckmans, who was a horticulturist by hobby.  Along with his son Julius Alphonse, an agronomist and horticulturist by profession, they formed a business in 1858 to import trees and plants from various countries.  It would be the first commercial nursery in the south, and they called it, Fruitland Nursery. Even though Berchmans died in 1883, the business flourished. A great variety of flowering plants and trees, including a long double row of magnolias, were planted before the Civil War, and today they serve as the club’s entrance were on the property.  But Prosper’s claim to fame was that he popularized a plant called the azalea.

Upon Prosper’s death in 1910 the business stop operation and the heirs looked for a buyer.  That buyer came around in late 1930 when Tom Barrett first showed Jones Berchman’s nursery.  Upon seeing the property from what is now the practice putting green, Jones knew he had the perfect land for an ideal golf course.  He told Roberts and Barrett that he thought the ground had been lying there all these years waiting for someone to come along and lay a golf course on it.

An option was taken on the property for $70,000, and it was decided to establish a national membership for the club, and Jones proposed Augusta National would be an appropriate name. Jones also agreed in the planning stage he wanted Dr. Alister Mackenzie of Scotland to serve as the course architect since the pair held similar views. Before coming to Augusta, Mackenzie had designed two courses in California – Pasatiempo and Cypress Point.  Jones played those courses after he failed in the first round of the 1929 U.S. Amateur and fell in love with the courses and MacKenzie’s design.  So that was the main reason he got MacKenzie to help him.

Jones and Mackenzie completed the plans, and the construction started in July of 1931. Unfortunately, Mackenzie died after the construction work was completed, before Augusta National was entirely covered with grass. The course was finished and opened in December 1932 with a limited amount of member play. A formal opening took place in January of 1933.

Since the course opened, it has been changed several times in the 81 years.  In 1934 the tournament nines were different and were changed for the 1935 event.  Also, the grasses have changed over the years between bent and bermudagrass, Today Augusta National’s tees and fairways are Bermuda grass, but they are overseeded each fall with ryegrass.  The greens are bentgrass that gives them their wonderful speed and smoothness.

The average green size at Augusta is 6,150 square feet, which is about the average on the PGA Tour. Water comes into play on five holes on the back side, and there are only 43 bunkers.

Augusta has played terribly over the last couple of years, last year it played at 73.89 and was the 2nd hardest course on the PGA Tour.  The previous year the scoring average was 74.42 making Augusta National the 3rd hardest course to score on in 2016. In 2015 Augusta was the 13th toughest course with a 72.54 average. In 2014 it was second hardest course on the PGA Tour with a scoring average of 73.946, close to two shots over par a round. In 2013 Augusta National was the 4th hardest course on the PGA Tour playing to a 73.412 average playing 1.412 stroke under par.

For this year’s Masters, the 5th hole has been lengthened.  With the land purchase that they made many years ago, it allowed Augusta National to shut down Berkman’s Road, which the old 5th tee was up against.  So they were able to move the tee back 40 yards and now make the 5th hole a real monster.  Look for a drastic increase in par numbers for the 5th hole this year.

For a more comprehensive look at the course, look at this course overview done by Masters.Com.

Let’s take a look at vital stats that are important for those playing at Augusta National.

This is based on the most important stats for Augusta National, based on data from last years Masters, and using data from all the players in the field with stats from 2019. What we do is take their rank for each stat and then add up the four categories.
The scoring average of the field at Augusta National in 2018 was 72.93, just about a shot over its 72 par. It was the 7th hardest course on the PGA Tour. The reason for it playing almost a full shot harder in 2017 was because of the weather, lack of wind and manageable rain on Saturday that soften the course up and made it play easier. In 2017 the scoring average wags 73.89 making it the 2nd hardest course to score on that year. It’s also important to see why the weather played a factor in 2017, The weather was near perfect but the winds did blow the first two days between 20 to 25 mph, then decreased to 4 to 8 mph for the weekend. The year before 2016 the scoring average was 74.42 again because winds were between 10 and 15 mph each of the four days. Now the year before that in 2015 with good weather but very little wind the course played a lot easier to a scoring average of 72.54 and it ranked the 14th hardest course that year. In looking at the weather for Augusta, I can see a scoring average that comes down drastically because of the rain they get on Monday and Tuesday will soften things up, then rain parts of Friday and Saturday, then scattered thunderstorms on Sunday will create soft conditions, balls will not roll in the rough off the tee, flags will be more obtainable with soft greens which will allow the players to make more birdies. But the most important factor, lack of wind. Friday and Sunday will have the most wind at only 12 mph which makes for easier conditions at Augusta.

Now one thing that we have to look at is the claim that Augusta is great for long hitters. That is in part true, hitting it long does have it’s an advantage, especially on Augusta’s par 5s. Last year and in 2017 both winners Patrick Reed and Sergio Garcia showed there advantage as they both ranked 6th in driving distance and played the par 5s in 7 under for Garcia and 13 under for Reed. But in looking at the past champions, it’s mixed with long hitters and short. A perfect example is 2016 and in 2015. Danny Willett ranked 32nd in driving distance while in 2015 Jordan Spieth ranked 52nd. But look at the top-ten for the week, last year only 4 while in 2017 only 3 out of 10 while in 2016, 5 out of 14 while in 2015 only one of the 11 were ranked in the top-ten in distance, showing that there is more to Augusta than people think.

One thing in looking at the stats, Augusta National doesn’t utilize stroke gain stats which we have been using more of so we have to go back to the old fashion stats. So in looking at the stats for Augusta National, one thing is obvious, the course caters to those that hit lots of greens, can scramble well, can avoid three putts and play well on the par 5s. So these are the four stats we pick for this week’s key course stats.

In looking at Augusta National last year, the course ranked 12th in greens in regulation (61.45). This has been a very consistent number for the last decade. As for importance, last year’s winner Patrick Reed ranked T-21st which is a dramatic withdrawal because it was the 3rd highest rank of last 22 Masters champions going back to 1997. If you look at those winners, 15 of the 22 are in the top-five like 2017 champion Sergio Garcia who ranked T-2nd. So if only 5 of the 22 are outside the top-ten, you have to say that hitting greens is very important in winning the Masters.

Our next category is scrambling and last year the course ranked 5th on tour while Reed was T-16th. In three-putt avoidance, Augusta played 5th hardest on Tour while Reed only had two three-putts for the entire week and ranked T-13th. Our last category is par 5, now for the average field the Par 5 average last year was 4.70 and it was T-17th on tour. Reed was 13 under for the week which is the key to how he won. You look at the history of the Masters, the best is 15 under by four different players and there were only five different players at 14 under so you can see that 13 under by Reed was a milestone, so playing the par 5s was very important in Reed’s victory. Since 1997 every winner has been under par on the par 5s except for Danny Willett who played them in even par in 2016. But if you average out the winners in the last 21 years, they average 9 under so you can see the importance of playing the par 5s well for the week.

So let’s take a more careful look at how the last four champions became victorious.
Last year Reed did it with his putter, he not only had the least amount of putts but also was the best in one putt with 38. But playing the par 5s in 13 under put him over the top.
In 2017 Sergio Garcia won it with his ball striking, he was 2nd in fairways hit and T-2nd in greens hit. This allowed him to miss the rare putt here and there, but still enough for the win.

In 2016 Danny Willett was T-6th in greens in regulation, he was 1st in scrambling, T-2nd in three-putt avoidance and 54th in par 5 average.

How about 2015 for Jordan Spieth. He ranked 2nd in Greens in Regulation, hitting 75% of his greens. He was T-10th in scrambling, T22nd in three-putt avoidance and T-4th in Par 5 Scoring. One other important item that won’t be on this list but you should have in the back of your mind, making lot’s of birdies, in 2015 Spieth led that stat making 28 birdies for the week while Willett was T-16th making just 13 for the week.

Again if a person can hit a lot of greens and scramble well on the ones he misses and make a good share of putts, especially in the 4 to 10-foot range he is a can’t miss to not only contend, but possibly winning.

*Greens in Regulation: Stat is a great barometer on how good players manage their games around Augusta National. Every year the players that hit lot’s of greens do well.

*Scrambling: So which course is tough to get it up and down on holes players miss the greens. Since all of the area’s around the greens are mowed short and are left with really hard shots to get it close, scrambling is important. You are not going to be perfect so you have to make sure you can make pars from some tough places

*Three putt avoidance: Augusta have the toughest greens in the world to putt on. They only average 6,486 square feet so they aren’t big or small, but they are sloppy and you can be faced with a lot of ten foot lag putts. So when you are 30 or 40 feet away it’s really hard to get up and down in two putts and is important.

*Par 5 scoring: This is the one place long hitters due have an advantage on, the par 5s. Three of the four are within reach of the longest hitters and depending on how Augusta sets up the 8th hole, that could be easy or hard. But to win it’s important to do well on the Par 5s.

Of the field of 87, 65 players from this year’s field have stats from 2019 Remember this is an international event with six amateurs.

Click any column title in the table header to sort columns.

 

Here is a link to the other 55 players stats for this year’s Masters

DraftKings tips

Of the 87 in the field, 70 have played at least once at Augusta National in the Masters.  

*Here are the players with the most under par totals at the Masters since 2010:

  • Tiger Woods is 99 under playing 19 years (-1.30)
  • Phil Mickelson is 60 under playing 22 years (-0.73)
  • Jordan Spieth is 39 under playing 5 years (-1.95)
  • Rory McIlroy is 15 under playing 10 years (-0.39)
  • Justin Rose is 14 under playing 13 years (-0.27)
  • Jason Day is 13 under playing 8 years (-0.45)
  • Jon Rahm is 8 under playing 2 years (-1.00)
  • Tony Finau is 7 under playing 1 years (-1.75)
  • Rickie Fowler is 7 under playing 8 years (-0.23)
  • Charley Hoffman is 6 under playing 5 years (-0.30)
  • Dustin Johnson is 5 under playing 8 years (-0.17)

*Here are the ones with the best under par totals averaging it per years played (2 or more starts)

  • Jordan Spieth is 39 under playing 5 years (-1.95)
  • Tiger Woods is 99 under playing 19 years (-1.30)
  • Jon Rahm is 8 under playing 2 years (-1.00)
  • Phil Mickelson is 60 under playing 22 years (-0.73)
  • Jason Day is 13 under playing 8 years (-0.45)
  • Rory McIlroy is 15 under playing 10 years (-0.39)
  • Charley Hoffman is 6 under playing 5 years (-0.30)
  • Justin Rose is 14 under playing 13 years (-0.27)
  • Rickie Fowler is 7 under playing 8 years (-0.23)
  • Dustin Johnson is 5 under playing 8 years (-0.17)
  • Hideki Matsuyama is Even playing 7 years (0.00)
  • Bubba Watson is 4 over playing 10 years (0.11)
  • Matt Kuchar is 6 over playing 12 years (0.13)
  • Fred Couples is 23 over playing 21 years (0.29)
  • Brooks Koepka is 4 over playing 3 years (0.33)

Historical ParBreakers

Here is a look at those playing this week and who has made the most eagles and birdies:

So it makes sense that the top players on this list are guys that will make lot’s of points this week

 

*Here are the guys that cost the most on DraftKings this week:

  • Rory McIlroy – $11,600
  • Dustin Johnson – $11,300
  • Justin Rose – $10,800
  • Tiger Woods – $10,500
  • Justin Thomas – $10,200
  • Jon Rahm – $10,000
  • Rickie Fowler – $9,700
  • Brooks Koepka – $9,500
  • Bryce DeChambeau – $9,300
  • Tommy Fleetwood – $9,200
  • Jason Day – $9,100
  • Paul Casey – $9,000
  • Jordan Spieth- $8,900

Have to say that the Masters could be one of the hardest events to pick.  If you look at the 13 names above, 11 of them are great choices with half of them being slam dunks to finish in the top-five.  So you have to choose well in those below $8,500 and once you get in the below $7,500 category it’s very, very hard to pick.

I look at these prices, and my first thought is that they are more than fair.  The last thing you hate to see is a couple of guys in the $11,000 and a bunch in the $10,000 range.  Maybe it because the field is smaller, of course, there has to be a scale based on the number of players in the field.  So with the Master’s field at just 87, maybe this is the reason.  Another thing, one of the differences in the Masters.

Only 30 guys have a real chance of doing well, so you are limited in picks, so maybe that is why the prices are lower.  No matter we have to pick six great choices.  Before we start, the cost of the million dollars first place is still $20, so it gives you an option of picking more teams.

Right off the bat have two tough choices to make in Rory McIlroy at $11,600 and Dustin Johnson at $11,300.  Both are great choices and both are playing well right now.  I really like McIlroy, he’s played the best since Sentry Tournament of Champions and he has quietly said how important winning the Masters is.  He changed his whole routine, down to not playing in Abu Dhabi and Dubai with the thought of playing great and winning the Masters.  I think he is a slam-dunk to finish in the top-five and with his good offensive numbers, if you don’t pick him and he does play well, you won’t have a chance.  The same could be said of Dustin Johnson, he too would really love to win the Masters and he is playing good coming into the week.  Now Justin Rose at $10,800 is another great pick.  He has played in 13 Masters and not missed a cut while finishing 5 times in the Top-ten.  But his game suits Augusta National and if you look at the record book of the Masters he name is prominent for his many fine performances.  So that makes him a great choice.  Tiger Woods at $10,500 is also a great choice, he will be the sentimental favorite and yes he could win, but he has to be smart.  Woods is not the same putter he was 15 years ago and that presents a problem, but Tiger is hitting the ball from tee to green as good as he did in his prime.  Many say you have to be a great putter to win the Masters, but Ben Hogan and Sam Snead were never great putters and they won five Masters between them.  So if a person has a great tee to green week he could find himself slipping on the green jacket, a bit like Sergio Garcia did in 2017.  So yes Tiger could win this week.  One person I don’t like is Justin Thomas at $10,200.  Just don’t think he has the game for the Masters and has shown that in the three times he has played in the Masters.  Now John Rahm at $10,000 is not my cup of tea for this week, but on this course, he could be very dangerous, so don’t shy away from him.  Same with Rickie Fowler at $9,700.  Just think that one of these majors he is going to go wild and win it, just have to wonder if it’s this week?  On paper, Brooks Koepka should be a great choice at $9,500 but he hasn’t shown us much of late and was downright terrible at the Match Play.  I say no to Bryce DeChambeau at $9,300 for the simple reason that he thinks way too hard.  But Phil Mickelson is the same way and won three Masters, but still, I don’t like DeChambeau this week.  Tommy Fleetwood at $9,200 is a dangerous person, he won’t be on anyones top-ten list but is such a great player that anything is possible, including a high finish and maybe even a win.  Jason Day at $9,100 is one of those dangerous guys that could win, but I think that it won’t be this week.  He too was terrible at the Match Play having me think away from picking him.  Paul Casey at $9,000 is a hard pick.  There is no way in hell that he can win, but I think the chances of him having a top-five is very good.  In 12 starts he has five top-five finishes so anything is possible.  Last we have the saga of Jordan Spieth at $8,900.  On paper he is the best Masters player, he has the lowest scoring average for players with over 20 Masters rounds and has done some many great things at Augusta National that you would think of it as a mortal sin not to pick him.  Yes the familiar surroundings of Augusta National will help him but it’s not going to carry him to victory, his game is too much in shambles right now.

*Players in that $7,500 to $8,800 price range, which ones are worth the money?:

You will have to find between two or three players in this category, yes there are some good picks.

Hideki Matsuyama at $8,700 is one of those choices, has some good Masters under his belt and his game seems to be shaping up.  A bit disappointing at the Match Play but still not anything that would prevent you from picking Matsuyama this week.  Francesco Molinari at $8,700 will be your first tough decision.  Guy is playing great right now, but Augusta National may not be his cup of tea so that is the reason I don’t like him.  Xander Schauffele at $8,500 is also in the same boat, yes playing well but hasn’t shown any Augusta National sparks to take him.  Then we have the Jeckle and Hyde of the Masters, Phil Mickelson who is at $8,300.  Yes he has won three times and been in the top-ten, 15 times but he has been inconsistent last couple years of the Masters so I say don’t take.  Tony Finau at $8,200 is a toss-em pick, he played well in his first Masters but will it carry over to this year have no idea.  any will pass on Louis Oosthuizen at $8,100 but I say don’t pass on him put him on one of your teams.  Has a good track record at Augusta and playing well right now.  Of all the picks, Patrick Reed at $8,000 has to be the worst.  His game is not very good as he rolls into Augusta and I will say the odds are 50-50 on him even making the cut.  Many will wonder if this could be the week for Matt Kuchar.  He is $7,700 and probably your best “value” pick because of the way he has played of late.  His price is so low you have to take a chance on him.  For some odd reason like Sergio Garcia at $7,700.  Just playing too well right now I have to say he is a great long shot.

Are there any “Bargains” out there?

The big problem of taking those high price guys like Dustin, Rory and Justin are there aren’t many low price guys to pick.  Webb Simpon and Cameron Smith are gook picks at $7,400 but can any of the two hold up if playing really well on Sunday?  Just don’t see one guy in the under $7,500 range that could win the Masters, even have a high finish.  Matthew Fitzpatrick or Eddie Pepperell at $7,300 could wave the European flags but as far as raising it as the winner I say no.  I also like Charl Schwartzel at $7,300, he is a past champion and even though he won’t win, he could give you a top-ten.  Like Charles Howell III at $7,000 not to give you a win but to make the cut and finish in the top-ten.  The same with Dell Match Play champion Kevin Kisner, at $6,700 he and SiWoo Kim are great value, they won’t win but could give you a top-ten.

Here are some of the secrets of what it takes to play well at the Masters:

Key stat for the winner:
  • There are a few things that all winners at the Masters have in common.  First, its precise ball striking, like a Ben Hogan, length and power like Tiger Woods, deft touch with a putter on the steeply contoured greens like a Ben Crenshaw and the mind and wisdom of a Jack Nicklaus.  All of these are what it takes to win the Masters.
  • Precise ball hitting is a must. With steeply contoured greens you have to position shots to the green in an area that you will set up an easy putt. That’s why players like Nick Faldo and Ben Hogan have five titles. If you look at the champions of the Masters, a poor putter usually doesn’t win.  Being able to avoid three putts is essential.
  • Now, Zach Johnson had six three-putts in 2007 and Bubba Watson in 2012 with four put a dent in our theory about three putts.  In looking further back in history, both Vijay Singh in 2000 and Tiger Woods in 2001 had more in the year they won the Masters than the previous seven champions of the 1990s put together.  That doesn’t mean that we will have a new trend. I will still bet that the winner this year has the least number of three putts of anyone else in the field.
  • To show you how theories don’t work continually, look at the argument that says you have to hit it long to win at Augusta.  Yes, Tiger, Phil, and Vijay hit the ball long, but past champions like Mike Weir, Jose Maria Olazabal, Mark O’Meara and Ben Crenshaw could be the shortest hitters on the PGA Tour.  Gosh look at Jordan Spieth in 2015, he ranked 52nd in driving distance at Augusta in his winning year.  No matter what, length is significant, just look at Tiger Woods’ victory in 1997. Being able to reach par-5s with wedges is a considerable advantage over players hitting into the greens with long irons and woods.  But again, theories don’t sometimes work at the Masters. Look at Zach Johnson in 2007. He lay up on all the par 5s and played them in 11 under par.  With dry, firm conditions this year brings in shorter hitters and gives them a chance.
  • Stats are great, but in reality, they don’t mean much when it comes to picking a winner at the Masters.  Since 1993 the only real favorite to win the Masters was Tiger Woods who won it in 1997, 2001, 2002, 2005 and Phil Mickelson in 2004, 2006 and 2010.  How many folks placed a bet on last years winner Patrick Reed or 2016 champion Danny Willett? I would say not many people. Still, players like Sergio Garcia in 2017, Jordan Spieth in 2015, Bubba Watson in 2014 and Adam Scott winning in 2013 weren’t a big surprise. But nobody would have thought that Bubba Watson would win in 2012, it was a big surprise for Charl Schwartzel in 2011, Angel Cabrera winning it in 2009, Trevor Immelman winning it in 2008 and Zach Johnson winning it in 2007.  Still, in the folklore of Masters champions, some surprise champions include Mike Weir who won in 2003 and Vijay Singh in 2000.  Even more prominent surprise winners have been Jose Maria Olazabal, Mark O’Meara, Bernhard Langer and Ben Crenshaw, who came from out of the blue to win.  Still, one thing is certain; you need to have a track record to win at Augusta.  The last time a non-winner from the PGA or European Tour won was back in 1948 when Claude Harmon, father of Butch, won his first and only individual title on the PGA Tour at the Masters.  As the old saying goes, records are meant to be beaten and who knows, maybe a non-winner will surprise us this week, but it’s doubtful.  So let’s see who could possibly be a “surprise winner” this year.  My first choice is Paul Casey, not only has he played well of late including a win at Valspar, but has a nice record at Augusta.  Many think that Francesco Molinari could surprise us, he doesn’t have that great of a record at Augusta and is playing well, a lot like Patrick Reed last year.  Si Woo Kim has a terrible record at Augusta, but has won the Players Championship which is a big event and is playing good now.  Watch Louis Oosthuizen, has played good at the Masters and was T-5th at the WGC-Dell Match Play and T-2nd at Valspar.  We also can’t forget about Tommy Fleetwood, has done well in majors and his game is coming around right now.
  • I can say this, look at the top 30 or 40 players off the world rankings.  We hear it all the time how the best players seem to win majors.  If you go off the world rankings, Ben Curtis was 396 when he won the British Open in 2003, and Shaun Micheel was 169 when he won the 2003 PGA Championship.  At the Masters you won’t find that kind of a winner, since 1988 there have been only two Masters champions not in the top-50, #56 Zach Johnson in 2007 and #69 Angel Cabrera in 2009.  Last year Patrick Reed was 24th in the rankings, in 2017 Sergio Garcia was 11th, in 2016 Danny Willett was ranked 12th going into the Masters while Jordan Spieth in 2015 was 4th going into the Masters.  In the 29 years of the world rankings, the average Masters champion ranked 14th.  We’ve seen four #1s win and overall 18 of the 30 winners were in the top-ten the week before their victory.  So you can expect someone who is high up the world rankings to win this week.
  • Last experience and wisdom are important, that’s why Jack Nicklaus has six titles. The last player to win the Masters in his first start is Fuzzy Zoeller, who did it back in 1979.  As I said earlier, there are 16 first timers this year, and it’s a stretch seeing one of them winning.  Experience is always important at the Masters so look for a winner being someone with a lot of experience.

Who to watch for at the Masters

Best Bets:

Rory McIlroy

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T5 T7 T10 4 T8 T25 T40 T15 CUT T20

Other than Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson in 2017 I have not seen anyone playing any better in the three months leading to the Masters than Rory. Yes he has blown a lot of third-round leads, yes he has played poorly on Sundays but for some odd reason, you have to think that none of this was important. He has been on a mission for a year now and that is winning the last leg of the Grand Slam and everything leading up to this week had one purpose and that is winning this week. I bought into it and think he will win.

Dustin Johnson

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T10 T4 T6 CUT T13 T38 T38 T30

He too has played well leading up to the Masters and could be tough to beat. I just think that he doesn’t have everything lined up in the right direction which could make winning tough.

Tiger Woods

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T32 T17 T4 T40 T4 T4 T6 2 T2

Sorry but he is my sentimental winner. Think his putter is a problem but his tee to green game is almost as sharp as in his prime and this will be the reason for him winning. Be great for the game him winning another Masters.

Best of the rest:

Justin Rose

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T12 2 T10 T2 T14 T25 T8 T11 T20 T36 T5

Guy has some great moments at the Masters, he just needs to win it which he can do.

Paul Casey

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T15 6 T4 T6 CUT T38 CUT T20 T11 T10

Could be a great choice, my only problem is not that he will play well but that he can hang on and win an important championship. Just don’t think that could be in the cards.

Francesco Molinari

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T20 T33 50 CUT T19 CUT T30

He could slip in through the back door like he did at the British Open. Has the game the big question can he do it at Augusta National?

Tommy Fleetwood

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T17 CUT

Other than Justin Rose and Francesco Molinari, Fleetwood is one of the shining stars of the European Tour. He plays well on any course but has to prove that he can do the same at Augusta National.

Hideki Matsuyama

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
19 T11 T7 5 CUT T54 T27

A could dark horse pick, he has played well in the past at Augusta and is playing well now. Many will not even consider him but I think it would be a mistake to forget about him.

Matt Kuchar

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T28 T4 T24 T46 T5 T8 T3 T27 T24

Has never been a person that we think of winning the Masters, but his game is sharp right now and he could not only contend, but win.

Sergio Garcia

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
CUT Win T34 T17 CUT T8 T12 T35 T45 T38 CUT CUT

He is playing really well right now.

Some guys to consider, I don’t think they could win this week

Justin Thomas

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T17 T22 T39

Just don’t think right now he has the game to win at Augusta, maybe in the future but not in 2019.

Brooks Koepka

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T11 T21 T33

Boy you just think of him as the star of the future, big, lot’s of muscle in the right places, the type of guy that should win week in and week out on the PGA Tour but he doesn’t.

Rickie Fowler

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
2 T11 CUT T12 T5 T38 T27 T38

What can I say, he is always on these lists of guys that could win and don’t. But don’t underestimate Fowler, this could be the week he pulls it all together and does well, possibly win.

Jon Rahm

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
4 T27

Another of those players we think can win every week and doesn’t. Played well last year at the Masters, I think he can contend but not win.

Jason Day

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T20 T22 T10 T28 T20 3 WD T2

Sorry a great talent that has the game to win the Masters, just think there are too many problems stemming from him being hurt last month.

Bryson DeChambeau

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T38 T21

I worry about him, he overthinks things and may be too wound up to win this week. Maybe in the future, he reminds us a lot of Phil Mickelson and Phil figured it out.

Xander Schauffele

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T50

Still think his better times are ahead of him, give him some more seasoning and he will do fine, but not this week.

Phil Mickelson

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T36 T22 CUT T2 CUT T54 T3 T27 Win 5 T5 T24

Just think Augusta National has gotten to be too big for him.

Jordan Spieth

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
3 T11 T2 Win T2

Many are wondering if his best golf is behind him, even though he is just 25. Yes he is lost right now but maybe the sights and memories of Augusta National will shake some of the old game back, just don’t think he can play great golf for 72 holes.

 

Long shots that could come through:

Louis Oosthuizen

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T12 T41 T15 T19 25 CUT 2 CUT CUT CUT

This guy should not be overlooked, his game suits him at Augusta and he is playing well right now.

Tony Finau

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T10

Was great last year, his game has been slow in coming around the last three months, but with summer right around the corner think he will play good, starting this week.

Charley Hoffman

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T12 T22 T29 T9 T27

Played great last week after not playing well since his T-12th at the Masters last year, the guy plays well at the Masters and he could contend and possibly win.

Henrik Stenson

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T5 CUT T24 T19 T14 T18 T40 CUT CUT T38 T17 T17

Never played well at Augusta until he finished T-5th last year, surprisingly his first top-ten in 13 Masters starts. With that said, watch him this week.

You can bet the farm he will miss the cut this week:

Patrick Reed

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
Win CUT T49 T22 CUT

His game is in a terrible spot, so bad his wife placed a call to David Ledbetter who is working with him. So his game is not in a good spot as he tries to defend his title.

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