DFS Army: UpNorth’s PGA Preview – The Masters’

It’s finally here, Masters’ Week! We have you covered at DFS Army with everything you need to know for the best week of the year on the PGA tour! 

My name is Josh Thomas, and I am a PGA and NFL Coach here at DFS Army! Welcome to the 2019 PGA Season! We here at DFS Army have got you covered this year for DFS golf with my weekly preview out on Sunday Nights, Chalk Donkey article breaking down the ownership projections, where to pivot, and GPP strategy out Tuesday Nights, and our Research Station that is full of more information than you could ever need!

It’s Masters’ Week! I feel like a little kid on Christmas. Amen Corner, Magnolia Lane, Hogan’s Bridge, Pimento Cheese Sandwiches, Rae’s Creek, does it really get any better than Augusta National? Not for me. This is without a doubt my favorite event on the PGA Tour every year. We have you covered this year with everything you need to know about Augusta National, the Field, the Weather, and anything else you can possible want!

Everything PGA related is OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!!! Check out all of our tools, the research station, articles, and coaches notes here —-> DFS Army PGA Content

I’ve already posted my video breakdown of how I build GPP lineups here DFS Golf GPP Lineup Building Strategies, Brody will have an article out tonight, the Research Station will be live with every stat imaginable, and my Chalk Donkey article with GPP strategy based on ownership leverage plays will be out on Wednesday! Not only that, but we have a coaches notes page for our VIPs breaking down every player in the field!

DFS Army VIP ilike2annoy had a strong finish last week at the Valero using our notes/tools last week!) Want access to it all?! 

 

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Like I said before, I love this tournament, and it’s typically one of my most profitable (unless Sergio takes a 13 on 15 again…) ! So let’s get to the course breakdown, outright bets, and the field for this event!

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Course Breakdown:

Located in Augusta, Georgia the Masters’ is played at the pristine Augusta National Golf Course. Designed by the legendary Bobby Jones and Alister MacKenzie it opened in 1933 and has hosted the Masters’ every year since 1934. The course plays at 7435 yards and is a par 72 with ten par 4’s, four par 5’s, and four par 3s.

As usual the players will be putting on Bent Grass with Bermuda Fairways that are overseeded with Oregon rye. The rough will be short and the fairways fairly easy to hit. The real test at Augusta is the undulating greens and avoiding the trouble in the forms of creeks, ponds, woods, and sand traps. Along with the undulating greens, you also have some massive undulations in the fairways which make an already long course at 7435 yards even longer.

Another thing that will make this course play longer is the weather that is expected to come in this week. We’re looking at pretty significant weather over the next two days, including up to 2 inches of rain, making this course SIGNIFICANTLY LONGER.

One thing that can put us over the edge here at DFS Army is that we have our very own weatherman. Mark worked for years for Accuweather and is a meteorologist who analyzes weather in every situation and provides us with helpful insight on how that can affect players. It’s a big edge for DFS Army VIPs.

With all that rain coming in it’s likely to do two things:

  1. Make the course exponentially longer.  Players won’t get near the run they are used to.
  2. Make the greens softer. This will make it easier to fire at pins as they will hold the ball better, but it also will slow them down significantly. It’s possible we won’t see the typical 13-14 on the stimp meter until the weekend, if at all this week.

This makes me more likely to play guys who can bomb it off the tee, and are excellent iron players. If the course isn’t as hard and firm we can weigh short game a little less than we normally would. Typically we see guys hitting greens and the balls rolling off into the collection area and having to chip it back on the green and hopefully make par. That may not be the case this year if we get a soft course.

The one defense the course can hope for is the wind to pick up and dry the course out which looks like it might. We have some pretty hard gusts all day Thursday about 17-18 miles an hour, with the normal wind steadily picking up as the day goes on.

If we look here, it really seems like the guys who are teeing off on Thursday AM/Friday PM will have a pretty decent advantage this week. I hate targeting draws, as it always changes and by only targeting one draw you eliminate half the field from your player pool. But this looks like one that could be real this week.

The other big thing to note here is that regardless of when you play, you need to be able to play in the wind. This gives a little bump for me to the Euro’s, Aussies, and South Africans. Not that the Americans can’t play in the wind, it’s just that typically these players are better players. One site I use for stats like this is Josh Culp’s Fantasy Golfanac. This is a great resource to find Wind Specialists .

While the wind and weather will likely play a large role, at the end of the day this is Augusta, and a course we know well. Drive the ball a long ways, be sharp with your irons and have a pulse on the green and you are in good shape. Make hay on the Par 5’s and just hang on on the rest of the holes, and come Sunday you’ll be sniffing the top of the leaderboard. There are a million ways to get it done around this course and we see it every year. Patrick Reed was unreal with the driver and had a fantastic short game last year en route to a win. Tony Finau had an unreal putting performance and was just kind of mediocre everywhere else as he finished T10. Bubba Watson finished 5th with arguably the best driving performance in the history of the tournament.

It’s a course you need to think your way around. See the shots and hit them. You need to be comfortable with being uncomfortable here. With the undulations all over the course you likely won’t have a flat lie anywhere. Players who can handle that and put themselves in the best position will obviously do well here. It’s also a course where experience matters. Very rarely do first timers do well here, but often we see guys who have a ton of experience here continue to compete long past their prime (Bernhard Langer, Fred Couples).

If you want a hole by hole breakdown (and even if you don’t read it!) the PGA Tour put this out today and the pros breakdown all 18 holes at Augusta better than I ever could hope to! Check it out here Pros Breakdown Augusta.  The one big takeaway I have from that read is how important experience is here and knowing how to play certain holes depending on certain pins.

Augusta is the crown jewel of golf courses in my opinion, and this week will prove that again. Regardless of the weather or field, it always provides a supreme test and identifies the golfer who is playing the best at that moment in time. That golfer gets to don the green jacket and be a legend forever. Talk about a fun week!

One thing, that puts the DFS Army VIP’s at a huge advantage is the Domination Station. Check out how that works here!

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Key Stats: 

Key Stats to look for this week –   SG – Approach, Birdies Gained, Par 5 Scoring Par 4 Scoring, Long Par 3 Scoring, SG: Around the Green  Course History, and Projected Course Score.

You can find all of these key stats in our DFS Army research station accessible ONLY for our VIPs.

–> PGA Research Station <–

The Field:

In this section, I’ll cover who is in the field this week, the odds, any pricing discrepancies, and a few of my favorite plays on first look!

One thing to note about the field this week is that there is only 86 golfers in the field so the cut rules are a bit different. If golfers are in the top 50 and ties, they make the cut. So essentially 58% of the golfers will make the cut. Also, any golfer within 10 shots of the lead will make the cut as well. So we could have up to 60 or 65 golfers make the cut. It’s essential to get 6/6 golfers through the cut line in DFS this week if you want to make any money.

Rory McIlroy is the pretty clear betting favorite coming off a big win at the Players Championship and a solid performance at the WGC-Dell Match Play. He’s searching for his first green jacket, something that has eluded him throughout his young career. He has FIVE straight top tens here. This may be the year he breaks through. He’s not a bet for me but he’s a fantastic play in DFS.

Justin Rose doesn’t have five straight top tens…but he has five straight top 14’s here and two runner ups! He’s also NEVER missed the cut in 13 tries at Augusta. The world number one is playing excellent golf right now and is actually getting a little bit forgotten about in the DFS community. He’ll be my One and Done pick for the week and someone I’m very overweight on.

Tiger Woods at Augusta playing excellent golf…gives me chills just thinking about it.

The middle tier of players here is really strong, but we likely get some of these guys at low ownership just based on who is priced around them. Francesco Molinari, Henrik Stenson, Louis Oosthuizen are all great plays this week at likely low ownership. And they are great bets as well if you got them at decent numbers. (I did, but more on that later).

Deeper down the board there are some plays I have a ton of interest in guys like Branden Grace, Charles Howell III, and Kevin Kisner. All three playing excellent golf right now with maybe less than stellar history here (though they all are pretty consistent).

Building rosters for DFS this week will be a challenge. As with any major, we have soft pricing meaning that you can essentially afford to build lineups that look unbelievable on paper. You will make very few ‘uncomfortable’ decisions with players. I actually think you should exploit that and make some ‘uncomfortable lineups’ Whether that be super stars and scrubs, or by making some ownership leverage plays. I’ll cover all of that in my weekly GPP article Chalk Donkey that will be out Tuesday Night/Wednesday AM, you won’t want to miss it!

Beat the Bookie Betting Card:

Something new I’m adding each week to this article is my personal betting card for the week for Outrights, First Round Leaders, Top 5’s and Top 10’s. The real bread and butter with golf betting is a tournament and round matchups but I’m saving those for our Beat the Bookie VIPs!

As a rule, I typically don’t bet many outrights under +3500 unless its an extremely weak field (DJ at the FedEx St. Jude last year comes to mind) It’s just not a +EV most weeks when you think about 156 guys teeing it up. Hitting 3-4 outrights a year is a fantastic year for most golf bettors. The return on investment of hitting an outright at 50-1 can pay for a long dry spell (which is fairly typical in golf betting if you are only playing Outrights, FRLs, and T5/T10).

My Masters’ Card has been building over the last month or so as I have just been accumulating bets as I watch the tournaments leading in and try to jump on their value before their odds drop.

Francesco Molinari was a guy I was likely betting regardless just given the ridiculous form he has shown lately, including a win and a dominating performance for 3rd place in the Match Play. I grabbed this number after the group play and as you can see above he’s already gone down to +2200.

Louis Oosthuizen was another guy I identified during the Match Play as playing excellent golf and having great history here. He’s got a runner up here from 2012 and has made five consecutive cuts at Augusta including a T12 last year coming in on some mediocre form. His game is in great shape and I think he’s a great DFS play as well.

How do you not bet Matt Kuchar here after the run he’s been on and his course history. I finally succumbed to the pressure last weekend after he made the cut and continued to play well Sunday. I probably gave up some value as he was well north of 50-1 prior, but I wanted a piece just in case. Kuchar has four top 10’s here and the only cut he missed was as an Amateur. There’s not many other golfers playing as consistently good as Matt is right now, my only concern is his health and how tired he might be playing all these events in a row (and being in contention in essentially all of them).

Henrik Stenson I got at +8000 and has been bet down a full 20 points, and 35 on some books. He’s a really sneaky play this week in DFS as I think Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter suck up all the ownership around him. He’s been somewhat inconsistent this year but was fantastic at the Match Play and I think he carries that form over to Augusta where he had a top five finish last year. He’s a guy I’ll be plenty overweight on in DFS.

Branden Grace is another player that played well in the Match Play and got on my radar. He just SHOWS UP at Majors. And while his history here isn’t great he’s had back to back cuts made and solid finishes. He’s also an excellent wind player so if this looks like its going to be gusty all week I want to get players like Grace in my DK lineups.

And finally I jumped on Si Woo Kim last Saturday after watching him play basically the entire 3rd round. He is really just unflappable. He struggled on Sunday albeit, but his game is SO GOOD tee to green. That driver is automatic. He’s not afraid of anything. And he’s a shot maker. He sees things normal players don’t. Sounds like a guy who has won here twice over the last few years… I love Si Woo this week and think he can build on last years 24th place finish.

I typically don’t have this many out rights, and I actually may add one more as the week goes (Justin Rose or Jon Rahm likely) but this is the Masters…I’m all in! I’ll have my T5/T10/T20 and First Round Leader bets posted in this article when they become available.

I’ll have Head to Head and full tournament matchups posted for our Beat the Bookie VIPs on Wednesday. And there are some reaaaaly juicy ones this week! These are truly where you can make your money in golf betting, while not as sexy or as big as an outright win, they are much more profitable.

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Final Thoughts: 

It’s here, the Masters!! I always caution to be smart about your bankroll, but with a Major, especially the Masters, let it slide a little bit and lets have some fun! There are tons of great contests with really solid pay out structures. You don’t have to play the Milly Maker! The only lineups I’ll have in there are from contest tickets I won. There are MUCH better contests elsewhere if you want to have a positive ROI.

We will have content for you all through the week at DFS Army. Our research station and domination station optimizer will be updated on Tuesday and I will have my full Chalk Donkey article breaking down all the ownership and GPP strategy for our VIP’s on Tuesday night! If you aren’t a VIP yet, use code UPNORTH for 20% your first month!

Also, give me a follow on twitter @dfsupnorth as I’ll be posting updates there as well as useful retweets leading up to this weeks event!

What are you waiting for?! 20% off with code UPNORTH this week only!

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