This article originally appeared on Lucky Trader: Slate Breakdown
It’s here! The year’s first major championship has finally arrived. For some, it’s just another golf tournament, but for others, it signifies the start of spring and the changing of the season. Unfortunately, winter may return to this area over the weekend, with unseasonably cold temperatures set to roll in. However, it wouldn’t be a major championship if there weren’t some challenges to go along with it. So let’s dive into the event, learn a bit about it, and finish with a few targets for the week and beyond.
The Masters is the only one of the four major championships played at the same course every year — Augusta National Golf Club. This year marks the 87th edition of the event, with 88 golfers competing. However, only 52 of them are available to play in the DraftKings Reignmakers PGA TOUR. Of those 52, two have opted not to have cards (Jordan Spieth and Justin Rose), and the remaining players are either amateurs, past champions or are not on the PGA TOUR. This makes it the most exclusive tournament in golf, and it should provide plenty of excitement this year.
As a “premium event,” the Masters has a total prize pool of $350,000, with a top prize of $20,000 at the ELITE and REIGNMAKER tiers.
Augusta National Golf Club is considered by many to be the best golf course in the world. The par-72 course, measuring around 7,600 yards, continues to provide a challenging experience even after all these years. Although there have been changes to the course, the most notable one this year is the lengthening of the par five 13th hole from around 500 yards to approximately 540 yards. While most golfers can still reach the hole this week, it will present a much more challenging second shot, with approach yardages coming within 200-250 yards, compared to under 200 for the last five years. The tournament committee made this change to avoid having the leader on Sunday afternoon hitting a pitching wedge into the hole, as hitting a pitching wedge is much less difficult than needing to hit a four iron.
Overall, I am in favor of the changes, and I am excited to see how they will play out this week. The course setup, along with the weather, will dictate the winning score, as the last five winning scores have varied greatly. It’s worth noting that Dustin Johnson’s victory in 2020 was played in November, which was the first time the event was held in that month. This clearly aided in a lower score compared to the other winners.
Last 5 Masters Winners & Winning Score to Par
- Scottie Scheffler (-10)
- Hideki Matsuyama (-10)
- Dustin Johnson (-20)
- Tiger Woods (-13)
- Patrick Reed (-15)
This week, 88 golfers are competing for the prestigious Green Jacket. However, as previously mentioned, only 52 of them are available to be played in Reignmakers PGA TOUR lineups.
This creates a unique situation for this event, as almost half of the field is missing, and it will also limit the number of entries that can be submitted. Additionally, as a major championship, all of the best players in the world are in attendance.
Surprisingly, the greatest golfer of all time, Tiger Woods, is expected to perform poorly this week, at least based on current projections. Along with Mike Weir, Woods is one of the two golfers playing this week who are not expected to participate in many more tournaments this year.
Three-Ball: 3 Draft Kings Reignmakers PGA TOUR Targets
Last week was a bit of a mixed bag, as I had recommended going “all-in” on the eventual winner, Corey Conners, but my Cam duo (Davis and Champ) failed to make the weekend. However, we have a better chance at success this week with just 88 golfers competing. But keep in mind that only the top 50 and ties will earn a Saturday tee time. So, let’s identify three golfers that I expect to do precisely that this week.
The first week of the season on Maui showcased all of Morikawa’s skills, but he lost the tournament when he was up by multiple shots with a few holes left. Although Jon Rahm came from behind and ended up winning the event, it seemed as though Morikawa was set to have a big season. However, he hasn’t been at his best lately. As a result, his prices have decreased significantly, and he is now priced among the middle-tier players. But Morikawa is not a middle-tier player, and he is bound to break out of this slump. The good news is that we get three straight weeks of utility from his cards, as he’s committed to playing in each of the next three events.
One of the unique elements of the Reignmakers PGA TOUR game is that you can stack all the best players in the world. So in events like this, where someone like Kirk is far from the top of the odds board, his prices come down. Kirk has had a resurgent year, including a win at the Honda Classic. His results have been aided by a strong overall game, ranking inside the top 40 in all four strokes gained categories. That has typically been a recipe for success around Augusta National in the past, and hopefully, it will hold true this week.
Willett is a former Masters champion who was close to winning again earlier in the fall, only to be defeated by Max Homa. But it signified that Willett was ready to compete again at the highest level, and he has continued that momentum with some decent early season success, having made the cut in each of his last five events. With two top-25 finishes in the last five years, in addition to his win at Augusta National, Willett presents a very affordable option that could find his way onto the first or second page of the leaderboard come Sunday afternoon.
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