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DraftKings Fantasy Golf Picks: Masters Tournament Predictions, Preview

Reid Fowler previews The Masters Tournament and gives his picks for your DraftKings fantasy golf lineups.

The Masters Tournament really needs no introduction. But, if you’re new, the PGA TOUR heads to Augusta National Golf Course this week for the 86th Masters Tournament. The course is a par 72, measuring anywhere from 7,510 to over 7,600 yards and will be putt on bentgrass greens. The field is set at 91 golfers, and the top 50 and ties will make the cut. There are no alternates here, so the field gets smaller if players withdraw before the tournament starts. The course isn’t terribly difficult, but it can be rather challenging because of the significance and accolades you receive when you win. In 2019, the course played as the 16th-most difficult in scoring relative to par, the 13th in 2020 and seventh last season.

Set your DraftKings fantasy golf lineups here: $4M Fantasy Golf Millionaire [$1M to 1st + ToC Semifinal Entry] (PGA)


STRATEGY

Strokes gained approach will always be a priority, but driving distance matters more this week than at an average PGA TOUR event. The undulating green complexes and tight lies surrounding the putting surfaces make it paramount to have a creative and effective short game. Last season, seven of the top 11 finished inside the top 10 in strokes gained around the green. The course is quoted at 7,500-yards plus, but the grain grows away from the green, meaning the course can play even longer. Thus, having distance throughout long irons and off-the-tee will help.

Course experience will be essential this week, as it is every year. Other than Patrick Reed ($7,400) in 2018, the past 24 champions played the previous Masters and made the cut. The top five in Strokes Gained Total here since 2017 are Jon Rahm ($10,800), Dustin Johnson ($10,500), Jordan Spieth ($9,800), Hideki Matsuyama ($9,300) and Justin Rose ($7,500).

First-timers will have an uphill battle this week, but they shouldn’t be redlined too quickly. Sure, some golfers won’t win, and we can cross them off our list, but both Sungjae Im ($8,400) and Will Zalatoris ($9,200) finished runner-up in their first starts, so we shouldn’t be surprised if someone like Sam Burns ($8,600) or Talor Gooch ($8,700) plays well or breaks the 40-plus year trend of a debutant not winning since Fuzzy Zoeller did so in 1979. It’ll happen at some point.

Having all six players on your roster make the cut is a prerequisite this week if you want to win the Milly Maker. You’ll also need the golfer who wins The Masters and a keen sense of game theory to take home a cool seven-figure payday. Last season, nolesman won the Milly Maker by fading the entire $10,000-and-above range and rostering a first-timer in Zalatoris. Of the top seven finishers in DraftKings scoring last year, four were priced below $7,300, two of which were $6,900 (Marc Leishman, Corey Conners).


Rory McIlroy ($10,000)

A missed cut last week shouldn’t concern us with the ninth-ranked golfer in the world. The career grand slam is a Green Jacket away for Rory, who has three top-5 finishes here over his previous six starts. He’s third in driving distance and fifth around the greens over the past 24 rounds. He’s also playing well, with a top-10 finish at Riviera Country Club (Genesis Invitational) and a top-15 finish at Bay Hill Club and Lodge (Arnold Palmer Invitational). McIlroy’s roster percentage in the $2.5 Million Fantasy Golf Mega Millionaire contest last season was 14.6% and he missed the cut, but that shouldn’t deter people from rostering him this week; he should be a popular play. If Rory’s sentiment gets too frothy, pay up to Collin Morikawa ($10,200), who was fifth at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, runner up at The Genesis and top 20 at The Masters last season. The short game unlocks his championship form, and if it shows up this week, few have better chances of winning.


Daniel Berger ($9,000)

Sitting just outside the top 20, Berger has put together a good season so far, with finishes of 13th (THE PLAYERS Championship), fourth (Honda Classic), 20th (Farmers Insurance) and fifth (Sentry Tournament of Champions). While he finished 10th here on debut, it hasn’t been great for Berger at Augusta National. In 14 rounds, DB only has one sub-70 round. Still, he sits eighth on TOUR in scoring average (69.94) and eighth in strokes gained tee-to-green over the previous 24 rounds. Berger might go overlooked in this range, and if he’s able to get off to a similar start as he did in Ponta Vedra sitting T2 after the first day, he could be in the mix come Sunday.


Shane Lowry ($8,800)

The 2019 Open Champion has two top 13s and a runner-up finish in his previous three starts and could’ve easily won The Honda Classic if it weren’t for a rain squall on his last few holes of the tournament. We haven’t seen a lot of winners without a top-10 finish in one of their previous starts here, so Lowry might have to buck some trends if he were to don the Green Jacket. Still, he’s been playing well and ranks seventh in approach over his previous 24 rounds. His last two appearances at Augusta National read 25-21, and it could be another successful week given the way Lowry is playing, especially if the weather conditions turn sour.


Luke List ($7,000)

After earning his first win on TOUR at the Farmers in January, List gets his first appearance at Augusta National as a professional two decades after competing here as an amateur. List has the distance off-the-tee, ranking seventh over the previous 24 rounds, and no one is better than him tee-to-green over the same timeframe. His short game has also come to life, ranking third over the past two dozen rounds, but it always comes down to his putting. If he’s able to break even on these greens, he should outperform his price with the way he’s hitting it this season. Also, consider Stewart Cink ($6,400) at a much lower salary. A solid performance at the Valspar yielded a top-7 finish where he gained 5.1 strokes on approach and five on the greens. Cink hasn’t been consistent this season, but he has two top 15s in his previous three starts here. Widening the lens out, Cink also has three top 20s, a top 10 and a third-place finish in his career at Augusta National.

Set your DraftKings fantasy golf lineups here: $4M Fantasy Golf Millionaire [$1M to 1st + ToC Semifinal Entry] (PGA)



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All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests. The contents contained in this article do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups.


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