It’s Masters week and while everyone is excited, I can’t move forward without mentioning the huge week we had at the Valero Texas Open.  Corey Conners won his second pair of black boots in San Antonio and helped a lot of people win big last weekend.  I love seeing the Canadian’s form so good going into Augusta because his history at the Masters is already quite remarkable.  Enough about last week, let’s get into the first major championship of the 2022-2023 PGA Tour season.  

I could not be more excited for this weekend.  By far, it’s the best week of the year for Golf Fans.  As you will hear hundreds of times over the weekend and it could not be more true, "A tradition unlike any other."  The Super Bowl of the Golf world has arrived and we've got lots of money on the line on multiple DFS sites.  We've got so much to discuss before setting your lineups, so let’s get to it.  

First, there are only 88 players in the field but you can basically ignore all of the amateurs and the old timers playing this weekend.  There are about 50 players that have a legitimate chance to win.  My job will be to narrow down that 50 to around 15 players that have the best combination of DFS price, ownership projection, course history and current form to dawn the green jacket come Sunday evening.  It's extremely tough to narrow down these players to a select few especially in the top tier because almost anyone $8000 and above could win this weekend.

It’s time to dive into Augusta National.  It was founded by Bobby Jones and he enlisted the services of a Scottish architect named Alister MacKenzie to design the course.  While there are more bunkers and thicker roughs today, the genius of this course is in the rolling terrain and dynamic sloping around the grounds.  It is now one of the most exclusive golf courses in the world where even a former champion like Gary Player has to beg a member to allow him and his grandchildren to play a practice round.  There is an ora around the Masters that no other course in the world can duplicate beside maybe St. Andrews.  

The basics of Augusta National Country Club are a Par 72 and measures 7,435 yards.  It is known to test all parts of the golfer's game from tee to green.  Players need to survive the very long Par 4’s and take advantage of the short reachable Par 5’s.  Bryson DeChambeau comically said a few years ago that Augusta plays as a Par 67 to him and proceeded to miss the cut.  He says he doesn’t regret that comment but no one will ever let him forget it.  Holes 11-13 are affectionately known as “Amen Corner” because golfers have to pray to get through this stretch at even par.  The greens are on the large side but they are extremely fast and feature shaved edges which make it hard for these players to stick.

The course was lengthened in 2010, and since that time only bombers off the tee have won or even finished inside the Top 10.  Of course, there are exceptions to every rule like when Danny Willett won the green jacket in 2016.   

We are looking for terrific ball strikers especially with long irons because Augusta is known as a second shot golf course.  I’m targeting stats like Strokes Gained: Approach, Greens in Regulation (GIR), and Scrambling.  The best approach players are usually near the top of the GIR numbers as well.  These players put themselves into birdie making opportunities rather than missing greens but when they do, scrambling becomes of the utmost importance.    

Course history is vitally important when it comes to The Masters even if it is just one or two previous trips like 2015 with Jordan Spieth, 2016 with Danny Willett, and 2022 Scottie Scheffler.  Since Horton Smith and Gene Sarazen won in their debuts in what were the first two editions of the tournament back in 1934 and 1935, only Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979 took home the green jacket on their first trip to Augusta.

Finally, the weather looks very wet starting Thursday afternoon into the weekend.  The temperatures will start in the mid-80s and dip all the way into the high 50s by Saturday afternoon as the rains roll through.  The early wet conditions does give me more of a reason to target the bombers this weekend.  The winds should not be much of a factor only topping out around 11-12 mph.    

The Masters is truly a one of a kind event that even the casual sports fan looks forward too.  Growing up, there were few things I enjoyed more than watching Sunday at Augusta with my Dad.  It's the first major of the golf season and it feels like the unofficial start of Spring.  I know personally, watching the Masters means that it is time to dust off the clubs from the basement and get out on the range to work out the rust in my already dirty swing.  Not sure how much I’ll be able to get out this year with a new job and a five year old in youth sports but I’ll definitely try my best.

Good luck! 



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