PGA BREAKDOWN from CheatSheetPros!
QUICK NEWS AND NOTES:
Masters week is finally here so let’s jump in and take a look at this event and get some picks out for you! If I mention some ranks they are over the last 36 rounds the golfer has played.
Augusta National Golf Club playing at over 7,400 yards with steep greens made up of bentgrass that could be lightning fast depending on the amount of rainfall. If there is a large amount of rain this course could feel longer than 7,400 because the drives won’t roll as far and that will make the proximity shots much further.
PAR 5 SCORING – Golfers will need to take advantage of the Par 5’s on this course as they have a 39%, 38%, 36% and 32% birdie rate. All other holes are 18% and lower.
COURSE HISTORY – You want to play golfers who have a solid history here. This is a difficult course and players without much experience aren’t likely to be sitting atop the leaderboards.
STROKES GAINED PUTTING (BENTGRASS/FAST GREENS) – There are several 3 putts on this course due to the speed and slope of the greens. Experience will help but golfers who are solid on bent / fast greens should excel this week.
STROKES GAINED SHORT GAME – Short game and positioning yourself and getting up and down when you miss a green will be a factor this week.
DRIVING DISTANCE – This is a long course and the rain could make it play longer. Accuracy not as much of a factor as the rough is short and fairways are easy to hit.
STROKES GAINED PUTTING: BENTGRASS / LIGHTNING FAST LAST 36 ROUNDS:
1. Kevin Kisner
2. Marc Leishman
3. Matt Kuchar
4. Bryson DeChambeau
5. Brendan Todd
6. Brandt Snedeker
7. Fred Couples
8. Rickie Fowler
9. Patrick Reed
10. Matt Wallace
COURSE HISTORY TOP PLAYERS:
RORY MCILROY – 5 straight cuts made finishing 21st, 5th, 7th, 10th and 4th.
ADAM SCOTT – 5 straight cuts made finishing 18th, 32nd, 9th, 42nd and 38th.
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA – 5 straight cuts made finishing 32nd, 19th, 11th, 7th and 5th.
JASON DAY – 5 straight cuts made finishing 5th, 20th, 22nd, 10th and 28th.
JORDAN SPIETH – 5 straight cuts made finishing 21st, 3rd, 11th, 2nd and 1st.
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN – 5 straight cuts made finishing 29th, 12th, 41st, 15th and 19th.
MATT KUCHAR – 5 straight cuts made finishing 12th, 28th, 4th, 24th and 46th.
JIMMY WALKER – 5 straight cuts made finishing 36th, 20th, 18th, 29th and 38th.
JUSTIN THOMAS – 12th, 17th, 22nd and 39th (getting close each year!)
DUSTIN JOHNSON – 2nd, 10th, year off, 4th and 6th.
TOP AVERAGE FINISH – LAST 3 YEARS HERE:
This is just something fun to look at, players with no missed cuts, played each of the last 3 years and have the highest average finish among the field. RICKIE FOWLER – Average finish of: 7.33 (9th, 2nd and 11th)
RORY MCILROY – Average finish of: 11.00 (21st, 5th and 7th)
JORDAN SPIETH – Average finish of: 11.67 (21st, 3rd and 11th)
JON RAHM – Average finish of: 13.33 (9th, 4th and 27th)
JASON DAY – Average finish of: 15.67 (5th, 20th, 22nd)
PLAYERS TO CONSIDER FOR YOUR BUILDS:
Here we are looking for golfers with course history, doing well in key stats and in good form in recent events leading up to this tournament!
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU vs. DUSTIN JOHNSON – All of the guys over $10k on DK are solid golfers and have history at this course. To win a GPP you have to have the winner in your DK lineup. Right now the two most discussed guys are Bryson DeChambeau and Dustin Johnson. Dustin Johnson is the lowest priced guy in this tier and the current #1 in the world. Bryson is $1200 higher and has been working on his game for this specific course. Bryson put up 122.5 and 102.5 DK points his last two events and Dustin is coming off a 100.0 DK point tourney. If you look at the scoring algo on the cheat sheet Bryson has the lowest in each category (2.88) for P3 scoring, (3.90) for P4 scoring and (4.45) for P5 scoring. Dustin Johnson ranks 2nd, 1st and 5th in P3-P4-P5 so it just depends on if you want ranks or actual numbers. I lean Dustin Johnson here for cash games due to the $1,200 cheaper price tag and his last 4 events at Augusta have all been top 10 finishes with a 2nd, 10th, 4th and 6th place finish. Bryson DeChambeau is my GPP play as lineups will be much tougher picking the top priced guy.
$9,000 - $9,999 RANGE
XANDER SCHAUFFELE – Coming in at 9800 on DK is Xander who has only played here the last two years finishing 50th and then 2nd last year. Xander is in good form finishing 17th, 2nd, 5th, 2nd and 25th in his last 5 played events. He has also put up 100+ DK points in 3 of his last 4 events (see cheat sheet) and he ranks #1 in Par 5 scoring over his last 36 rounds and 7th in Par 4 scoring over that same span. He has the lowest scoring algo of the $9k range of golfers at 69.44 and he is solid across all categories.
BUBBA WATSON – Several guys in this range that you could discuss but going to stick to just a couple. Watson has finished 12th and 5th here the last two years and he is in good form finishing 4th and 7th in his last two events putting up 116.5 and 104 DK points. The only question is will his putter be in good form? He is -0.59 strokes gained putting on the season but fantastic everywhere else. Of all the guys in this range from a strokes gained perspective he is 2nd to last in putting but 1st in OTT, APP and T2G and Ball Striking. Squeeze Watson into some of your GPP lineups.
$8,000 - $8,999 RANGE
TONY FINAU – Tony Finau does his best on Par 5 scoring and this course has monster birdie percentages on the P5s. He also has a top 10 scoring average for P5s at 4.48. He is 1st in Proximity of 200+ yards over his last 36 played rounds, 17th in total proximity and 5th in driving distance. His course history is great with a 5th place last year and 10th place the year prior. He also leads this price range in strokes gained ball striking at +1.56. (Only 3 guys in this category are over +1.00).
HIDEKI MATSUYAMA – Love this guy because he always has a decent price tag and he just gets shit done! He finished 32nd here last year but prior to that he has 4 top 20 finishes going 19th, 11th, 7th and 5th so he is familiar with the course. He is 2nd in strokes gained ball striking in this pricing tier at +1.31 on the short season. His last 3 events he has finished 2nd, 28th and 21st.
JASON DAY – I was going to stick to 2 guys but I have a soft spot for Jason Day. He finished 5th here last year and prior to that 20th, 22th, 10th and 28th. So in his last 4 years he has two top 10’s and two more top 25s. Jason Day is not a bomber with only a 306.6 average drive but he is excellent in approach (6th over L36 rounds), 15th in proximity of 200+ yards, 6th in P3 scoring and 21st in P4 scoring.
$7,000 - $7,999 RANGE
LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN – He has 5 straight cuts here with 3 top 20 finishes. He finished 29th last year and then 1wth, 41st, 15th and 19th. So this is a guy that knows the course and has performed well here in the past. He is coming off finishes of 48th, 19th, 3rd, 25th and 13th in his last 5 played events so he is in good form. There is more risk in this category and Matt Kuchar as the other guy that jumped out with 5 cuts made but he has only finished 54th and 52nd in his last two events putting up only 69 and 64 DK points so I leaned to Oosy. 16th in Par 5 scoring, 20th in total proximity, 31st in proximity of 200+ yards, 32nd in approach and 24th in putting. So his starts are jumping off the page but his price tag is below 8K so they are great for this tier.
CAMERON SMITH – 10 straight cuts and priced in the low 7k range on DK this week in Cam Smith. He has a micro low Par 5 scoring average at 4.34 which is one of the best in this pricing tier. He is also 22nd in approach, 21st in putting and 33rd in proximity. He is coming in with good form putting up 116, 87 and 99 DK points over his last 3 events where he has finished 4th, 11th and 24th. He has played here 3 times finishing 51st last year, 5th the year prior and 55th in his first appearance. So only 1 outstanding tournament but this could be his year to get inside the top 20. Solid form, solid fit and solid stats!
$6,999 AND UNDER RANGE
I would avoid this category unless there is someone you really like but here are a few guys that I might consider.
SI WOO KIM – He crushed several people last week so hopefully his ownership will be down. He has a 21st and 24th here over the last two years and prior to the MC last week he had finished 17th, 8th and 37th. His rankings over the last 36 rounds are outstanding as he has 10th in DK points, 7th in T2G 16th in OTT, 27th in APP, 5th in scrambling and 11th in Par 4 scoring. He is cheap enough at only 6800 you can roll the dice!
SEBASTIAN MUNOZ – This guy has NO COURSE HISTORY so he is VERY RISKY! This guy is on fire right now finishing 14th, 9th, 27th and 23rd in his last 4 events and he is racking up the points putting up 116.5, 87, 95.5 and 87 in that span. His stats are great but again this course is deadly for those with no experience. Use with caution but he is hot for 6700 on DK!
FRANCISCO MOLINARI – I don’t see much data on him this year so I don’t know if he has been playing overseas or just taking time off. He has finished 5th, 20th and 33rd here the last 3 years so he has great history but I have no data on his recent form with the exception of putting up 71 DK points last week. He has a top 10 scoring average in Par 3 and Par 4 scoring and sitting decent in his Par 5 scoring at 4.67. Priced at only 6700 with good history here he is worth a dart.
Thank you for taking the time to read my PGA article and good luck in your lineup building this week for an exciting tournament!