The 2020 Masters Tournament is finally here. Postponed seven months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the final major of 2020 will welcome a field of 95 to Augusta National Golf Club. Tiger Woods, ranked 32nd in the Official World Golf Ranking, is once again the main draw on his hunt for a record-tying sixth green jacket and record-breaking 83rd PGA Tour victory. The top-10 golfers in the OWGR are all in attendance; each one is looking for his first Masters victory. Below, we look for the best PGA DFS picks at DraftKings for the 2020 Masters.
The Masters follows the US Open as the second major of the 2020-21 PGA Tour season; both tournaments will be played again next calendar year with the 2021 Masters set for April 8-11 and the 2021 US Open planned for June 17-20. Along with the new spot on the PGA Tour schedule, the other major change for the 2020 Masters will be the absence of patrons at Augusta National due to the pandemic. Those conditions have already allowed for two first-time major winners in 2020 in Collin Morikawa (PGA Championship) and Bryson DeChambeau (US Open).
Also see: PGA Tour Picks | Predictions And Betting Advice For The Masters Tournament
The course: Augusta National Golf Club
Augusta National underwent renovations over the summer to prepare for the first-ever fall Masters. The bermuda fairways were scalped and overseeded with ryegrass. This, along with the cooler weather – temperatures will range from nighttime lows in the mid-60s to daytime highs in the low-80s – will result in softer fairways. Still, those watching on TV will hardly notice a difference. The biggest change for viewers will be the past-their-prime azaleas and, of course, the lack of patrons on the grounds.
ANGC measures 7,475 yards and plays to a par 72. Elevation varies from 160-310 feet. The pristine bentgrass greens help to create some of the most exciting and memorable moments in golf with multiple levels, mind-bending breaks, and dangerous run-offs. All five water hazards are on the back nine at Nos. 11, 12, 13, 15, and 16. Pine tree-lined fairways and well-positioned greenside bunkers offer further trouble to low scores.
Scoring needs to be done on the par 5s. Of the six holes with a scoring average below par in 2019, four of them were the par 5s; the easiest was the 510-yard 13th with 17 eagles and 158 birdies against 23 bogeys, three doubles, and one other. One par 3 – the 170-yard 16th – scored below par last year with two aces made in the tournament. Only the 350-yard 3rd saw more birdies than bogeys among the par 4s. The most common par-4 distance range is 450-500 yards, with one playing longer than 500 yards and only No. 3 shorter than 400 yards.
Shot-shaping is of well-known importance at Augusta. The most common is a right-to-left draw for right-handed golfers or fade for lefties. The undulating – and occasionally steep – fairways create plenty of awkward stances and lies. Approach shots must be dialed into the proper tier of the green to avoid a costly 3-putt or difficult chip that goes against the grain of the grass.
Key stats to consider for your Masters DFS picks
Always one of the most difficult statistical measures to predict on a tournament-by-tournament basis, there’s no facet of the game more pivotal to success at ANGC than putting. While long-term success in Strokes Gained: Putting can be considered, lean more on 3-Putt Avoidance. Somewhat correspondingly, Bogey Avoidance needs to be factored in to help target those best-suited at avoiding trouble and large scores.
Strokes Gained: Around-the-Green and Scrambling are of similar importance. SG: Approach, SG: Off-the-Tee, and SG: Tee-to-Green are less important here than at most courses but can all be considered to lesser degrees. Par 4 Efficiency: 450-500 Yards helps to find those who can make rare birdies at the most common and most difficult holes at ANGC.
Additionally, the extensive history of Augusta National has created many other betting trends unavailable at other major venues. All of those can be seen in our 2020 Masters Betting Guide at TheLines, but here are a few of the highlights:
- No one has won the Masters in their first appearance since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979. He was the first since Horton Smith and Gene Sarazen did so in the first two runnings of the tournament.
- There hasn’t been a back-to-back winner since Tiger won his second and third green jackets in 2001 and 2002.
- Eleven of the last 13 champions were inside the top 30 of the OWGR at the time.
- Eleven of the last 12 winners had previously finished inside the top 30 at the Masters.
- The 95-man field includes six amateurs and 10 players who’ve qualified solely on the merit of being a past champion here.
Masters lineup-building strategies
The Masters already consists of the smallest field of any of the four majors and as noted above, up to an additional 16 competitors can also be stricken from consideration for DFS lineups. The biggest key then for your 6-man DraftKings lineup is the finishing position bonus. At each price tier, you want to concentrate on players who have realistic shots of winning, or finishing in the top 5 or top 10.
Next, we’re looking for scorers and those who can avoid bogeys while trying to hit on the other main DFS scoring bonuses. Each bogey is just negative-0.5 points, but each birdie is plus-3; A Bogey Free Round is a modest plus-3, and an eagle is plus-8. Target risk-takers at the lower end of the salary spectrum to maximize the value of each birdie or eagle.
Finally, we want to avoid the highest-owned golfers. Ownership congregates on the most popular names in major fields, and especially at the Masters. Pivot when possible to the less popular of two similarly-priced golfers. Sites like FanShare Sports are important tools to help separate from the competition, especially in bigger DFS tournaments. We all want the low-owned sleeper who grabs a top-10 finish, but it’s more important to avoid a popular play that misses the cut.
2020 Masters DFS picks
Top Tier: $11.2K – $9K
Bryson DeChambeau $11,200
DeChambeau has been the story of the PGA Tour since the mid-June restart at the Charles Schwab Challenge. His incredible body transformation and increased swing speed paid off with a six-stroke victory at the US Open for his first major. He followed that up with a T-8 at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open three weeks later and has been off of tournament play ever since.
The 27-year-old tied for 29th last year following a T-38 in his 2018 debut as a professional. He was the low amateur in 2016 while tying for 21st. DeChambeau averaged 1.66 total strokes gained per round last season, according to Data Golf, with 0.74 of those coming on the greens. He has averaged 4.03 strokes gained on the field through his first eight rounds of the 2020-21 season.
Brooks Koepka $9,700
Koepka’s one of the top names in the field at this week’s Houston Open after playing just one event since mid-August. He finished T-28 at The CJ Cup after taking a prolonged break from tournament play to rest nagging injuries. His final preparation comes at a course he helped redesign in Houston. The four-time major champ has slipped to 12th in the OWGR after finishing the 2019 calendar year in the top spot.
He has improved on his finishing position each time he has played the Masters, leading to a T-2 last year. His ownership will be much lower than usual for a major, especially while priced below new world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, and above recent marquee winners in Patrick Cantlay and Morikawa.
Tyrrell Hatton $9,400
Hatton, 29, has played the best golf of his career in 2020. He has a victory on both the PGA Tour and European Tour, with another Euro win late in 2019. His resume for the calendar year also includes two third-place finishes in North America, with another three top 10s.
Hatton was also fifth on Tour in 3-Putt Avoidance, 19th in Bogey Avoidance, and 13th in Par 4 Efficiency: 450-500 Yards last season. He has played the Masters three times with a top finish of T-44 in 2018, but he has five other top 10s in majors since 2016.
Webb Simpson $9,300
Simpson’s the statistical darling coming into the Masters to go with his two victories and five other top 10s this year. He was 13th on Tour in SG: Putting, seventh in 3-Putt Avoidance, first in Bogey Avoidance, 12th in Scrambling, and first in Par 4 Efficiency. He has won just one major in his career – the 2012 US Open – but his T-5 in Augusta last year was his best finish and his fourth top 30 here in the last five years.
Mid Tier: $8.9K – $7K
Tony Finau $8,800
Take advantage of Finau’s negative public perception due to his struggles to close out victories on Sundays get a top finish at a discounted price. He tied for fifth here last year following a T-10 in his 2018 debut. He ranks 17th in the OWGR with a second, third, and six other top 10s in 2020, including both the PGA Championship and US Open.
Through a modest eight rounds at ANGC, he’s second with an average of 2.98 strokes gained per round. His top rank in a key stat from last year was 10th in Par 4 Efficiency, but he has averaged 2.55 total strokes gained per round through his first two events of 2020.
Jason Day $8,400
A former world No. 1, Day comes into the 2020 Masters at No. 43. This despite playing some of his best golf of the last two years with five top 10s through just 18 events in 2020. He tied for fourth at the PGA Championship to cap a stretch of four straight top-10 finishes this summer. He has four previous top 10s at the Masters, including a T-5 last year.
Matt Kuchar $7,200
Kuchar is 28th by the OWGR following a largely disappointing stretch of play since the restart. He won the Asian Tour’s SMBC Singapore Open in January and tied for second at the PGA Tour’s Genesis Open before play was paused due to the pandemic. Still, he tied for sixth last season in SG: Putting and was second in 3-Putt Avoidance. He hasn’t missed the cut in 10 appearances since 2002, and he has four top-10 showings and a T-12 last year.
Value Tier: $6.9K and Lower
Si Woo Kim $6,800
Kim has just two PGA Tour wins, but one of those was the 2017 Players Championship. He has finished inside the top 25 at the Masters each of the last two years with a top result of T-21 last year. He tied for third in a modest field at the Wyndham Championship this year and more recently tied for eighth at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. The best parts of his game are his play around the greens and his par 4 scoring.
Christiaan Bezuidenhout $6,600
The 58th-ranked golfer in the world is our first of two debut invitees. His 2020 is highlighted by a win at the Sunshine Tour’s Dimension Data Pro-Am. He was also the runner-up at the more prestigious European Tour’s Dubai Desert Classic in a field that included DeChambeau (T-8). He excels on and around the greens and will lean on those strengths without the pressures of patrons.
Victor Perez $6,500
Like Bezuidenhout, Perez makes his Augusta National debut and will benefit from the unprecedented circumstances. The 28-year-old moved from 45th to 36th in the OWGR this year with runner-up finishes at the European Tour’s BMW PGA Championship and Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. He played in both the PGA Championship and US Open with a T-22 and a missed cut, respectively.