The greatest week in golf is upon us, so I though we'd get a little ahead of ourselves & do a quick dive into what we're looking at.
I'd like to start with a side rant though, is it just me or is the Butler cabin green jacket exchange/handshakes the most painfully awkward thing in sports? The handshakes are always awkward & forced, the winning golfer is jacked with adrenaline & just wants to high five the world, but then has to go sit in grandma's (dead silent) basement while we interview the low amateur that no one cares about....and the interaction of last years winner putting on the jacket to this years winner with no fans around is just so so painful to watch. My god just watch this & if you can look me in the eyes & tell me you didn't cringe then your a cyborg: Bubba leaves Billy Paine hanging or this Spieth just being sad as shit after he handed Willet a Masters Victory. The tradition of someone putting the green jacket on the winner is cool, but if were being honest it's really just straight up mean to make last years winner do it. Every other thing about the Masters is perfect, is this really the best we can do guys??? Never forget......(look at Nantz's face....looks like he is watching a champion horse with a broken leg being put down)
Masters DFS/Betting Insights....We Dug Deep on Some of These Boys!
I probably enjoy being able to bet on really good golfers at long odds in majors more than DFS itself. Two years ago Danny Willet was playing some really good golf across the pond leading up to the Masters, & he was generally about 100/1 before the tournament began. Same could be said for Zach Johnson in a weird weather year. Trevor Immelman, Angel Cabrera, & ole Charl could have been had at 65/1 in 2011.....so long shots have had a nice history at the Masters.
A couple things that backtest well for Masters success:
Driving Distance-the course yardage isnt 'that' long, in fact the Masters is generally around the 20th longest course on the season, but it plays much longer with many elevated greens, & a need to bring your approach shots in high & soft in order to land them on the right quadrant of the greens. As many players & caddies have told us, there are plenty of hole locations where a missed GIR is much better than a GIR hit in the wrong place. For example on #4, a long par 3 with a huge false front on the left & bunker protecting the front right, if the pin is in the back right...most players would rather miss short in the bunker than hit the false front & watch your ball roll back to the base of the green making for a difficult 3! putt.
GIR/Approach- So this is funny because we just talked about how it doesn't matter on a lot of holes, but we have a good idea as to why this backtests so well. It would make sense that if your good at hitting lots of greens, then your probably MORE able to place the ball in the right quadrants of the greens at Augusta.
Recent Form- just for fun I went back & looked at the last 10 Masters champs form from the beginning of the calendar year they won in, to the Masters. Below is the results:
2007 Zach Johnson-45, W/D, 33, 33, 14, 42, 9, Win Masters
2008 Trevor Immelman- Cut, Cut, T17, Cut, T65, T48, T40, T2*, Cut, Win Masters
2009 Angel Cabrera- Cut, T13, T33, T32, Cut, Cut, Win Masters
2010 Phil Mickelson- 19, T45, T8, T24, T14, T30, T35, Win Masters
2011 Charl- 4*, Win*, 8* (those 3 were SA tour), 14, 24, 47, 30, Win Masters
2012 Bubba- 18, 13, 5, 13, 2, 4, Win Masters
2013 Adam Scott- T10, T33, T3, T30, T6*, Win Masters
2014 Bubba- T23, T2, 1, T9, T2, W/D, Win Masters
2015 Spieth- T7, Cut, T7, T4, T17, 1, 2, 2, Win Masters
2016 Willet- 54, 1, 45, 3, 22, 22, Win Masters
2017 Sergio- 11, 1, 49, 14, 12, Win Masters
*indicates non PGA Tour event
So its really hard to say that you HAVE to be in good form to win the Masters, because clearly you don't. But it does look like you need to at least be in OK form, with Immelman & Cabrera being exceptions as they were in straight up shit form. On the other hand though, dating back to Phil in 2010, there is only one missed cut in the weeks leading up to the Masters victories for the last 8 winners.
Par 3 & 4 scoring- At first glance this also seems counterintuitive because everyone always talks about the par 5's, and while you certainly have to score on the par 5's to even make the cut, EVERYONE scores on the par 5's because they are all gettable & as long as you have slightly above average distance you can go for all of them in two. To drive the point home, the 4 par 5's were the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, & 4th easiest holes relative to par last year AND are the only 4 holes on the course that played UNDER par. So now it makes sense why these (3's & 4's) would pop more, especially the par 3's!
Putting-everyone also talks about the greens, and they are def tricky...you genuinely can not appreciate just how much slope is in some of the greens unless you are standing next to them. This is really where the experience can come into play, and why first timers generally do struggle here. We've had several of our caddie's playing this week tell us that you literally don't read a lot of the putts, you have to play them from memory. Which might explain why you DON'T have to be an elite putter to win. In fact since 2003, only three Masters champions were what I would classify as 'elite' putters at the time of their win (gaining at least .5 strokes per round putting), AND several others are what I would consider downright bad putters. Immelman was losing about .5 strokes per round putting when he won the Masters which would make him one of the worst putters on tour at the time. Now in saying this, there is data that suggests that if your in 'good putting form' leading up to the Masters that 'should' boost your performance. On the flip side, since the dawn of DFS golf (2014), there have really only been 3 (that I could find) guys that were averaging 30 putts per round or more & had a good showing (Rose 15', Westwood 16', Chappell 17').
Above is a great example of how Augusta National can demand such precision with your iron play even with a very large green. This is #14, the only hole on the course without a bunker. It's a UUGE green & fairly easy to hit, but with this hole location you can see your landing area is basically where I've circled in red. Anything short roles all the way back in the fairway, left is a snaking double breaker down hill, carry it 5 paces over the flag & it rolls off the back, as does a miss to the right. So basically your working with a 20 X 20 green in this example, if that....easy right? Again this is why I think GIR/Approach stats are so important here & why you don't need to be an elite putter to do well...put it on the right part of the green, & Augusta will reward you.
Random Masters Facts that may or may not apply to DFS/betting
1. Every Masters champion since 2009 has scored a cumulative total of 1 over or better on the par 3's, with 6 of those 9 past champions being under par on the par 3's for the week.
2. Danny Willet is the only Masters champion that I could find in recent history (I stopped looking past 1998) that did not play the par 5's in at least 3 under par (he was even on the par 5's!)
3. There have only been 4 Masters champions in said period that played the par 4's over par....so basically 85% plus of the last 20 champions have been under par on the par 4's.
4. Fun trivia fact, who holds the Masters record for most birdies in one round??? Answer: Anthony Kim w/ 11 in 2009....lets all pour one out for our homie Kim...he's the next great comeback story now that we got Tiger back!
5. If you can just PAR holes 1, 11, 18 (all par 4's) then you've historically gained a FULL shot on the field.
6. The par 4 scoring average YTD leaders is basically the world golf rankings...but there are a couple guys that stick out: Harman, Chappell, Steele, ZJ, Webb, Perez, Cam Smith all rank in the top 20 on tour.
7. Average number of attempts before someone breaks thru for their first Masters Victory? Six
8. It's well known that there has only been one real first timer to win the Masters, but recently their has been 3, 2nd timers to win (Charl, Spieth, Willet)
9. There is a 'secret service' certified house on the grounds of Augusta. Speaking of which, something that doesn't really get talked about but is absolutely nuts.....when Reagan was playing out at Augusta one day, a guy crashed through the gates & took hostages in the pro shop!
10. Bobby Jones, god bless him, had originally planned a 19th hole (short par 3), the area between the 18th green & the clubhouse that was to act as the 'bet settling' hole....a man after my own heart!
Some Longshot Values
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Kevin Chappell 125/1- Man I hate this guys face and his stupid flatbill hats.....but his tee to green game right now is elite, if he can just get a couple putts to drop I LOVE this price on him, not to mention he was 8th last year!
Jimmy Walker-175/1-He's shown signs of life, and has never missed a cut here...great price for a major champ that has the distance & putting to get around Augusta
Patrick Cantlay-80/1-He's already a world class golfer, just doesn't have the trophy case yet
Oost-60/1-Has really played well to start the year, has the history, has the game, great price
Fleetwood-45/1- Top 10 golfer in the world at a great price
Elite guys with a little meat on the bone- Rahm, Casey, Rickie are all about 20-25/1, & I like their price much better than the other guys up top.
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If your gonna be in Augusta, holla
Pat, David, & myself will all be there for the duration, we'd love to met up with anyone & have a cold beverage either on the grounds or around Washington Rd. @ us....@Tourjunkies or @TRUmav