PGA DFS Masters Stats Overview: Course Adjustments, GPP Picks and Values
It’s been almost nine months since we’ve had a major golf championship. After a busy season with six major tournaments played in 2021, these nine months have felt like a lifetime.
We return to Augusta National to play the Masters with unprecedented excitement. The first item that needs to be mentioned is the surprise inclusion of Tiger Woods in the field. Just a few weeks ago, most people would have thought the odds of the 15-time major champion playing this week would be slim to none. It will be exciting to see what Tiger can do on a course he loves despite not having played professional golf in over a year.
Another interesting factor this year is the fact that some changes have been made to the course for the 2022 Masters. One of the biggest changes has been made to the 11th hole. The 11th tee was moved back and left about 15 yards. The hole is now 520 yards, which is longer than the par-5 13th.
The par-5 15th hole has also been changed. A new tee box has been added to extend the length of the hole to 550 yards.
Augusta National is now a 7,510-yard par 72 with lightning-fast bentgrass greens. The primary defenses of the course are the contoured greens, swirling crosswinds, course topography that creates uneven landforms, and small landing areas that golfers will need to reach to avoid tight runoff areas around the greens.
For GPP contests on DraftKings, I’ll break down key stats (last 24 rounds) and select golfers from different price points to provide flexibility to a DFS lineup.
And if you missed it, we’ve added two new metrics to our models – Perfect% and SimLeverage. You can find an explainer on these measures here.
The Cliff Notes version is that you can use SimLeverage to quickly find leveraged games in tournaments, while Perfect% is great for finding the best prized games for cash games.
For large field tournaments, you can use our Lineup Optimizer to effortlessly create up to 150 lineups, or use our Lineup Builder if you like to create your lineups by hand.
This analysis may refer to Strokes Gained, a set of proprietary metrics generated by the PGA TOUR using millions of data points to calculate the average number of shots it takes a player to put the ball in the hole from all distances and locations.
Strokes Gained is now available in FantasyLabs PGA models.
Strokes won: Approach
Approach is historically the most important statistic at Augusta National. Sloping and fast greens and runoff areas create small landing spots that can be difficult to reach.
Over the past six years, golfers who have led the pack in Strokes Gained: Approach for the week have finished first, first, second, third, first and first. Distance helps, but Augusta National is a secondary golf course.
- High-end target: Victor Hovland — $10,100 (2nd SG: Approach)
- Average target: Russell Henley— $7,800 (3rd SG: Approach)
- Value objective: Erik van Rooyen— $6,700 (10th SG: Approach)
More than any other TOUR course, knowing your way around Augusta National is crucial. Only one player has won the Masters on his first try – Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979. Meanwhile, there are 17 golfers in history who have multiple green jackets.
For the most part, the Masters champion has shown good form at Augusta in the past.
- High-end target: Jon Rahm — $10,800 (2nd SG: Total at Augusta National)
- Average target: Justin Rose– $7,500 (4th SG: Total at Augusta National)
- Value objective: Lee Westwood – $6,900 (15th SG: Total at Augusta National)
Hits gained: By 4
Since many players can hit par 5 in Augusta in two, the par 4 score becomes more important. The golfer who splits on the par 4 will be able to gain ground on the course.
- High-end target: Justin Thomas— $10,300 (1st hits won: Par 4)
- Average target: Louis Oosthuizen— $8,900 (8th strokes won: Par 4)
- Value objective: Brian Harman— $6,800 (3rd strokes won: Par 4)
Strokes won: Around the green
Golfers with a solid short game tend to do well at Augusta National. Clearing areas are dangerous and players will often struggle to get up and down.
The majority of players who have won at Augusta National have an excellent short game and have shown a consistent ability to get up and down tough spots.
- High-end target: Rory McIlroy— $10,000 (5th strokes won: around the green)
- Average target: Louis Oosthuizen— $8,900 (6th strokes won: around the green)
- Value objective: List of Luke— $7,000 (3rd strokes won: around the green)
Hits won: Putting Bentgrass/Lightning
I expect the greens to be faster in the spring than they were in the fall. The USGA calculates that, on average, these are the fastest greens in the country. Three-putting is fairly common in Augusta, and golfers need to be able to tackle the speed of the greens with effective lag putting.
- High-end target: Cameron Smith – $9,900 (7th hits won: Putting Bentgrass/Lightning)
- Average target: Justin Rose– $7,500 (6th hits won: Putting Bentgrass/Lightning)
- Value objective: Kevin Kisner – $6,800 (12th hits won: Putting Bentgrass/Lightning)