This article is part of our FanDuel PGA series.
Augusta National Golf Club (7,475 yards, par-72)
$1,980,000 and 600 FedEx Cup points to the winner
Not a blade of grass will be out of place at the majestic Augusta National Golf Club come Thursday morning when Jim Nantz welcomes us to a tradition unlike any other, the Masters Tournament. The game of golf's four-day Super Bowl lends no shortage of goosebumps, fist pumps or deafening crowd roars as an exclusive field of 87 entrants embark on a journey for the coveted green jacket and a lifetime of Masters glory. Storylines are abundant with Augusta icons such as Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson back in the mix while a robust Rory McIlroy attempts to complete the Career Grand Slam. Can a disoriented Jordan Spieth find his way at a venue that has delivered him so much success? Parity is certain with zero past champions among the top-10 in the current Official World Golf Ranking. As for the weather, expect scoring conditions to be near their best during Round 1 before scattered thunderstorms and steady winds reaching 15 miles per hour appear in eastern Georgia throughout the weekend.
Recent Past Champions
2018 - Patrick Reed
2017 - Sergio Garcia
2016 - Danny Willett
2015 - Jordan Spieth
2014 - Bubba Watson
2013 - Adam Scott
2012 - Bubba Watson
2011 - Charl Schwartzel
2010 - Phil Mickelson
Key Stats to Victory
Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green
Annually ceding some of the lowest rates of GIR you'll find on the PGA Tour, hitting greens at Augusta National is all the rage. Severe undulation and lightning-quick greens make scrambling that much more difficult, which is why we often see elite GIR percentages among past champions at the Masters. Augusta is known for its length as more than half of the holes measure over 450 yards, but driving distance will play an even heftier role with rain softening the course throughout the week while fairways remain easier to hit. Power off the tee also translates to racking up scoring opportunities on Augusta's manageable par-5s, which must be taken advantage of in order to reach the podium. The notion that course history doesn't matter has controversially picked up steam around the DFS community, but there's no doubt Masters experience is substantial.
FanDuel Value Picks
Rory McIlroy, $12,100 - The last time McIlroy finished outside of the top-10 in an event on American soil? You'd have to look all the way back at the Dell Technologies Championship during the first week of September when he placed T12. He jumps off the charts statistically this week and leads the current Masters field in proximity, SG: Tee-to-Green and driving distance over his last 12 rounds. The Northern Irishman has also notched a top-10 result in five consecutive trips to Augusta.
Justin Rose, $11,800 - The World No. 1 hasn't finished outside of the top-25 at the Masters since 2008, a stretch that's been highlighted by a playoff loss in 2017 along with a share for runner-up honors in 2015 as well. He ranks first in three-putt avoidance on bentgrass greens over his last 24 rounds, but also stands third in both par-breaker percentage and bogey avoidance over his past 12. Rose fosters additional appeal based on the projection he'll be owned less than McIlroy and Dustin Johnson at the top of the board as well.
Tiger Woods, $11,100 - Woods is nowhere near the player he was when he won four green jackets from 1997 to 2005, but the 43-year-old proved he can once again outlast tough competition at the TOUR Championship and he's finished no worse than T30 in nine straight starts. Over his last 24 rounds, Tiger ranks top-8 in SG: Tee-to-Green, SG: Approach and SG: Around-the-Green. Reducing the sample size to his past 12 rounds, he's third in GIR and sixth in fairways hit.
Francesco Molinari, $10,900 - Molinari's track record at Augusta is uninspiring with zero top-15s in seven attempts, but the reigning Open champion has become a force to be reckoned with and that Masters experience will pair nicely with his dazzling form. Not only did the Italian come out on top at the Arnold Palmer Invitational a month ago, he also advanced to the semifinals at the WGC-Dell Technologies Championship and won the third-place match. Over his last 12 rounds in a stroke-play setting, he ranks fifth in SG: Putting, second in sand saves and eighth in scrambling as his short game has taken major strides.
Longer Shots Worth a Risk
Adam Scott, $10,100 - The 2013 Masters champion seems to be flying a bit under the radar with just three starts since mid-February's Genesis Open, but Scott most recently posted a T12 at the PLAYERS where he scored a 70 or better in all four rounds and ranked seventh in scrambling. Heading into his 18th showing at Augusta National, Scott is third in par-5 scoring and seventh in SG: Total over his last 24 rounds.
Matt Kuchar, $9,700 - Kuchar is playing the best golf of his career at 40 years old, having already picked up wins at the Mayakoba Golf Classic and Sony Open to begin the season as he sits atop the FedExCup standings. In recent weeks he took second at the WGC Match Play and followed that up with a T7 at the Valero Texas Open, finishing top-3 among the field in SG: Approach and GIR percentage. He's been dialed in with the irons, leading this week's field in proximity from 175-200 yards over his last 12 rounds.
Matt Wallace, $9,000 - Wallace may not be a threat to win as a first-timer at Augusta National, but the Englishman is No. 36 in the OWGR for a reason and he added a T6 at the API in mid-March. Wallace is ninth in GIR over his last 12 rounds, but nobody has been better in terms of scrambling during that span. He'll be a candidate for significantly low ownership as well, given the casual gamer might not lean toward an international player with no profile picture on FanDuel as silly as that sounds.
Charley Hoffman, $8,500 - A perennial favorite to post an exceptional first-round score at the Masters before faltering throughout his final 54 holes, Hoffman's position after Round 1 has been 4-1-13-2 in his last four Augusta appearances. Could this be the year he finally extends that early-round magic into the weekend? The 42-year-old is coming off a solo-second at the Valero Texas Open, where he played his final 36 holes in a whopping 13-under-par to ultimately finish the week with 21 par-breakers. Hoffman also ranked third in both SG: Tee-to-Green and scrambling at TPC San Antonio.
Strategy Tips for this week (based on 60k standard salary cap)
Let the flocks of casual gamers or newbies make the mistakes this week as an abundance of inexperienced lineup builders understandably try PGA DFS during the biggest event of the year. Getting 6-of-6 golfers through the 36-hole cut won't even guarantee a payout in many formats, so it's key to stray from unnecessary risks such as ancient past champions. One of my fades this week will be Kevin Kisner at the intriguing price of $8,700, coming off a win at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship. Augusta National is already too long for his liking, but the rain and soft conditions will make him even more uncomfortable. Over his last 50 rounds in a stroke-play format, Kisner ranks outside of the top-50 among this week's field in driving distance and GIR.