Didn’t we just do this a few months ago? Trust me, I’m not complaining about seeing Augusta National more than once in a 12-month period. In my mind, The Masters is the Super Bowl of the PGA Tour season, and as Jim Nantz likes to say, “it’s a tradition unlike any other.” It also offers some of the most competitive and fun DFS golf opportunities you’ll find all year.
You can basically ignore all of the amateurs and the old timers playing this weekend. It’s all about the 50 players who have a legitimate chance to win this weekend. My job is to provide you with the golfers I feel have the best combination of price, ownership, and level of play to help you win come Sunday. It is always extremely difficult to narrow down my DFS Playbook to these select few, especially from the top tier. I wouldn’t fault you if you played anyone priced $9,000 and up.
I say this every time the Masters rolls around, but it truly is a singular event that every fan of the sport looks forward to. Growing up, there were few things I enjoyed more than watching Sunday at Augusta with my dad. The Masters also officially signifies the start of the golf season, which means dusting off the old clubs and getting out to the driving range.
PGA DFS strategy for Masters 2021
When you talk about Augusta National, I don’t really need to go into much detail because it’s one of the most well-known courses in the world. It is a par 72 that measures out to between 7,400 and 7,500 yards depending on the daily setup. This course is very difficult and true test of a golfer’s game. There are very long par 4s and reachable par 5s. The greens are always the fastest on tour and hard for these players to stick because of the shave edges. Since the course was lengthened in 2010, we’ve seen a majority of 300-yard bombers winning or finishing in the top 10, but there are exceptions to every rule, namely Charl Schwartzel, Danny Willett, Jordan Spieth, and Patrick Reed. When looking over the course history, good “Greens in regulation” numbers have been found to be very beneficial to success at Augusta.
Augusta National will always be known as a second-shot course. That means our favorite stat comes back into play this weekend: “Strokes Gained: Approach.” That means targeting great long iron players, aka ball strikers. Tiger Woods might be the most outstanding iron player ever, and that’s why he has five green jackets hanging in his closet. It’s the only way to score on this course, putting yourself in as many birdie-making opportunities as possible. Tiger was also the best scrambler in the history of the game, which puts that into my key stats of the week.
Course history is vitally important when it comes to the Masters, even if it is just one previous trip like we saw with Danny Willett and Jordan Spieth over the past few years. No player has won at Augusta on their first attempt since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979. When you look at the top-20 leaderboard from back in November, you’ll see a lot of players with experience. Thaht said, we did also see a few first-timers, such as Sungjae Im, C.T. Pan, and Cameron Champ slip into the mix.
I will once again not put Bryson DeChambeau into my Playbook. I know all about his skills and success recently, but he will attempt to overpower Augusta and I just don’t think that can happen. He may have a good round or two, but I don’t think he can do it for four days. Feel free to roster him as much as you would like, I’ll have limited shares personally — and you can call me an Augusta purest — but I want to see it work before I believe.
Finally, the weather always plays a factor at Augusta because it is known for changing on a whim. We are seeing rain in the forecast on Friday and Saturday. The temperatures will be in the high 70s and low 80s with humidity levels about 50 percent throughout the weekend.
Strokes Gained: Approach
Strokes Gained: Putting
Greens in Regulation
Par 5 Birdie or Better
ONE-AND-DONE PICK: Jordan Spieth (If you are afraid of his ownership in your league, I’d also recommend Patrick Cantlay)
Masters DFS picks
Dustin Johnson: I have been going back and forth on this all week. He did not look great in his last three starts at the WGC-Workday, The Players, or the WGC-Match Play, then chose not to play at the Valero. I think the Valero skip was more for him to get himself right before the Masters. I think the reigning champ will get overlooked due to those concerns, but I’m going to play him, especially with as much value as there is in this field. I don’t have to give you the stats for you to know how good he is.
Jordan Spieth: What can I say about Spieth? He finally made me a believer — and I think a lot of other people, too. It’s been so hard for me to figure out what his ownership level will be this weekend. My first thought since he’s coming off of a win and such a great start to the season (five top-10 finishes in his past seven starts) is that his ownership will be through the roof. But then there might be many thinking that he put all that effort into winning last week, so he might be tired like what happened to Scottie Scheffler last weekend. I’m going to play him because even if he is highly owned, I’ll make sure to get some lower owned guys to differenetiate. The stats speak for themselves this season, as he ranks 17th in “Strokes Gained: Around the Green,” “23rd in Strokes Gained: Approach,” and 35th in “Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green.”
Matthew Fitzpatrick: Fitzpatrick has had a fantastic start to the 2021 season. Since the Genesis Open in mid-February, he’s finished fifth, 11th, 10th, ninth, and 18th. This will be his six trip to Augusta, and he has yet to miss the cut in his five trips prior. He scored a top-10 finish in his first trip the Masters back in 2016, but he has only one top-25 finish since. He’s 24th in “Strokes Gained: Off The Tee,” “25th in Strokes Gained: Putting,” 27th in “Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green,” and 38th in “Strokes Gained: Around the Green.” That makes for a mean combination at Augusta National.
Si Woo Kim: Kim always makes for a fantastic tournament play because of his boom-or-bust nature. It has been more of the same this season with a win at the American Express and a missed cut in three of his next four starts. He then finished ninth at The Players and 23rd at the Valero last week. In his past three appearances at the Masters, he has two top-25 finishes. I can’t believe he’s still just 25. He currently ranks 22nd in “Strokes Gained: Around the Green,” 38th in “Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green,” and 37th in “Strokes Gained: Total.” He is only a GPP play for me but a darn good one.
Will Zalatoris: Zalatoris will be highly owned this week, I’m telling you right now. Everyone has noticed what he’s done in such a short time on the PGA Tour, and his price tag is amazing for his skill level. He has made a grand total of 14 starts of the PGA Tour since his debut at the U.S. Open. He only has one missed cut and two finishes higher than 30th. The rest of his finishes include four top 10s, three top 20s, and another three top 30s in his short pro career. The dude finished sixth in his first major start. This 24-year-old Wake Forest alum ranks fourth in “Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green,” fifth in “Strokes Gained: Approach,” and 26th in “Strokes Gained: Off-The-Tee.” There is nothing this kid can’t do on the golf course.
Brian Harman: This Georgia boy knows all too well the importance and meaning of winning the Masters. Harman has not missed a cut in 2021, posting three top-10 finishes. That includes top-five finishes his past two outings (third at The Players and fifth at the WGC-Match Play). When you look over the trends, players who have success leading into Masters have usually fared better. He is also one of the better putters on the PGA Tour, ranking 21st in “Strokes Gained: Putting,” and we all know the importance of that skill at Augusta. I like this Goergia Bulldog to garner attention throughout the weekend.