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The Approach: PGA DFS Picks Based off Awesemo’s Rankings for The Masters

Geoff Ulrich

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The Masters DraftKings & FanDuel Daily Fantasy Golf Picks this week for PGA DFS lineups based on Awesemo's expert ownership projections and point projections with Bryson DeChambeau

The Masters is the first major championship of the year and marks one of the best times to be a daily fantasy golf player. There are currently three Milly Maker tournaments in the DraftKings lobby, along with a bunch of other large tournaments across the industry, so grab an advantage this week with Awesemo’s expert stats and tools to make the best daily fantasy golf picks for DraftKings and FanDuel. The event itself starts on Thursday, and with so much on the line, it’s worth checking out the tee times and weather just in case a wave split develops. As of now the forecast doesn’t look too crazy, although the wind on Thursday afternoon could get to 10-plus mph, so keep an eye on that.

The venue this year is also something to dive into. Given the dry spring and a mandate from the members to make the course play tougher than it did last November, expect the par-72, 7,475-yard Augusta National to yield fewer birdies this time around. Dustin Johnson won in 2020 here while gaining 19 strokes tee to green and hitting an insane 83.3% of the greens. Those figures will likely be unachievable this week if the greens are firmer. Fairways will still be easy to hit, as they are almost every year, but expect scrambling and three-putt percentages to be much worse than they were in November too. Ball striking will obviously be key — as it is every year here — but a bigger emphasis on all-around play may be necessary this time around given the change in conditions.

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Augusta National Stats and Info

  • Scrambling percentages for the field are typically 5 to 7% lower than the PGA Tour average here every season; three-putt percentages are also much higher than normal — good around-the-green games and three-putt avoidance can be things to key on here.
  • Expect greens-in-regulation rates to be much lower than they were in November, putting a bigger emphasis on around-the-green play.
  • The scoring holes should still allow lots of birdies (even if conditions are tougher), but there may be a bigger emphasis on bogey avoidance this week. Johnson played the par 4’s and 3’s in 9 under par last year, and that seems unlikely to be repeated. Look for players trending well in birdie rates, but also bogey avoidance.

Putting Splits

The greens at Austin Country Club are TifEagle bentgrass. Bentgrass tends to be more dormant here this time of year, but we’ll still be using bentgrass putting splits for our guide. Here’s a more general look at some of the best and worst bentgrass putters in the field, relative to their strokes gained on other surfaces. Use caution with these in your fantasy golf picks; they aren’t the be-all, end-all, but they make for a nice tiebreaker.

Positive Bentgrass Putting Splits, Last 50 Rounds

1. Justin Rose: +30 strokes on bentgrass, +2 on all other surfaces
2. Patrick Cantlay: +31 on bentgrass, +7 on all other surfaces
3. Kevin Na: +34 on bentgrass, +18 on all other surfaces
*+ equals total strokes gained | – equals strokes lost

Negative Bentgrass Putting Splits, Last 50 Rounds

1. Louis Oosthuizen: -2 on bentgrass, +41 on all other surfaces
2. Sungjae Im: +1 on bentgrass, +38 on all other surfaces
3. Matt Kuchar: +6 on bentgrass, +26 on all other surfaces


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Daily Fantasy Golf Picks for DraftKings & FanDuel

Bryson DeChambeau: Grades: A Values: C, B

Despite bowing out early at the Match Play event, DeChambeau still grades out as one of the key players for the week in the Awesemo model. In fact, he carries the highest point projection in the entire field this week, surpassing even Johnson, who takes second place in that regard for the first time in quite a while. DeChambeau getting a bump in the model really shouldn’t come as that big a surprise, though. Over the last couple of months, he has gained big finishes at two events and is averaging around 103.5 DraftKings points over his last three stroke-play events.

From a stats perspective, DeChambeau also seems to be peaking at just the right time. He has gained 4.2 and 5.1 strokes on his approaches over his last two starts and is also cooking with his scoring clubs, having gained over 1.5 strokes putting and around the greens over those last two starts as well. Seeing him dominate at multiple courses in Florida, where his driver was often neutered by water, is also a strong indicator his confidence is quite high. He has yet to finish better than 21st at The Masters (on debut in 2016) but did shoot 66 here on Thursday in 2019 and made 18 birdies and an eagle last fall. While the projections among the top few are admittedly pretty tight, DeChambeau grades out with both the best points projection and win percentage, making him the clear top dog this week on Awesemo.

The Stats:

  • Ranks fifth in strokes gained tee to green and fourth in strokes gained putting over the last 24 rounds
  • Ranks fifth in birdies or better and 10th in bogey avoidance over the last 24 rounds

Projected PGA DFS ownership: DraftKings: 22.5% | FanDuel: 25.8%

Daniel Berger: Grades: B, Values: B,A

Berger seems to be getting little respect this week from the daily fantasy golf sites and sportsbooks. He is in possession of two wins since the restart last June and is one of only seven players in the field this week to grab multiple wins since that point in time. Even though he dealt with an apparent rib injury the week of The Players, Berger still managed to keep his game rolling, as he finished ninth and gained 9.2 strokes tee to green for the week. A week off afterwards (he skipped the Honda) led to the Match Play, where he dusted his pod easily. He has four top-10 finishes over his last six starts and gets to play at The Masters for the first time since 2018, a venue where he finished 10th on debut in 2016.

While he’s a Florida-based player, Berger hasn’t had any issue adapting to Augusta’s hilly terrain and hasn’t missed a cut here in three attempts. As one might expect for a player who has been piling up top finishes over the past six months, Berger ranks out well in the model this week, as he’s sixth in points projection on DraftKings — despite being just the 18th-most expensive player there — and has the best value score of anyone over $8,000 on DraftKings by far. Berger is not a free spot, but he is a big gift at this price, one that should likely be rostered with impunity this week.

The Stats:

  • Fourteenth in strokes gained ball striking and 17th in strokes gained putting over the last 50 rounds
  • Ranks 12th in birdies or better over the last 24 rounds and 25th in bogies avoided
  • Has posted 80.0 or more DraftKings points in six of his last eight starts on the PGA

Projected PGA DFS ownership: DraftKings: 21.5%| FanDuel: 19.8%

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Low-Owned PGA DFS GPP Flier

Tommy Fleetwood

Fleetwood sits in a salary pocket on DraftKings, which seems to ensure he’ll go under-owned this week. He is more expensive than beloved veterans like Sergio Garcia and Paul Casey but is also barely cheaper than Matthew Fitzpatrick and Cameron Smith, who both possess better course history. Fleetwood did miss the cut at The Players as a semi-chalk play, so he’s also left a bad taste in some peoples’ mouths recently. He did bounce back quickly with a big finish at the WGC Match Play, though, where he reached the quarters, and he also posted a 10th at the Arnold Palmer Invitational just three starts ago.

While he didn’t contend here in November, the 19th-place finish did represent his second top-20 in three years at this event, and his approaches have been much improved over his last three starts. Despite the sub-par point projection, Fleetwood looks like player worth taking a chance on given the fact his ownership might end up at less than half of many of his counterparts at similar prices.

Projected PGA DFS ownership: DraftKings: 5.8% | FanDuel 5.2%

DraftKings Top Three Under Five

I am targeting three players here that I ultimately think will end up under (or close) to 5% ownership in bigger DraftKings GPPs. We’re searching for boom/bust players here with an almost 100% focus on upside.

Matt Wallace ($6,400)

Wallace feels like a player who might actually contend this week. He is severely underrated when he‘s in form and is well known for closing out events in Europe when he gets a sniff on the weekend. He gained 15.2 strokes tee to green last week and has played with some confidence this season — he also posted an 18th at the Arnold Palmer last month. His momentum is worth buying into.

Gary Woodland ($6,800)

It is surprising that there isn’t a little more hype over Woodland after he finished sixth last week. This is, after all, a former U.S. Open champion who is well known for his tee-to-green prowess when in form. He is trending around 2 to 3% ownership, though, as most people seem scared by a lackluster Augusta record. Woodland is due for another big finish in a big event and hit the ball quite well at the Valero.

Christiaan Bezuidenhout ($6,700)

Bezuidenhout is a wizard around and on the greens, and he has done well over his career at tough golf courses. He has made his last eight cuts in a row on the PGA Tour going back to the last Masters and makes for the perfect daily fantasy golf pick to pivot off the chalkier players in this range. If the course plays tougher this week, avoiding bigger numbers will be key, and Bezuidenhout does that better than just about anyone.


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