The wait is finally over as the 2022 Masters is set to begin. This is probably the most anticipated event on the PGA Tour calendar, and the potential return of Tiger Woods has interest at all-time-high levels. Who knows if Tiger is going to play, and for PGA One and Done picks this week, he really isn’t part of the conversation. There are plenty of high-level golfers vying for the green jacket and a ton of potential selections in the One and Done pool.
PGA One and Done Picks: The Masters 2022
What is a One and Done Pool?
A One and Done pool has some similarities with NFL survivor pools except that players cannot be eliminated early for making a poor pick. Each week players have to select one golfer, and their prize money earned that week becomes points for the player. The same player cannot be used twice, just like an NFL survivor contest, so strategy and knowing when to save a top-tier player can make the difference. At the end of the season, the team with the most cumulative earning earns a strong payoff. Pools will pay several spots, depending on it is size, similar to a GPP structure from DFS golf.
The Valero Texas Open One and Done Recap
The Valero set up for an off-the-wall winner, and J.J. Spaun at north of 100-1 was just that. It was a breakthrough win for a guy who has flashed upside at times on tour, and now he secures his card. For One and Done, it basically made the top prize a wash, as nobody was coming up with Spaun. That made the Valero not a huge market mover for people’s positions.
There were some signs of Tony Finau’s game trending in the right direction, and he made sense as a target last week. The result was a made cut, but the $55,000 earned after the 29th-place finish isn’t going to make a huge dent in the yearly total. It’s better than the missed cuts that littered the board among the high-end players, but overall it wasn’t a week to remember for Finau.
One of the major storylines emerging from Valero was the lack of form from the best players in the field. Bryson DeChambeau was bad, Hideki Matsuyama withdrew, and Rory McIlroy couldn’t get anything going en route to a bad missed cut. Not only is the $0 banked never a good thing, but McIlroy is unavailable for the rest of the season. His poor finish could make him a better target this week for the 2022 Masters as long as he is available, but there is also concern for how out of sync his game looked.
The 2022 Masters PGA One and Done Picks
One of the favorites for the Masters has to be Justin Thomas, who already has a major to his resume and can handle the challenges Augusta presents. His putter at times can be an issue, but his abilities around the green and pure upside keep him in the conversation. At the Players Championship, Thomas put together an incredible bogey-free round in the thick of the windy conditions, and with possible wind at Augusta, that is a strong data point. Everyone is likely to burn a top-end player this week, and Thomas checks a bunch of boxes.
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Obviously the “will McIlroy ever win a green jacket” pressure increases every year, and this week will be no different. McIlroy is just missing the Masters for the career grand slam, and given how well his game suits this course, it feels like just a matter of time. However, that was the case five-plus years ago, and coming off a missed cut at Valero is a concern. McIlroy’s strokes gained metrics were a mess, shockingly losing off the tee. When he is at his best, it’s his off-tee game leading the way, and he should be able to attack these par 5’s if he can keep it in the fairway. Coming off last week, the only thing that changes is the risk tolerance; the floor may be lower, but the ceiling is still McIlroy putting on the green jacket.
This is probably a little risky given the opportunity cost of dropping this low in the Masters, but Matthew Fitzpatrick is intriguing. He is a solid bet at 55-1, has plenty of experience at Augusta and has four top-10 finishes in his last five events. The scrambling and abilities to gain off the tee without being long should suit him here, but it’s a stacked field with the world’s best. Fitzpatrick has found the weekend in six straight Masters, so expect him to cash a check. The bigger question is how much upside there is. To get different or make up ground in the standings, it makes sense to roll the dice on a guy in form who has shown he can get in the mix on tour.
2022 The Masters One and Done Pick: Rory McIlroy
It is a worthwhile play to embrace the risk and go with McIlroy despite the obvious concerns after last week. This is still a course McIlroy thrives on, and given the issues there is a chance he will not be a popular PGA One and Done pick this week. Despite the slip-up at Valero, that was the first missed cut in almost a full year on the PGA Tour for McIlroy, and his strokes gained metrics are still positive in all four categories. Rahm and Thomas offer safety, but McIlroy still has tournament-winning upside every time he tees it up.
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