Yahoo Contest Preview- The Masters

Jeff Bergerson
By Jeff Bergerson March 20, 2015 16:13

Are you ready Yahoo Contest Players?  Here it is Masters week.  Augusta National, in Augusta Georgia is of course home to The Masters and has been since 1934. The iconic course is a par 72, measures in at 7,435 yards, features 100 acres of fairway and 40 acres of rough. There are 44 bunkers throughout the course. Six water hazards come into play on Nos. 2, 11, 12, 13, 15 and 16. The best-known water feature at Augusta National Golf Club is Rae’s Creek, which impacts the three holes of Amen Corner (11, 12, and 13). Perennial ryegrass is used on the tees, fairways and rough and bentgrass is used on the greens. The signature magnolia trees and azaleas will be in full bloom offering breathtaking scenery. Each hole at Augusta National is named after a flowering shrub or tree.  Augusta has been expanded with yardage added four times from 1999-2006. This is important to note, so we do not place much importance on tournament history prior to that era.

Of course you have heard Tiger Woods will be making his return, which is exciting to those in the golf world, the everyday person who is only interested if Tiger plays, and all of us who want to watch him and feel better about our own short game. In addition to Tiger, Rory Mcilroy will be attempting to win his third straight major title. Bubba Watson will be trying to defend his title and win his third green jacket in the last four years.
Last year Watson used a two-shot swing on consecutive holes to end the front nine to overtake rookie Jordan Spieth on the way to a three-shot victory. Spieth led by two as they approached the eighth tee, but stumbled with bogeys at the 8th and 9th while Watson drained back-to-back birdies. Spieth then found Rae’s Creek at No.12, and pretty much sealed the deal for Watson.

As always we look first at the statistic Strokes Gained (Tee-To-Green, Putting, and Total) first and foremost when determining success. The Par 3 and 4 holes do not yield a lot of birdies so players who score well on Par 5 holes are going to have the advantage. Driving distance is thus a key statistic this week, but accuracy is also important. The fairways ungulate quite a bit so tee shots in the correct spot are critical. That is the main reason lefties tend to have an advantage at Augusta and thus so much success. At least six holes favor a right to left tee shot. Right handers who can hit high quality draw shots have an advantage, but lefties who hit their fade have more of an advantage. For those of you who play golf you know that a fade shot has a higher trajectory than a draw. This is important because it allows more control after the ball hits as it will not produce as much roll. A draw by a right-hander has a lower trajectory and thus it is so much harder to control where it ends ups. The ending position of the tee shot, especially on the Par 5s is critical since it dictates whether guys are able to have a legitimate shot at the green or whether they are forced to lay up. This is where Bubba Watson has such a tremendous advantage, not only does he hit it long, but he is able to control the balls landing with his fade. Greens in regulation and Par 4 scoring will also be statistics we analyze closely this week.

A key factor that we analyze every week is Tournament History and at Augusta, it is one of the most important factors, but mostly over the last 7 years, since the course has changed so much since 2006. Check out our Tournament History page to see exactly who has had success in the past in The Masters.

We have done a tremendous amount of research in preparation for the biggest tournament of the year, and are confident that we will highlight the players who have the best chance to succeed this week in The Yahoo Contest and allow you to be successful.

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A-List:

 

Bubba Watson & Rory Mcilroy – Nothing fancy this week and as we talked about earlier, no course sets up better for a player than Augusta does for Watson. Bubba is long off the tee and his right to left working fade works perfectly on a lot of holes. Watson has won the Masters two of the past three years and appears to be locked in with his current form as well. The big questions surrounding Bubba are always consistency and putting, both of which he seems to have improved upon thus for this season. He has a 3rd at WGC Cadillac, T14 at Northern Trust, T2 at WM Phoenix Open, 10th at Hyundai. So far this season Bubba ranks 7th in Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green, 14th in Total Driving, 24th in Greens in Regulation, and 6th in Par 4 scoring. Rory is the winner of the last two major championships, and wants badly to complete the career Grand Slam as The Masters is the only major he has not one. His current form on the PGA Tour has not been bad, but not up to his very high standards thus far with a T11 at Arnold Palmer, T9 at WGC Cadillac, and a MC at Honda. In the past at Augusta, Rory has an 8th in 2014, 25th in 2013, and 40th in 2012

A List Others: Henrik Stenson & J.B. Holmes

 

B-List:

 

Jordan Spieth & Jason Day – Well we have recommended Spieth alot this year, so why stop now. Week in and week out, Spieth delivers and has proven to be the stud we projected him to be in our Crystal Ball for 2015 article we wrote before the season started. In that article we predicted he would win multiple events this year, and he already has one. His last three tournaments have yielded a runner up last week at Shell Houston Open, a runner-up finish at Valero, and a win at the Valspar. Last year he narrowly missed a Masters championship as he finished runner-up to Watson. He currently ranks 8th in Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green and 5th in Par 4 scoring. We also really like Jason Day this week. His past four tournaments have produced a T17 at the Arnold Palmer, T31 at WGC Cadillac, T4 at AT&T, and win at the Farmers. He currently ranks 3rd in greens in regulation, 21st in Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green, 16th in Total Strokes Gained, and 9th in Driving Distance. Day finished 20th at Augusta last year, 3rd in 2013, MC in 2012, and runner up in 2011.

B-List Others: It is a slim margin that we like Spieth and Day over Dustin Johnson & Jimmy Walker. We also like Matsuyama and Westwood.

 

C-List:

 

Patrick Reed & Kevin Na- Reed is very capable of winning The MAsters and we like the fact that he played his college golf at Augusta State. Recently he has a T17 at Shell, 2nd at Valspar, T23 at WGC Cadillac, and &7 at Honda. He ranks 15th in strokes gained tee-to-gree, and 9th in total strokes gained. His only appearance in the Maters was last year and he missed the cut, but we think he will respond this year. Despite three consecutive Top 10s, there still is not a lot of buzz around Kevin Na. He currently ranks 25th in Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green, and 23rd in Par 4 Scoring. His tournament history includes a 59th in 2013 and 12th in 2012. We look for him to be in the Top 20 this week with a possibility of a Top 10.

C-List Others: Henley & Grace

 

As always best of luck to all of you, please let us know how you do.

Fantasy Golf Insider

Jeff Bergerson
By Jeff Bergerson March 20, 2015 16:13

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