2014 Masters Golf Tournament Expert Golf Picks & Fantasy Predictions

GolfStrat’s Expert Fantasy Golf Picks
“The 2014 Masters Golf Tournament”

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The 2014 Masters Golf Tournament

April has arrived and the week that golfers eagerly await all year long is finally upon us – “Masters Week”. Most of us wish we could play Augusta National Golf Club just once in our lives, but unlike Pebble Beach, where a hefty $500 can get you a round on a legendary course, to tee it up at Augusta, you need serious connections. Thankfully, more than just a few of us can get to go watch the greats play at the Masters, although securing tickets is much more difficult or pricey than you would wish. But… to be there on Sunday evening when history is once again made would be on every golfer’s bucket list. I once told my golf coach that he could be my caddie if I ever made it to the Masters. I think he humored me, but it’s every competitive golfer’s dream to play flawlessly through Amen Corner, make an eagle or birdie on #15, stick it close on #16 where Tiger so famously chipped in for birdie, or to hit it 10 feet on #18 and have a two-putt for victory. It’s as close to “heaven on Earth” as can be for golfers around the world, but we will be content to just sit back, enjoy CBS’ coverage and that so familiar tune they play each year. We’ll keep our Butler Cabin dreams for our good night’s sleep, just like the time I won the U.S. Open by a shot over Phil Mickelson (sorry Phil), but then the alarm clock so rudely interrupted my victory speech. Realizing it had all been a dream was the worst feeling I ever had during my golfing career. My visions of grandeur came crashing down around me and no one can understand the pain of that loss. ;-) Please check out all of our fantasy golf predictions, picks, advice, and tips for each fantasy game below.

Augusta National Golf Club measures over 7,400 yards and plays to a par 72. The loss of the Eisenhower tree on the 17th fairway will no doubt change the way the pros will play the hole this year. Previous winners at Augusta include: Adam Scott (2013 playoff winner); Bubba Waston (2012 – playoff winner, amazing hook from the woods on #10); Charl Schwartzel (2011 – he’s remained in the top 20 in the world ever since); Phil Mickelson (2010, 2006, 2004 – a fan favorite but can he get it done one more time?); Angel Cabrera (2009 – seems to have a knack for competing in only the big events); Trevor Immelman (2008 – only recently reemerging on Tour); Zach Johnson (2007 – could be a nice pick given early season results); Tiger Woods (2005, 2002, 2001, 1997 – amazing he hasn’t won here in 9 years!); Mike Weir (2003); Vijay Singh (2000).


Click here to view our NEW MASTERS “TOP 10 RANKINGS EDITION” that includes:

  • TOP 10 MASTERS FANTASY SLEEPERS
  • TOP 10 MASTERS HORSES FOR THE COURSE
  • TOP 10 RECENT PERFORMERS

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#1A MASTERS DAILY YAHOO FANTASY GOLF STARTERS

Group A
Group B
Group B
Group C
Round 4
Matt Kuchar
Rory McIlroy
Justin Rose
Round 4 Notes
  • A: Matt Kuchar is back in contention on Sunday (third week in a row), so we’ll see if he can put it all together and win a major. Scott played himself out of contention barring an unbelievable final 18 on Sunday.
  • B: Day, McIlroy, and Rose all had good rounds. McIlroy won’t have any pressure while Rose will be aiming for eagles, so we’ll let Day sit on Sunday.
  • C: Done for the week.


#1 THE MASTERS YAHOO SPORTS FANTASY PICKS

Player
Recent Finishes
“Masters” Finishes
Comments
(A) Adam Scott (3) Arnold Palmer
(25) WGC Cadillac
(12) Honda
(1) 2013
(8) 2012
(2) 2011
(18) 2010
(MC) 2009
Adam Scott will remain our favorite Group A player heading into the Masters thanks to his great four-year run at Augusta National Golf Club, capped by his victory last season. He’s coming off a bad final round at Bay Hill, so if he’s close on Sunday, it will be interesting to see if he can keep it together. Putting seems to be the primary issue right now, so that gives us some pause. However, Tiger Woods’ health keeps him further down our rankings.
(A) Matt Kuchar (2) Shell Houston Open (4) Valero
(38) Valspar
(13) WGC Cadillac
(8) 2013
(3) 2012
(27) 2011
(24) 2010
Tiger Woods has officially withdrawn from this year’s Masters, but there is plenty of Group A talent available. Our 2nd pick is Matt Kuchar who has played almost lights out the past few weeks, although we’ll see how he recovers from a huge disappointment on back-to-back Sundays. It was just Matt Jones’ day to win, but it feels like Kuchar let him back in and that’s frustrating to watch two weeks in a row. Kuchar will not be vacationing in Australia anytime soon (Bowditch/Jones). #3 Luke Donald, #4 Bubba Watson, #5 Phil Mickelson Click here to view our “Top 10 Masters Ranking Edition” for Sleepers, Horses for the Course, and Best Recent Finishes
(B) Rory McIlroy (25) WGC Cadillac
(P2) Honda
(9) Omega Dubai
(25) 2013
(40) 2012
(15) 2011
(MC) 2010
(20) 2009
Rory had an excellent final day in Houston and goes into the Masters with a lot of momentum. With Tiger’s exit and few multiple time winners in contention, this is a wide open Masters.
(B) Jason Day (1) WGC Match Play
(MC) Pebble Beach
(2) Farmers
(3) 2013
(MC) 2012
(2) 2011
We wonder how his recovery from injury is going. More diligence needs to be done before you throw him in your lineup. Click here to view our “Top 10 Masters Ranking Edition” for Sleepers, Horses for the Course, and Best Recent Finishes
(B) Dustin Johnson (MC/WD) Shell Houston Open (4) WGC Cadillac
(2) Northern Trust
(2) Pebble Beach
(13) 2013
(38) 2011
(38) 2010
(30) 2009
Dustin’s track record at Augusta leaves something to be desired but his time is coming and he’s had a great start to the year, but is it his time just yet?
(B) Justin Rose (but this is a good place to go with your favorite sleeper) (MC) Arnold Palmer
(8) Valspar
(34) WGC Cadillac
(45) Northern Trust
(25) 2013
(8) 2012
(11) 2011
(20) 2009
Rose has a solid track record at Augusta but hasn’t finished top 5 yet. We’re taking a leap of faith with Rose since he’s got the most consistent track record (numerically) at Augusta over the past 5 years. #5 Jim Furyk (an excellent pick as well), #6 Hideki Matsuyama, #7 Steve Stricker Click here to view our “Top 10 Masters Ranking Edition” for Sleepers, Horses for the Course, and Best Recent Finishes
(C) Sergio Garcia (3) Shell Houston Open
(16) WGC Cadillac
(8) Honda
(1) Qatar Masters
(8) 2013
(12) 2012
(35) 2011
(45) 2010
(38) 2009
Sergio has shown steady improvement over the past 5 years at Augusta and could be poised to win one soon. His light schedule in the early part of 2014 gave us few data points, but his Shell performance stood out and showed he’s ready to contend again at Augusta.
(C) Charl Schwartzel (19) Shell
(9) WGC Cadillac
(MC) Honda
(5) Northern Trust
(25) 2013
(50) 2012
(1) 2011
(30) 2010
The second Group C spot currently goes to Schwartzel, who has won at the Masters previously and is playing reasonably well heading into this week. #3 Graeme McDowell, #4 Harris English & Jimmy Walker (tied) Click here to view our “Top 10 Masters Ranking Edition” for Sleepers, Horses for the Course, and Best Recent Finishes

We will update our Yahoo Fantasy starters DAILY in case you’re interested in checking back with us throughout the weekend.



#2 ESPN BEST BALL MAJORS CHALLENGE ADVICE

Join our GolfStrat.com Challenge Group on ESPN today! (click here)

Strategy, Part I: Given the best ball format, it’s better to have players who can make a lot of birdies (or eagles) vs. a player who is steady and pars all 18 holes. At Augusta, that means having a balance of players that can take advantage of the par 5′s and set themselves up for eagle opportunities but also having 1 or 2 players who tend to birdie par 3′s and 4′s more frequently, so that you’re covering all of your bases.

Strategy, Part II: If you play the “tournament lock” mode where you can’t change your team daily, you’ll need to weigh the likelihood of a player making the cut. It’s not fun when you have two guys heading into the weekend when most people have four remaining on their team.

Our league is set up for daily changes, and we will post our thoughts on the relative salary values later this week, so check back on Tuesday and daily throughout the tournament to see how the Masters Best Ball Challenge unfolds.

Overvalued Players
Undervalued Players
Louis Oosthuizen $4.4 overvalued
Thongchai Jaidee ($2.3 undervalued)
Webb Simpson $2.8
Thomas Bjorn ($2.1)
Tim Clark $1.9
Jim Furyk ($2.1)
Stewart Cink $1.9
Bill Haas ($1.9)
Henrik Stenson $1.9
Steve Stricker ($1.8)
Thorbjorn Olesen $1.7
Hideki Matsuyama ($1.7)
Branden Grace $1.7
Francesco Molinari ($1.6)
Hunter Mahan $1.7
Russell Henley ($1.4)
Martin Kaymer $1.6
Joost Luiten ($1.4)
Billy Horschel $1.5
Gonzalo Fdez-Castano ($1.3)
Best Ball Thoughts
  • #1: If someone is “overvalued”, it means that we think their price is too high on ESPN compared to their actual worth. The opposite is true of the “undervalued” listed above. In theory, it’s good to find undervalued players to add to your roster so you can save some money to spend on the big names.
  • #2: Remember, this is not about consistency. It is rare that all four of your players would bogey the same hole on a given day, so it’s more about who will take some chances and make some birdies and eagles (and on different types of holes). If you have a bunch of guys who just do well on par 5′s, you may end up leaving something on the table on the other holes.
  • #3: Our group is a daily adjustment group, so we’ll need to see how the weather looks before a given round and assess if there will be any differences in scoring between AM and PM rounds before we finalize our picks each day. Thus, we’ll post our first day’s picks on Wednesday of this week. However, we may post a few notes about players to consider beyond just “value” – players who can get hot and go on streaks or players who birdie par 3′s and 4′s more often.

How to Play: Compete against like-minded fantasy golf managers who assemble their teams daily throughout the Masters Tournament. How do you play? Once you’re signed up, just create an entry and join our league. Then, you can select 4 players daily before each Masters round (limited by a $50 salary cap). The best players are obviously worth more, so you can’t just select the best four players. That’s where it gets fun.

Scoring/Rankings: ESPN will rank you based on the “best ball” score of your four players each day. What does that mean? They will take the lowest score from your four players on each hole at Augusta National and come up with one 18-hole score. For example, let’s say your players scored a 4, 3, 5, and 4 on Hole #1 on Thursday. Your team score would be a “3″ for that hole – the lowest score of the four. Do this 18 times and you arrive at your team’s full day score. Then, go reset your team for round 2. It sounds like ESPN will give you “points” based on what percentile you finish for each of the 16 major rounds this year. You add that up and that’s your 2014 team point total. Hopefully that makes sense.


Some representative teams for Day 3 of the Masters:

Team #1
Team #2
Team #3
Rory McIlroy Jordan Spieth
Martin Kaymer Ian Poulter
Fred Couples Rickie Fowler
Adam Scott Chris Kirk


#3 GOLF CHANNEL EXPERT PREDICTIONS

The Masters
Starter
Someone to Consider
Group 1
#1 Adam Scott #2 Matt Kuchar, #3 Sergio Garcia, #4 Jason Day, #5 Rory McIlroy
Group 2
#1 Luke Donald #2 Dustin Johnson, #3 Bubba Watson, #4 Charl Schwartzel, #5 Jim Furyk
Group 3
#1 Bill Haas #2 Matt Every, #3 Lee Westwood, #4 Harris English, #5 Gary Woodland
Group 4
#1 John Senden #2 Trevor Immelman, #3 K.J. Choi, #4 Sang-Moon Bae, #5 Marc Leishman


#4 PGATOUR.com FANTASY GOLF PREDICTIONS

More Great Tee Times More Great Deals - Deals.TeeOff.com
Player
Recent Finishes
“Masters” Finishes
Adam Scott (3) Arnold Palmer
(25) WGC Cadillac
(12) Honda
(1) 2013
(8) 2012
(2) 2011
(18) 2010
(MC) 2009
Matt Kuchar (2) Shell Houston Open (4) Valero
(38) Valspar
(13) WGC Cadillac
(8) 2013
(3) 2012
(27) 2011
(24) 2010
Sergio Garcia (3) Shell Houston Open
(16) WGC Cadillac
(8) Honda
(1) Qatar Masters
(8) 2013
(12) 2012
(35) 2011
(45) 2010
(38) 2009
Rory McIlroy (25) WGC Cadillac
(P2) Honda
(9) Omega Dubai
(25) 2013
(40) 2012
(15) 2011
(MC) 2010
(20) 2009



#5 MASTERS BETTING ODDS / SPREAD

#1 Rory McIlroy (9/1) #2 Adam Scott (10/1) #3 Phil Mickelson (11/1) #4 Jason Day (16/1) #5 Matt Kuchar(18/1)
#6 Dustin Johnson (22/1) #6 Henrik Stenson (22/1) #6 Sergio Garcia (22/1) #9 Justin Rose (25/1) #9 Bubba Watson (25/1)
#11 Zach Johnson (28/1) #12 Keegan Bradley (33/1) #12 Brandt Snedeker (33/1) #12 Charl Schwartzel (33/1) #15 Jason Dufner (40/1)
#15 Luke Donald (40/1) #15 Jordan Spieth (40/1) #15 Hunter Mahan (40/1) #19 Graeme McDowell (50/1) #19 Ian Poulter (50/1)
#19 Angel Cabrera (50/1) #19 Lee Westwood (50/1) #19 Jimmy Walker (50/1) #19 Patrick Reed (50/1) Odds by Paddy Power


DraftStreet’s Masters Fantasy Challenge (& Link) – sign up today!

We’ll also be playing the Masters Fantasy Challenge on DraftStreet to keep things interesting. Sign up at DraftStreet and use the promo code: GOLFSTRAT to get 100% bonus money on your first deposit. We hope you find something that can replace ESPN’s game. Note: the bonus money gets released as you participate in various games, not all at once.



#6 The Golfer’s Library: The Best Golf Books to Feed Your Passion!

  1. The Best Golf Instruction Books
  2. The Best Short Game Books
  3. The Best Mental Game Books
  4. The Best Professional Golf Books
  5. The Best Pro Golfer Biographies
  6. The Best Golf Strategy Books
  7. The Best Books about Famous Golf Matches
  8. The Best Books about College and Junior Golf
  9. The Best Golf Fitness Books
  10. The Best Golf Fiction Books
  11. The Best Golf Travel and Famous Golf Course Books
  12. The Best Spiritual or Religious Golf Books
  13. The Best Golf Humor or Golf Comedy Books