Hello Friends…. Is there any more iconic line in golf? Seriously, I can’t believe that Masters Week is here. The official start of golf season, all the disrespect to the player’s championship. College Basketball is over. The NBA and NHL regular seasons are done. And, people need to find places to light money on fire. I’ll be here to stoke the flames all summer.
Very quickly on the course… 7400 yards, Par 72. Bent grass greens, with sub-air systems to suck water off the surface. Expect firm and very very fast all week. Huge sloping fairways, with dramatic elevation changes. Six water hazards. Amen Corner. Back nine scoring opportunities, and the best golfers in the world.
FYI – Any Strokes gained statistics are rated versus the “average tour pro”
Let’s start with the bad – At last year’s Masters, on each round, Bryson lost 1.44 strokes versus the field just putting. However, all of his PGA Tour wins have come at Bent Grass golf courses, and he is currently gaining .4 strokes per round versus the field on putting alone. The man gained over a stroke per round off of the tee at Augusta, and with another trip to the course, I fully expect him to exceed expectations. 25/1? Gimme a piece of that.
The most beautiful swing in golf.. however, Australian has struggled the last few years trying to adjust to the new putting regulations imposed on the PGA Tour. The former #1 player in the world operated with a long putter anchored to his chest for a number of years before the “anchor ban” was imposed in 2016. Scott won the 2013 masters, and at a course where prior results are correlated to future success, I expect Scott to show well this week. Currently gaining .68 strokes per round putting, Scott has figured out the flat stick. 40/1… buy buy buy.
Again with a horse for the course… While completely forgotten, Paul Casey almost broke the course record at last years tournament. He’s got three top ten’s in the last four years… and that is with last year being the exception. In the last two months, he’s finished 2nd, 3rd, 1st, and 9th in PGA Tour events… the form is there. At 30/1 give me one of those, please.
Has never won a PGA Tour event, let alone on bent grass greens.. name brand recognition will drive his value, and I don’t see it this week (even with how impressive he has been in the last calendar year).
This is purely a value fade. DJ can be the best golfer at any event on tour, and I would not be shocked if he won this week. However, he has performed below his career average at Augusta and prefers to play a fade even though the course favors a draw. DJ will not be getting any of my money, even though he might just be the best golfer in the world.
THE HORSE OF THE COURSE – Spieth’s track record at Augusta is legendary. Won his second appearance, finished second twice, third last year. Doesn’t matter, I will be fading Spieth. The guy blew away the field in strokes gained attacking the green last year (he gained 13 shots over the tournament versus the field)… however this year he is losing .05 shots per round in the same statistic. He hasn’t finished top ten in any tournament since the British Open. While the golden boy is sure to get plenty of public support, it won’t be mine.
Back soon with more Masters content…
Long and Straight – JP