Golf

THE MASTERS PREVIEW

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  Well It is for any golf fan, as we arrive at Augusta National for golf’s first major of the year The Masters.

Augusta National Golf Club is the most iconic golf course on the planet and a mecca for golfers everywhere. A timeless venue, littered with history, a place that is ready to create new heroes and new moments that will be etched into memory forever.

The Masters is one of the biggest sporting events in the world, let alone just the golfing world. Millions of people will be tuning in this week as the golfers go in search of the iconic green jacket. 

After months of anticipation, Masters week is finally here and with it, the prospect of one of the very best majors in recent memory.

THE FIELD

This week’s field includes just 91 players and is one of the smallest fields of the year and the smallest across all 4 majors. It is an invitational event, with invites being based on specific criteria. 

  1. Top 50 players in world rankings.
  2. Amateur Champions (Across 5 continents)
  3. Top 12 and ties from 2021 Masters
  4. Top 4 from the other 3 majors (Previous year)
  5. Olympic gold medalist (1 year exemption)
  6. Past Masters Champions (Lifetime)
  7. Winners of regular PGA events (2021 RBC HERITAGE – 2022 VALERO TEXAS OPEN)
  8. Players Championship champions (3 year exemption)
  9. U.S. Open champions (5 year exemption)
  10. PGA champions (5 year exemption)
  11. Open champions (5 year exemption)

Hideki Matsuyama won the 2021 Masters and will be looking to defend his crown and add another green jacket to his locker. If he does achieve it he will join an elite few multiple winners including Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson. 

The field also features former Masters champions in Jordan Spieth (second-youngest player to win a green jacket), Sergio Garcia, Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed and of course arguably the greatest player of all time – Mr Tiger Woods. The unique thing with the masters is that previous winners are essentially lifetime members and will get an invite to come back every year.

The GOAT returns! If Tiger does tee it up on Thursday then it might be a bigger achievement than his comeback win in 2019 when he hunted down Francesco Molinari In typical Tiger style and won his 5th green jacket. Tiger is coming off multiple leg injuries after a major car crash in 2020 and we haven’t seen him swing a golf club since December when he teed it up with his son Charlie at the PNC Championship. At this stage in his career with multiple injuries there might only be a few courses that Tiger can still win on, this is one of those.

Rory McIlroy will be looking to complete the career grand slam this week, something that has only been achieved previously by 5 other golfers in Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods. He nearly achieved it back in 2011, but for a major collapse (Augusta can do that to you quickly) he would already be a grand slam champion. 

The tournament field this week includes 91  players, will begin on April 7th and run through to April 10th.

RECENT WINNERS

2021: Hideki Matsuyama

2020: Dustin Johnson (Played In November due to COVID)

2019: Tiger Woods

2018: Patrick Reed

2017: Sergio Garcia

2016: Danny Willett

2015: Jordan Spieth

2014: Bubba Watson

2013: Adam Scott

THE COURSE

Augusta National Golf Club

Yardage: 7,475

Par: 72

Greens: Bermuda/Bent Grass

Augusta National golf club is known as Bobby’s place. That is because it was founded by amateur champion Bobby Jones back in 1930. Jones acquired the former plant nursery and co-designed perfection with Alister MacKenzie.

The course officially opened in January 1933 and it’s been evolving ever since. It has been significantly lengthened since its opening where it was just 6,800 yards. The course now registers at 7,475 yards long. The length is not the only change Augusta National has seen since opening, with fairways being tightened and the once Bermuda Greens being changed to Bent grass. All orchestrated in a major overhaul by Tom Fazio in 2002.

Another thing that adds to Augusta’s mystique is that the already demanding yardage is made to play even longer because the fairways are all cut in the same direction, towards the tee boxes, so balls here tend to land and stop very quickly. 

Augusta National features large sloping greens that are some of the fastest on planet earth. They feature a sub air system, so if organizers choose to do so they could dry them out and make them harder to stop golf balls on. 

AMEN CORNER

All of the holes around Augusta National are named after trees or shrubs and all pose their own significant challenges but its Amen corner where this tournament is normally won or lost. 

Amen corner is played over a trio of holes (11,12 and 13) and golfers best say their prayers when they get to them.

Hole 11 – Par 4 – 505 yards

This long par 4 features a pond guarding the left-front of the green. Because of the length on this hole many of the golfers will choose to lay-up with their second shot and go for an up and down par approach, this itself brings its own challenges as the green slopes towards that pond and will gobble up any inaccurate chip shots.

Hole 11 is the second hardest hole on the course just behind hole 10. A treacherous obstacle for the pros as they start their back 9 and holes that have to be respected.

Hole 12 – Par 3 – 155 yards

Golden Bell! Well this short par 3 has to be respected. It’s not often you will find a par 3 this long rank so high in how hard it is. Golden Bell is the third hardest hole at Augusta national and its stroke average is around 3.28. 

The reason why this hole is so hard is the varying winds around this area of the course. The winds will get into even the best golfer’s minds, as they ponder between a 6 iron to a 9 iron. 

The daunting sight of Rae’s Creek and 3 cleverly placed bunkers make it imperative that golfers land their shots on the putting surface. Jack Nicklaus said anywhere in the center on this green is just fine, and he’s not wrong as many Masters dreams have died at this hole.

Hole 13 – Par 5 – 510 yards

Hole 13 is known as the Azalea hole. It is frequently thought of as a friendly scoring hole, thanks to its short distance, but don’t let that fool you. A dog leg hole that also features a portion of Rae’s Creek that guards the green and will gobble up any wayward shot into it. 

The highest score in Masters history on this hole is 13 which came in 1978 from Tommy Nakajima. 

Hole 13 is the ultimate risk-reward hole and gives the pros enough headaches to respect it, especially with just 5 holes left after it.

KEY STATS 

Strokes Gained Approach

Strokes Gained Short Game

Strokes Gained Putting

Previous Course History 

Approach will always be the most important stat around Augusta National. The sloping, speedy greens and run offs create extremely small landing spots that will ultimately give golfers birdie chances. In the last 5 years golfers that have led this stat at the end of the week have finished 1st, 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 1st!

Golfers who have a very solid short game tend to fare well at Augusta National. The run-off areas are treacherous, and players are often left scrambling to get up and down. If players can not get up and down for par around the greens at Augusta they simply can’t win.

The greens at Augusta are lightning fast. The USGA have calculated these greens to be the fastest greens in the U.S.A. Three putts are common around Augusta when golfers are far from the hole, so lag putting will be crucial should they want to win this week.

Previous course history is so important around Augusta National. This is highlighted with the fact that a debutant has not won here since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979. It’s such a challenging place and if you are going to go wayward you need to know where to leave the ball. This only comes from experience.

It is worth keeping an eye on the weather this week as scores can become lower in wet conditions, this was highlighted in the 2020 November Masters with a record high for scoring. 

When picking lineups it could be wise to sprinkle in some picks who are likely to be less owned.

THE CONTESTS 

The Masters brings us our first ever golf monster and we could not be more excited. This week’s contest has a €20 buy-in with a €20,000 prize pool.

€20 entry – Masters Monster – €20,000 GTD – 7th April – 10th April

€2 entry – Masters Mini-Main Event – €1,500 GTD – 7th April – 10th April

€2 entry – Masters Round 2 – €750 GTD – 8th April

€2 entry – Masters Round 3 – €750 GTD – 9th April

€2 entry – Masters Round 4 – €750 GTD – 10th April

FANTASY NATIONAL GOLF CLUB PARTNERSHIP 

FNGC is THE leading golf stats site in the world. It’s a database of stats heaven, in which you can find any stat you desire from the PGA Tour or Korn Ferry tour. Whether you want to find out how many strokes Jon Rahm has gained from tee to green, or you want to see how well Patrick Cantlay putts on Poa greens, all can be found at FNGC.

Two huge pieces of news:

Fanteam is now fully integrated into Fantasy National Golf Club 

FNGC have built a lineup generator specifically for Fanteam. Meaning you can churn out unlimited lineups using your player pool, in seconds! 

We at FanTeam are delighted to announce a special sign up promo code code for Fanteam users. Use this link – fantasynational.com/FANTEAM

For 20% off any of their membership packages. If you’re serious about taking on Fantasy Golf, it’s soooo worth it 

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Fanteam Crew

We are the Fanteam Crew and help you to have more fun with Daily Fantasy! Read our tutorials, how to posts, interviews and match day previews and leave your feedback and your suggestions in the comments.

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