WATCH: CHASE OR FADE – VALUE PLAYS AT THE MASTERS
UPDATE: Dustin Johnson (back) took a serious fall in his Augusta Rental home and is now QUESTIONABLE to compete at the Masters.
If you are looking to finish your stacked Masters’ team with a cheap play or are planning on building around big-salary studs, you’ll need to take a look at some bargain bin options from the depths of the salary ranks. Here are the four players I like the most from under $6,800.
Soren Kjeldson ($6,500) – Kjeldson is a golfer some DraftKings players will be semi-familiar with at this point. The Dane has played more frequently over in the States of late and had a huge, but under the radar, year in the majors in 2016 as he finished T7 at Augusta, T9 at the Open Championship and T33 at the PGA. This will be his third appearance at this Masters, and he sports a pretty tidy scoring average of 72.60, putting him ahead of players like Jimmy Walker and Brooks Koepka.
Kjeldson ranked 12th in scrambling on the Euro Tour last season, and his stellar play around the greens was a huge factor in his success. He comes into this week having made the cut in his last three events in the States and is also coming off a huge week at the WGC Match Play event, where he ousted Rory McIlroy from the event. Of all the players in my Bargain Bin, Kjeldson is likely the most reliable to post a solid week, given his recent form and accomplishments from last season.
Sean O’Hair ($6,500) – At $6,500, O’Hair is someone who you shouldn’t toss out of your bin this week, so to speak. While he hasn’t won on the PGA Tour since 2011, O’Hair has shown decent consistency the last two seasons and even made a run to the 30-man Tour Championship last year — which is how he got his invite to Augusta. What may semi-shock you to find out is that O’Hair has played the Masters six times already and actually has two finishes inside the top 20 (T14-2008 and T10-2009). His career scoring average at Augusta is also 72.50 which puts him in front of players like Brandt Snedeker, Charl Schwartzel and Jim Furyk.
While he’s fought a neck injury recently, O’Hair bounced back with a decent opening round in Houston and looks like he’ll be fine for Augusta. He’s still plenty long off the tee (averaged 302 yards per drive in 2016) and is a player from the bin who has proven top-20 upside. He also has the game to land you a few eagle/birdie streak bonuses if things go well, too.
Angel Cabrera ($6,700) – Angel Cabrera’s recent form isn’t something to be admired, as he’s only played twice this season and missed the cut on both occasions. Still, history tells us that when considering whether or not to roster Cabrera at Augusta, his recent form shouldn’t really be weighed very heavily. Case in point – last year before the Masters Cabrera hadn’t had a finish higher than 42nd all year, and yet still finished T24 at the year’s first major; in 2015, Cabrera came into Masters week having missed three cuts in a row (badly) and yet still finished T22. Overall, the 2009 Masters champion sports a 72.20 scoring record at Augusta (currently 13th best in the field) and has only missed the cut here once in his last 11 visits. At $6,700 Cabrera may not be the golfer he was when he took down a three-man playoff for the win in 2009, but he still has enough talent left to be included in my bin.
Brian Stuard ($6,400) – Stuard is our last play from the Bargain Bin and likely the one with the most risk attached to him as well. This will be his first appearance at Augusta National, so he’ll be behind the eight-ball experience wise. While he’s not a long hitter, Stuard does lead the PGA Tour in Driving Accuracy and also carries a very strong game, which is reflected in his 41st ranking in Scrambling this season. Although I believe distance is an asset to target this week, we have seen shorter hitting players like the aforementioned Soren Kjeldson (T7 in 2016) and Jonas Blixt (T2 in 2014) put up big weeks simply by being able to figure out the Augusta greens.
Stuard comes into this event in decent form having made 3 of 4 cuts and encouragingly had his best finish of the year (16th in Phoenix) on another long par 72 course. He’ll likely be the lowest owned of all my bin players, so if you’re looking for an overlooked player, he’s your play.
OVERFLOWS FROM THE BARGAIN BIN
(Other cheap options worth considering)
- Jhonattan Vegas ($6,700)
- Fred Couples ($6,300)
- Chris Wood ($6,500)
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is wavegoodbye) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.