Every week, the Weekend Warriors picks article will have some brief course notes, statistics to focus on, and four players to build your core around. Additional stats used in this article are from FantasyGolfMetrics.com and FutureOfFantasy.com which are both tremendous resources.
Remember, you can find more of my picks in my Going for the Green article over in the FantasyDraft Locker Room.
COURSE: Check out details on the course HERE
CUT LINE: Field of 94 golfers, top 50 and players with 10 strokes play the weekend.
- Strokes Gained: Tee to Green
- Bogey Avoidance
- Good Drive %
- Greens In Regulation
THE WEEKEND WARRIORS
Warrior #1: Rory McIlroy
(FantasyDraft – $21600, DraftKings – $10600)
If you were to tell me that every player in the field was going to play to the absolute best of their ability and that I had to choose a winner, Rory McIlroy would be my pick. When every facet of Rory’s game is working there is no one better. This is reinforced by looking at this season alone. If you were to guess who was leading Strokes Gained: Tee to Green this year, who would you say? Dustin? Spieth? JT? It’s Rory, picking up nearly three strokes on the field (2.830).
The putting is a little bit worrisome but there’s reason to believe the flatstick could be Rory’s friend this week. Since 2014 on courses that feature greens running over 12 feet on the stimpmeter, there is no one better in SG:Total. Rory is also the best in the field at scoring on the par-5s which will very crucial this week.
A green jacket this week would complete the Rory Slam while also giving him his fifth career major. There is no tournament McIlroy would like to win more than the Masters. If your concern is that Dustin is simply going to continue his current streak and roll through this field, it shouldn’t be. Rory has shown he can go toe-to-toe with DJ, most recently in the FedEx Cup Playoffs last year when he ripped the title from Johnson’s hands. Now he will be very popular but the rest of the warriors will give us the variance we need to take down those big GPPs this week.
Warrior #2: Sergio Garcia
(FantasyDraft – $16700, DraftKings – $8300)
It’s major season and the age old narrative of Sergio being unable to win has once again come to the forefront. Always the bridesmaid never the bride, the Spaniard is now 37 years old and has seemingly matured over recent years. With stories of Sergio becoming engaged and getting ready to finally settle down, the real focus has been on his golf game and it’s starting to show across the board.
- Strokes Gained: Tee to Green – 3rd (1.865)
- Bogey Avoidance – 23rd (12.50%)
- Good Drive % – 12th (87.86%)
- Greens In Regulation – 13th (72.78%)
Garcia’s results on the season reflect his strong statistical performance; six for six making the cut with four top 25 finishes. He has a win on the European Tour as well this season, a three stroke victory over Henrik Stenson.
Sergio’s history here is a little hit or miss; he’s 13/18 for his career here with six top 30 finishes. His game is strong right now and I strongly believe he will win a major, much like Stenson was finally able to do last year. The price tag on both sites is a huge discount and makes Garcia a must play for me.
Warrior #3: Pat Perez
(FantasyDraft – $13900, DraftKings – $7000)
I jumped on Perez early this year before the West Coast swing and he’s done nothing but provide good results. He’s 11/12 when it comes to making the cut this year, the one miss coming as a result of a first round withdrawal at the Waste Management Open. With seven top 25s and four top 10s, Perez is in the midst of a career year.
While this may be the maiden voyage for Perez at Augusta, his game lines up very well for a strong performance here. Despite only ranking 71st in Driving Distance, Perez is fifth in par-5 scoring (4.46), a vital part of competing here at Augusta. While fairing moderately well in Greens in Regulation at 69.86%, Perez’s ability to Scramble and avoid big numbers will be a key component to any success he’ll have this week; he currently ranks inside the top 25 in Bogey Avoidance, Scrambling, and Strokes Gained: Around the Green.
Warrior #4: Bill Haas
(FantasyDraft – $14400, DraftKings – $7200)
As Haas heads to Augusta he’ll look to continue on what has already been a great season. He’s nine for nine when it comes to making the cut, with seven of those events resulting in top 25s. Despite playing extremely well, Haas’ strong season had been going somewhat under the radar before his third place showing at the Dell Match Play. When looking at his performance in the key stats, it’s no wonder Haas was able to go toe-to-toe with the best in the World in Austin.
- Strokes Gained: Tee to Green – 17th
- Bogey Avoidance – 3rd
- Greens In Regulation – 19th
- Good Drive Percentage – 50th
Not only does Haas check the boxes of statistical performance and recent form, but he also marks off the course history box as well. He’s never missed a cut here in seven attempts, and the last five years here he’s finished 24th, 12th, 20th, 20th, and 37th. Haas’ recent performance leads me to believe he can improve upon those top 25 finishes and provide excellent value at this discounted price.
TOTAL SALARY REMAINING: $16700 per golfer on FantasyDraft; $8450 per golfer on DraftKings.