As we post this article, we are less than 24 hours from the return of the Masters and Tiger Woods first golf shot in a pro tournament in over 500 days. Excited, you bet!
In our previous two articles, we looked at players who have a chance to finish in the Top 10 and Top 20 as well as identifying five players who could don a Green Jacket come Sunday night.
Today, we will look at some head-to-head matchups that should come to fruition. That’s the plan anyway.
If you are unfamiliar with this format, there’s no defense in golf. While it is a head-to-head matchup, the players may never see each other, let alone play in the same group. It’s simply who you think will finish with a better score over the course of four rounds.
Of course, you are going to hope your player plays a full 72 holes, because if he misses the cut, the best you can do is push, but only if the other player also misses the cut.
Now that we have the format clarified, here are five matchups to exploit and no, we did not shy away from some of the bigger names in the sport.
As always, odds are provided by DraftKings Sportsbook:
Collin Morikawa +140 over Rory McIlroy:
I get the world’s third-ranked player as an underdog, albeit against someone who is a win away from the career grand slam, that’s too much value to pass on. Morikawa is playing in only his eighth Grand Slam event, but he has won two majors already. Give me Morikawa over McIlroy.
Cam Smith +155 over Jon Rahm:
Here’s another world-class player who is an underdog, albeit against a Goliath in Rahm. Smith is in a comfort zone at Augusta with three top 10’s in his last four Masters starts, including last year where he recorded the only four-round total of scores in the 60s in the history of the Masters. Oh yeah, he has won twice already this season. While Rahmis the world’s second-ranked player, he hasn’t won since last June’s US Open. Give me Smith, who is the hotter of the two players.
Xander Schauffele -105 over Viktor Hovland:
Another matchup of top-10 world ranked players, Schauffele was key on the US Ryder Cup team, won a gold medal, and is poised to become a major champion. Hovland’s game tee to green is as good as anyone, but putting is a weak spot and that doesn’t bode well on the slick Masters greens. Take Xander in a virtual pick'em.
Brooks Koepka +115 over Dustin Johnson:
Last year at this time, Koepka missed the cut at Augusta, but that was mainly because he was coming off knee surgery. No one raises his game for majors like Koepka and he just beat Rahm in the match-play event two weeks ago. DJ has won at Augusta as recently as 2020 (the November Masters), but it's too tempting to grab Koepka and his bulldog approach to majors as an underdog.
Will Zalatoris -115 over Louis Oosthuizen:
There is a reason that Zalatoris is a favorite in this matchup. He ranks second, which also happens to double as the number he finished last year, in strokes gained on approach shot and tee to green, two important statistics at the Masters. As talented as Oosthuizen is, he only has placed in the top 10 in one of his 13 trips to the Masters. Advantage Zalatoris.
For golf enthusiasts, the next four days are the Super Bowl and World Series all rolled into one event. Enjoy the Masters!
For full Masters odds via DraftKings, click here
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