The Masters Tournament 2023
The 2023 Masters Tournament has arrived, and I frankly couldn’t be more excited for the infamous event that has been around since 1934. We have 89 players competing this week, and the top 50 golfers plus ties after round 2 will move on to play rounds 3 and 4 on the weekend.
There’s $15M to be won this week, the winner takes home $2.7M and also collects 600 FedEx Cup points. Augusta National Golf Club is 7,510 yards in length, is a par 72, and the greens are bentgrass. The average winning score at this tournament over the last ten years is -11.7, so this course is certainly not a cakewalk as the last two years have had winning scores at -10. The record at the Masters is held by Dustin Johnson who shot a -20 just three years ago, and won by a landslide by five strokes over two other golfers. Some core key stats to pay attention to this week, in order, include strokes gained: tee to green, driving distance, strokes gained: around the green, strokes gained: off the tee, and strokes gained: approach.
Three questions that are relevant to the Masters Tournament this week:
- Strokes gained total is always an important stat to look at, so which 10 players have fared the best over their last 24 rounds? Scottie Scheffler, Jon Rahm, Jason Day, Patrick Cantlay, Max Homa, Tony Finau, Xander Schauffele, Rory McIlroy, Taylor Moore, and Justin Thomas.
- Which 10 players gained the most strokes total (minimum 8 rounds) at this event since 2018? Will Zalatoris (8 rounds), Dustin Johnson (18 rounds), Scottie Scheffler (12 rounds), Jon Rahm (20 rounds), Cameron Smith (20 rounds), Rory McIlroy (18 rounds), Justin Thomas (20 rounds), Patrick Reed (20 rounds), Hideki Matsuyama (20 rounds), and Corey Conners (16 rounds).
- What’s my top calculated bet for the week (the goal here is to at least double the wager)? We haven’t seen him on the PGA Tour in a while, but I like what Na has done here and so to get a +140 for him to finish top 40 works for me.
Below you will find players that I will bet, might bet, and five random bets that interest me. The odds come from DraftKings Sportsbook and are outright numbers. My betting strategy is to hedge quite a bit so my upside isn’t huge but neither is my downside, and I’m profitable or break even in roughly 70% of the weeks I’m active.
5 Players That I’m Absolutely Betting
Scottie Scheffler (+700) – Based on the results, stats, and pedigree, I believe that Scheffler is the top play this week by a bunch over McIlroy. He has two wins over his last five starts, two other T4’s, and seems to be in contention almost every time he tees it up. He’s a ridiculously talented ball-striker and can pop in any of the other stat categories also. He won by three strokes last year over Rory, and I can see something similar playing out again this week, as well. I’m betting him to win, to finish top 5, top 10, and other bets with Scottie’s name also.
Rory McIlroy (+700) – Another year at Augusta, another debate as to whether McIlroy will complete the career grand slam in 2023. He has had a lot of success at The Masters with a 2nd last year, and seven top 10’s over the last 9 years, but he hasn’t been able to win a green jacket just yet. Rory has won twice in 2023, has two top 3’s over his last three tournaments played, and will no doubt be playing to win this week. He was very stout here last year and could have won if his putter was at least somewhat warm. I may only bet Scheffler and McIlroy to win this week since I believe one of them will get the job done come Sunday evening, and I’ll also bet Rory to finish top 10.
Jason Day (+2000) – Day has really surprised me with such solid play over the last five months or so now and has five top 10’s in his last six starts – so he’s red hot coming into this week. Don’t let his back-to-back missed cuts in 2020 and 2021 fool you into thinking he can’t play at Augusta as he has four top 10’s since 2011 at The Masters. I’m probable to bet J-Day to finish top 10 and top 20 this week, along with some potential matchup wagers, as well.
Jordan Spieth (+1600) – This course has really been kind to Spieth over the years with a win in 2015, two other T2’s, a 3rd, a T3, and a T11 over the last nine years. He also has a couple of top 4’s over his last four events played, and his stats look promising also. I can see myself betting Jordan to finish top 10 and top 20, and may even venture into top 5 territory also.
Corey Conners (+4000) – Conners was quite solid last week to win the Valero Texas Open and he has three consecutive top 10’s at The Masters thanks to his elite ball-striking. Corey is typically not that great on the greens, but did gain almost a stroke last year and lost 1.31 in 2021 but still managed to finish T8 since his approach game was electric gaining 9.02 strokes to the field. I’m betting Conners to finish top 10 and top 20, and even his top 30 is -150 which isn’t so bad either.
5 Players That I Might Bet
Dustin Johnson (+2200) – DJ holds The Masters record with a -20 shot three years ago, and he has six top 12’s over his last seven looks at Augusta, so he knows this course well and loves playing here. We don’t have much strokes gained data on Johnson since he’s on the LIV Tour now, but did win four starts ago and consistently racks up top 10’s in those small field events. I think we got to assume that he’s revved and ready to go this week, and I think I can get behind a top 10 and top 20 wager, but need to do more research before committing.
Sungjae Im (+3500) – Im has enjoyed a bunch of success at The Masters with a T2 three years ago and a T8 last year. He secured a T6 at THE PLAYERS Championship just two starts ago, and seems to regularly finish inside the top 10, top 20, or top 30 despite playing a lot less than he did two or three years ago. I might get to his top 10 and will almost certainly bet Sungjae to finish top 20, but nothing is decided yet.
Max Homa (+2500) – It appears that Homa is turning into a superstar right before our eyes as he recently won the Farmers Insurance Open, had a 2nd four starts ago, and is coming off of two consecutive top 9’s including a T6 at THE PLAYERS in arguably the best field in golf. He’s solid throughout his bag and it makes him very dangerous almost every time he plays now. I think we will see Max break out in his fourth Masters look, so I’m likely going to bet him to finish top 10 and top 20.
Tony Finau (+2000) – Finau has already put together three top 10’s in five starts at The Masters including a T5 four years ago. He’s sound throughout his play and it has led to two top 9’s in 2023 and his worst finish is a T24 this year – not too shabby at all. Much the same as some others above, I can see myself betting Tony to finish top 10 and top 20 this week.
Kevin Na (+30000) – It appears as though he has played decent on the LIV Tour, and he has done quite well at The Masters with a T13 in 2020, a T12 in 2021, and a 14th in 2022. He also had a T12 in 2015 and the same result in 2012, so tween and teen finishes seem to follow him around here. I believe I may bet Na to finish top 20, top 30, and top 40 this week – especially given the generous odds.
5 Other Interesting Bets
Top 40 – Cameron Champ (+110) – His results coming into this tournament are usually bad to really bad, yet he still seems to score well at Augusta with a T10 last year, a T26 in 2021, and a T19 in 2020. He has gained over 11 strokes ball-striking here since 2021, and seems like a good bet to finish top 40 this week or even higher potentially if you want to get more aggressive with Champ.
Top 30 – Tiger Woods (+100) – I like the thought of doubling my money if Tiger finishes top 30 this week, because I believe he will given he had a T45 at The Genesis Invitational in his most recent start in mid-February – a field that’s bigger than this one and a course that doesn’t fit his game nearly as well as Augusta does. He won here in 2019, has five wins at The Masters in his illustrious career, and should be in the mix to finish top 30 this week. Move to a top 40 wager if you like the risk/reward better at -175.
Wire to Wire – Scottie Scheffler (+5500) – I believe that it’s Scottie’s tournament to lose this week, and think he could go wire to wire if his round 1 gets off to a good start. If you’re as bullish as I am on Scheffler this week and are betting him to win, then maybe also take a look at his +5500 odds to lead after every round – a +4800 bump up from just winning. Even a $5 bet would net you $280 if he destroys the field the way I know he can.
Top Canadian – Corey Conners (-165) – Conners is clearly the man to beat when it comes to Canadian talent at The Masters as he’s coming off the win last week and has three straight top 10’s here on the back of incredible ball-striking at Augusta. He could see some competition from Adam Svensson and Mackenzie Hughes, but my money is on Corey to take them down with ease.
Top 20 Finish Parlays – Scheffler, McIlroy, Rahm (+140) – These three golfers are the class of the golfing world right now, especially Scheffler and McIlroy, and I can see them all being in the mix to win this week. To more than double my money if these three all finish top 20 sounds good to me – book it and book it.
Be sure to do lots of research and due diligence on each player before parting with your hard-earned money, and all the best in having a profitable week!
Jeremy has been playing fantasy sports for over 20 successful years, and actively plays golf, hockey, baseball, and table tennis. He has over three years of fantasy sports writing experience – including writing a daily fantasy sports strategies and tools eBook in 2016. He is an active member of DraftKings – specializing in NHL and PGA contests over the past 5 years. He enjoys spending time with his family, traveling to hot places in the frigid Canadian Winters, binge-watching on Netflix, and starting and managing digital businesses.