FANTASY GOLF THE MASTERS
By James Dalthorp III
BEAST DOME NATION.
Let’s keep it simple, fantasy fans. We’ve never played the Masters
Tournament this time of the year. The weather will be a little
different than April. The players won’t need as much Claritin. And
Augusta National is going to be a little different in fall than it was
in April. The leaves are falling and the weather might be brisk. And
of course, no fans.
The Masters this year will be one hell of an awesome week. Tiger Woods
was able to enjoy his title reign for a total of 18 months, which is
unheard of in any sport – and all due to the current state of the
world. Tiger’s win in 2019 was incredible – and highlights one of the
greatest comebacks and wins in the history of the sport. We have as
much to look forward to in 2020. Plus, we also will see the next
Masters in 2021 follow this event as the next major. Back to back
Golf fans know what to expect with this course but here’s the November
edition spark notes: The ball might not fly quite as far. The ground
might be even firmer in places. The greens will be insanely fast!! As
they are traditionally. Will we see different weather? It won’t be as
humid in Augusta. But we could see less greens hit and better putters
capitalize even more. I’m too excited – and so let’s get into my picks
(which I’ve thought about for months).
1. Rory McIlroy –
It’s time. Rory led the field at Sherwood in birdies. He’s looking to
win his first Masters – and for whatever reason, it hasn’t happened.
His issues, strangely, have happened off the tee at Augusta. Famous on
10, and in other years, missing the occasional fairway has hurt him.
Rory’s issues lately have been a little different. He sometimes has a
cold putter. But in a major that Rory has played quite well on despite
not winning, I believe not only will he like the fall setup but
embrace the conditions more. His game is sharp and he is due for a
win. This is a huge moment for Rory and with no fans, it might be
bittersweet. But he can handle it. He tends to be more of a lowkey
2. Bryson Dechambeau –
I never would have thought that Bryson would
have won the US Open, even after watching how he played during the
first few months of this restart. I did not think he could achieve
what he’s done so quickly – and doubted he could do it at all and be
sustainable. I still have questions – but I think he may have answered
them. His ability to stay loose with his World Long Drive swing is
somehow under some sort of self-government that is truly unbelievable.
It’s possible that he can win. And his work ethic is incredible. He’s
a very smart pick.
3. Tyrell Hatton –
Playing well, coming off three high finishes. I like
Hatton’s emergence onto the world stage. He plays well in difficult
conditions – and I believe if things get dicey, Hatton will climb to
the top here. If he’s going to win a major, I believe this is the top
one. I think he has underrated scrambling ability and his iron game is
strong. He’s a solid putter.
4. Bubba Watson –
My last 2 picks are sleepers and I have my reasons
for picking them. In my days on Tour following the best players in the
world, Watson was on top of his game. The only thing that’s keeping
Watson from having the kind of seasons he had then is his putting.
Augusta is one of those places he’s won multiple times at – and that
means his short game will come alive. He has been striking the ball
EXCELLENT! And I’ve been watching him intently and picked him on off
weeks at times. His long game is looking very clean and I love his
5. Brooks Koepka –
I’ve been watching Brooks intently over the past few months and I’m very encouraged to see how he played in Houston last week. He hit the ball pin high with his irons and showed the type of consistency that will serve him well in majors. I think a Bryson matchup on Sunday would be ideal. But for now, I’m expecting him to at least climb back into the top 5 and give this event a good run.
6. Justin Harding –
T12 last year, coming off a respectable finish in Houston, there’s no reason why Harding can’t join the likes of so many South African players who have won the Masters and claimed dominance there. He’s a great ballstriker and mentally tough.