PGA Sim Sports Picks for The Masters on FanDuel
The PGA Tour's major season has been derailed, and while there's nothing we can do about that for now, it's tough entering what should have been Masters week without any daily fantasy golf.
So that's why FanDuel did its thing and is offering a simulated event for this year's Masters. You can join the free-to-play contest here.
There are some caveats, so we'll dig into everything about it now.
You can learn all the details about PGA Sims Sports on FanDuel here, but I'll run down he basics: it's the same format as your usual PGA DFS event. You roster six golfers and accrue fantasy points for how they do in the simulated event. Scoring is the same as a standard PGA Tour event.
Are there any tweaks? Of course. The main one is that -- rather than these golfers playing out the event -- stats are the basis for the simulation. Specifically, "distance, par, and player skill." That's really all we have to go on.
Additionally, there are some legendary golfers, such as Jack Nicklaus, and fictional golfers, such as Happy Gilmore. (For real.)
So, we're going to have to use some guesswork here.
Because this is the Masters, we're looking with a smaller field (102 golfers) and a tougher cut (top-50 plus those within 10 shots of the lead after two rounds). This should make us think twice about loading up on too many punts (especially the unknown quantity that are the fictional characters).
A lineup with all six players playing the simulated weekend will be vital, and it's better to be more balanced than too scattered. It's easy to do with the value available.
Handling the Active Golfers
Without knowing exactly what data goes into projecting the winner of a golf tournament (hey, this kind of sounds like a real golf event the more I think about it), I went back and leveraged datagolf.org's adjusted strokes gained data. Typically when breaking down an event, current form is key, but I would have to assume a larger sample of data goes into this. I used data since 2018 to try to identify some of the best per-dollar plays on the slate among the active golfers.
Most of the other big names priced in the $11,000 range are stellar options, too, of course, and you can probably differentiate most by picking your studs of preference.
Rory and JT are the first places to look at the top, but anything is possible, so Jon Rahm ($11,800), Patrick Cantlay ($11,200), Dustin Johnson ($11,300), and Tiger Woods ($11,500) should be in the fold, too.
We don't have to punt in order to find golfers who should rate out really well in any type of model that weights in player skill level, so I would strongly suggest sticking only to the active golfers.
Handling the Legends
Based on their pricing, a few of the legends should have some stellar stats, primarily Jack Nicklaus ($11,900), Ben Hogan ($11,400), Bobby Jones ($11,100), and Arnold Palmer ($10,900). My guess (and I can't emphasize this enough: my guess) would be that Palmer, Sam Snead ($10,200), and Gary Player ($9,400) are the best legends plays when accounting for their pricing.
Those who are listed lower probably aren't expected to do as well, and we don't need to load up lineups with them -- unless you're looking for maximum fun. Speaking of fun...
Handling the Fictional Characters
My best guess is going to be to avoid the fictional characters, as most of them are priced at the bottom of the player pool. If the simulations really do factor in things like distance and overall skill, the best option has to be Happy Gilmore ($7,200). Gilmore has been known to hit 400-yard drives, and whether or not he has learned to putt will be the real key for his simulated outcome.
Another factor in Gilmore's favor is that he has won a gold jacket (green jacket? who gives a shit?). Additionally, I'd have to think winners rate out better than losers (of which there are a few -- like Shooter McGavin, who choked.)
The author of this article has no involvement with the PGA Sim Sports simulations powered by numberFire and has no knowledge of the results of the upcoming contest.