Texas once again before the Masters! For those who haven’t read our picks before, we don’t lose. Just an fyi.
With only 4 players of mine making the cut at the Valero (tough after having 4 of them in the super windy Thursday morning wave), I was expecting to not cash this week. But after Jimmy Walker put on a clinic and destroyed the field, and my other three players all under par on Sunday, I coasted to wins in all 4 of my contests. I’m 6/6 with the picks I post for free here, looking to go 7/7! Quick note, the first 4 guys here were pretty much obvious picks (I start with lower salaries first usually). The last two really took some thinking, and a little wavering. I feel like there could be a bunch of combinations of final two guys that would work, but these are (obviously) my two best guesses now.
Jason Kokrak ($8,800) — T7, T6, and T11 in the past three weeks. He’s playing well, very likely that he’s going to make the cut, so perfect play. And oh yeah, pretty sure I mentioned that he was going to play well last year (check out the bottom of that article). Granted, looks like he played badly at the Golf Club of Houston and missed the cut. Good thing I don’t put too much stock in past results.
John Peterson ($6,500) — I’ve been picking Peterson for a while now, and he’s coming off his best finish of the year (T11) and his salary increased a grand total of …. $200. He’s going to be in pretty much everybody’s lineup this week, and for good reason.
Brendon de Jonge ($6,300) — With the news that John Peterson isn’t going to play this week, I needed to go back to the drawing board. And who should be sitting just $200 below the WD’d Peterson but our good friend BDJ! Bad week at the Valero, but that was also a factor of being in the windy first wave on Thursday. I will say that I’m not as confident in him as I was a couple weeks ago. He fell apart the weekend at Valspar and hasn’t played well since. On the other hand, it’s only one week of bad play that can be blamed on the weather.
Brendan Steele ($8,300) — Another good week at Valero, hasn’t missed a cut all year, and moderately priced because he really hasn’t won yet this year. 50/50 player’s dream.
Shawn Stefani ($7,700) — Stefani continues to be a fantastic 50/50 play, especially still in his home state of Texas. Besides his 79 in the first round where everyone in that morning wave was swept off the course, Stefani hasn’t shot worse than 72 in the past three events. Just a matter of time before he wins, his world ranking goes up, and his salary gets higher.
Matt Jones ($8,700) — Winner last year, and only missed one cut which was his first event of the season.
Rickie Fowler ($9,300) — Hasn’t missed a cut, though he really hasn’t played well all year. His salary is no doubt inflated because of his amazing finishes in all of the majors last year, which is kind of a reason I’m going with him. I’m assuming that he’ll want one good finish before the Masters to gain momentum. Just kidding, that’s not how golf works. These guys try to play well every week. None the less, I feel like of the remaining guys that I can afford, Fowler has the best chance to do well.
Pretty decent week last week, what with the wind killing half the field. I easily cashed in my 50/50 thanks to five of my players making the cut, including three top 15’s, making for a nice comeback after I struggled at the Arnold Palmer. Anyways, I’m going to be entering a bunch of lineups into cheap qualifiers for next week’s Masters big money game as well as a 50/50 or two. The lineup below is going to reflect my best picks for a 50/50 team as the other entries will be all over the place. As always, the goal is to have all six picks make the cut, which will almost certainly result in a cash.
Sergio Garcia ($9,600) — Like him or not, Sergio has turned himself into a consistently very good player who makes a lot of cuts and contends often. He hasn’t been playing great this year (by his standards), but his showing at this course last season should help his confidence. In my opinion, Sergio’s game suites the course perfectly.
Lee Westwood ($9,200) — He’s showed both recent form as well as a very strong course history. Seems like a no-brainer as far as I can tell. Like Sergio, his style of play seems to be ideal for the course.
Matt Jones ($8,700) — Well, he won here last year in dramatic fashion, outdueling Matt Kuchar in a playoff. Additionally, his play of late has been some of the best and most consistent of his career with two top tens in his last four events with his worst finish in that same stretch being a t26.
Brendan Steele ($8,300) — Another made cut last weekend, finishing in the top 10. He is a cut making machine and combined with three top 15’s in his last four events, he is a lock despite his course history.
Danny Willett ($6,900) — You might be thinking, who? This pick may be slightly out on a limb, but I think he’s a very worthwhile play due to the value he brings as a lower/mid priced pick. Willett is ranked 47th in the world, and over the past couple of season has played with remarkable consistency on the European tour. He’s only missed three cuts since the 2013 Alfred Dunhill. Extremely good value in my opinion.
Carlos Ortiz ($6,800) — Another lower/mid cost pick that has tremendous value. Ortiz’s play has been consistent, especially for a rookie, missing only three cuts compared to five top 20’s. In my opinion, he’s a comparable play to Justin Thomas with just a bit less firepower and more consistency, which is what I’m looking for in a 50/50. It also helps that he’s valued at $300 cheaper than Thomas.
Like Jack, I want to note that although I really like these picks, there may be some changes before gametime on Thursday morning. It’s tough leaving players like Ryan Moore out, and if I see a way to improve, I’ll make sure to update the post.