2018 Masters: 5 Sleepers to Watch

It's Masters week and time to look at some pivotal under-the-radar players who could contend for your Masters pools. To have success at Augusta National, I look at a few different factors:

  • Masters record - How a player has performed at Augusta National.

  • Recent form - Have they played well recently?

  • Driving distance - Being a longer driver is extremely advantageous at Augusta.

  • Iron Play - I believe the most critical aspect of Augusta is the approach shot. I look for players who excel with their iron play, especially those who have had success with uneven lies (Kapalua, Pebble Beach, Memorial and John Deere)

  • Recovery play - Players are bound to get out of position, and Augusta National has some of the most difficult green surrounds in the world. Players who are strong around the greens can keep momentum with par saves.

Screen Shot 2018-04-01 at 11.43.04 PM.png

Rafa Cabrera Bello - 125 to 1
Odds based off of golfodds.com

Cabrera-Bello is extremely long off the tee and an elite iron player. The Spaniard ranks 2nd in strokes gained: approach on the PGA Tour and has a win and 7 other top-11 finishes in his past 20 starts. RCB finished in a tie for 17th in 2016, his first Masters, and has shown the ability to contend in big time events with top 5s in 2 of the past 3 WGC events. Augusta National's generous fairways should help him find a few more fairways and a lot of greens.

Patrick Cantlay - 100 to 1

Last year's low-amateur at the Masters, Stewart Hagestad, thinks that Cantlay can win this year's event, and it's hard to disagree. Since returning from a back injury that sidelined him for over 2 years, Cantlay has been spectacular. He has missed zero cuts, yes, you read that correctly. In the process, Cantlay has notched a win and 8 other top-15 finishes in 20 starts. Cantlay ranks 16th in strokes gained: off the tee and 53rd in approach. In his lone appearance as a 19-year-old amateur (2012), Cantlay finished t47th and earned low-amateur honors.

Tony Finau - 80 to 1

Finau is a rookie at Augusta but is having a sensational season. In his last 13 starts, Finau has 2 runner-up finishes and 4 other top 10's. He leads the PGA Tour in driving distance, is 13th in strokes gained: approach and is 24th in strokes gained: around the green. Finau's only weakness is on the greens, something he should be able to overcome if his irons are dialed in. While Finau lacks experience, his recent form and course fit are too much to pass up.

Daniel Berger - 125 to 1

In his two trips to the Masters, Daniel Berger has notched a t10th and a t27th. To go along with a great record at Augusta National, Berger has ranked in the top 25 of the strokes gained: approach statistic in each of his three seasons on Tour. Berger's immense confidence suits a course that regularly calls for the great shot.

Bryson DeChambeau - 80 to 1

Bryson DeChambeau got into the Masters biway of his win at last year’s John Deere Classic. In his last start, DeChambeau finished runner-up to Rory at Bay Hill and finished t21st at the 2016 Masters (his lone start). In fact, had it not been for a triple bogey on the 18th during 2016's second round, DeChambeau would have been one shot off the lead heading into the weekend. DeChambeau ranks 14th and 33rd in strokes gained: off the tee and approach and has been playing practice rounds with Tiger at Augusta in prep for this year's tournament.