The European Tour’s Fantasy Race to Dubai heats up this week as players head to Augusta National for the year's first Major - The Masters.
After last year's unique November tournament was won by Dustin Johnson, the World Number One returns to defend his title as The Masters returns to its usual April slot.
But who will be crowned champion this week, and who should you have in your Fantasy team?
Sign up now & submit your team https://fantasyrace.europeantour.com
HOW IT WORKS:— Fantasy Race To Dubai (@ETFantasy) January 20, 2021
📲 SIGN UP at https://t.co/T9ZTWyjevM
6⃣ SELECT six players
🥇Make one your captain (they'll score double)
🏆WIN weekly, big event & end of season prizes
It's that simple. #FantasyR2D pic.twitter.com/T9yxf7Z3Zx
Our expert picks will be brought to you every week by Sky Sports Presenter Kit Alexander and former Ladies European Tour player, coach and presenter Sophie Walker. The duo also co-host their own weekly Fantasy Golf Youtube Channel - and this week features special guest Paul Scholes.
The only question mark hanging over the Spaniard was whether he’d have to leave mid-tournament for the birth of his first child. His son arrived over the weekend, so he can come to Augusta buoyed by being a new father. He’s finished in the top 10 in his last three visits here and has five top-10s in seven starts this season. He’s top-10 in a plethora of stats, including 2nd on the PGA Tour in strokes gained – tee to green.
The four-time major winner has six top-10s in the last seven Masters, albeit he’s only really challenged for the title at a couple of those tournaments. He’s not been playing his best stuff, and his approach play will need to take a step up, but hopefully new coach Pete Cowen has had time to make an impact. I think it’s unlikely he’ll win, but his comfort level at Augusta has every chance of yielding another top-10.
He ticks a lot of boxes when you look at Masters winner trends. He’s playing well this year, including a win in Dubai, he finished tied-2nd in last year’s USPGA Championship, and he has five top-10s at Augusta, although the most recent was in 2017. His game is strong in all areas and it’s encouraging that his best strokes gained performance is in approach play, which is a vital skill at this venue.
JT is back on form after his blistering weekend at Sawgrass to clinch The Players Championship by a stroke over Lee Westwood. When a player gives a press conference and talks about “having the ball on a string” you know he is in control and confident.
Key statistics to look at around Augusta National are par 4 scoring, stroke average and birdies. He features in the top 5 of all of these groups and leads the birdie average on the PGA Tour (5.18 per round)
Thomas is very much trending in his Masters performances, he placed T39th in 2016, T22nd in 2017, T17th in 2018, T12th in 2019 and T4th in 2020.
Cantlay has four top 10 finishes and a win this season which puts him ahead of Rory McIlroy in the world rankings (10th). The 29 year old lead The Masters after 69 holes and nearly ruined Tiger Woods’ comeback in 2019. He also finished low amateur here in 2012. This year he ranks inside the top 10 in strokes gained tee to green (1.338), around the green (.508), birdie average (4.68) and a scoring average of (69.32). Patrick has all the attributes to win around Augusta National and justify a selection into your team this week
We had Paul Scholes on our preview show and he also picked Fitzpatrick. It’s easy to see why Matt is at the forefront of our minds, he has posted three top 10’s already this year (T5 Genesis, T10 Arnold Palmer and T9 The Players). The world number 16 has Billy Foster on the bag who is marking his 30th anniversary of caddying at Augusta. Speaking of the course, rumours are it is dry and fast which will suit the Yorkshire man's low ball flight and add length to his drives. And one final note, when deciding on your team bear in mind that seven out of the last ten US Masters champions were winning their first major.