Blue Chips & Penny Stocks: Masters Edition

Hello friends, and welcome to a tradition like no other. Well, it's not a tradition yet… but all traditions have to start somewhere. Welcome everyone to the 2023 Masters Edition of Blue Chips and Penny Stocks! Since the PGA is not on Prediction Strike yet, please indulge me in some playful “fan fiction.” I have heard on good authority that the brass at PS is looking into adding the PGA golfers to the platform sooner than later, which got this left handed golfer veeeery excited. So excited in fact, I wrote a whole article as if it was already available! I hope this gets you excited for the best week in golf, and hopefully even more excited to invest in your favorite golfers in the not so distant future. Jump in your cart, grab a couple pimento cheese sandwiches, and take a trip with me down Magnolia Lane. 

Let me start by acknowledging the fact that not everyone reading this is a golf fanatic like myself. There will definitely be some tour pros, but I assume the vast majority of you will be relatively new to the sport, especially from a “fantasy/investment” point of view. It is my goal to make this article as interesting and informative for both parties. I explain some pretty novice concepts, like what is the masters, but I also go into pretty hardcore stats like tee-to-green strokes gained. Again, my goal is to make you excited for the Masters, and more importantly, excited to invest down the road. So let's start with why you should care about the tournament. The Masters is a Major event on the PGA tour schedule, and I don't just mean it's a “big deal.” Throughout the year, the PGA puts on dozens of events, almost one per weekend, but there are four “Major” events a year, most notably, The Masters. Each year the Masters is played at Augusta National Golf Course in Augusta, Georgia. This is the event with the Green Jacket if that's helpful. This is like the Daytona 500, Wimbledon, Monaco in F1, etc. It's technically just another tournament, but it means so much more than the financial incentives or the tour points the winner will receive. This is for bragging rights, and more importantly, legacy. If you are a Masters winner, you go down in history. So there is a lot at stake, but this year, there is added pressure in the form of a heated showdown between the PGA Tour golfers and the LIV Tour Golfers . The two rival tours will clash for the first time this season at Augusta National, where 18 LIV golfers will join the field of 96 players. LIV golf is a controversial spin- off league that was founded by PGA Hall of Famer Greg Norman, backed by the Saudi government and pay players exponentially more money. Critics will say the money is Saudi blood money, and the league is a way to “Sportswash” the government’s heinous activities, most notably the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The two leagues have had a war of words over the past year and a half, and there have been a handful of tournaments where PGA and LIV players have met,  but there hasn’t been a face off like the one we will see at Augusta this week since its inception. The drama between the two leagues will be almost as interesting as the golf itself. 

For golf enthusiasts, picking the right players for the Masters can be a challenging task. There are many factors to consider, such as course history, current form, statistics, and matchups. Moreover, there is the added element of uncertainty about how the LIV golfers will fare against their PGA counterparts, and vice versa. Will the LIV golfers be rusty or ready? Will the PGA golfers be motivated or intimidated? Will there be any drama or tension between the two sides? Will Rory Mcllroy punch Patrick Reed in the face? These are the burning questions! 

We can’t predict how the players will act around each other, but we can try and predict how they will play once they are on the course. So here are some of the key players to watch from both tours, along with their fantasy relevant statistics. Hopefully this will give you some ideas who you want in your imaginary portfolio this weekend, and maybe someone to root for while watching! 

PGA Tour players to watch:

Rory McIlroy: The Northern Irishman is ranked No. 2 in the world, and has been by far the most outspoken about LIV golf since its inception. If you watched the Netflix show Full Swing, you know what I am talking about. All eyes will be on Rory to see how he handles the situation with the LIV players, but also because he is a Green Jacket away from the career grand slam. He has won the other three majors, but for some reason can’t crack Augusta. He got very close last year coming second to Scottie Sheffler, but no dice. Rory has played in this tournament 13 times, banking a top ten in six of them. Will this be the week he cracks the code? How poetic in front of all the LIV golfers. If you are a Rory fan, that will be a fairytale conclusion to the week.

Jon Rahm: The Spaniard is ranked No. 3 in the world and has five worldwide wins since October 2022, including the Genesis Invitational in February 2023. He leads the PGA Tour in scoring average (68.9) and is second in strokes gained: tee-to-green (1.96). He has also finished in the top 10 in four of his last five Masters appearances, including a fourth place in 2018, and tie for 5th in 2021. Rahm is one of the hottest golfers in the game right now, winning three events in the 2022-2023 season thus far. Rahmbo can be a bit streaky, but if he comes in like he has been playing, everyone needs to watch out! 

Scottie Scheffler: The American is ranked No. 1 in the world and has six wins since February 2022, including the Masters and the Open Championship in 2022 (another Major.) He is second on the PGA in scoring average (69.1) and is second in strokes gained: tee-to-green (1.92). He is also the defending champion at Augusta National, where he won by two shots over Rory McIlroy last year. If he wins this year, Scottie will go down in history as only the fourth player to win back-to-back green jackets, joining greats like Nick Faldo, Jack Nicklaus, and Tiger Woods. Scottie might be a tad bit boring in nature, but his game is anything but. He is undoubtedly the world number one right now, and if he comes into Augusta playing like he did last year, it's all but over before it even starts. If he had even an ounce of charisma, he would be a household name by now. Unfortunately you are probably hearing about him for the first time right now. 

Tiger Woods: Speaking of Tiger! Everyone reading this should know who Tiger is, so you know I had to include him in the write up!  Do I think Tiger can win this week? No, not really, but his legend status deserves a portion of the article. This will only be Tiger’s second start of the 2023 season, first being a made cut (barely) at the Genesis Invitational in February. The rust will most certainly be on Tiger, and the million dollar question is if he makes the cut, will his body hold up walking a very hilly Augusta National? But look, if anyone can do it, he can. This is a man who has played this tournament 22 times, and has won it five times (one off the record.) They literally had to “Tiger Proof” the course when he broke the course record in route to his 1997 victory. Most recently, Tiger won in 2019, which was in my opinion, the greatest victory in the history of golf. People can doubt him all they want, but if Tiger is even remotely healthy, he will be ready to make a Tiger like charge come Sunday afternoon. 

LIV Golfers to Watch: 

Cameron Smith: The Australian is ranked No. 6 in the world and has five wins since December 2021, including the DP World Tour Championship in his native Australia in December 2022. He is third in strokes gained: total (1.69) and fourth in strokes gained: putting (0.76) on LIV Golf. He has a pretty outstanding history at Augusta, especially considering his age. His best finish was a runner up to Dustin Johnson in 2020 and a T-3 in 2022. That is three top fives in the past five tournaments. Cam Smith was arguably the hottest name in golf when he “defected” over to the LIV tour. A lot of critics assumed older, “washed up” golfers will go to LIV to get one final payday before retirement, so when a 27 year old major winner like Smith left, it raised a lot of eyebrows. If anyone from LIV will, Cam Smith is the favorite. 

Brooks Koepka: Koepka has always performed well at major championships, and his record at the Masters reflects that. From 2015-2019, he improved upon his finish in each year. However, playing through a leg injury in 2021, Koepka missed the cut for the first time in his career. Koepka recently won the LIV Golf-Orlando ahead of Masters last week, so we know he is in good form. His win this past weekend makes him a two time winner on the LIV Tour, making him the only golfer to do so thus far. He has a chance at winning the Masters this year as he has built a nice resume at The Masters with a T2 in 2019, with another Top 10 finish in 2020. Brooks is known to be a streaky golfer, so with his win last week, watch out for a dialed in performance. Speaking again about the Netflix show Full Swing, Brooks came off as one of the more… unlikeable characters, so I am sure he will try and change the narrative this weekend.

Dustin Johnson: Dustin won the 2020 Masters in record-breaking style at Augusta National with a five-stroke margin after a final round 681. He finished with a 4-under 68 in Round 4, setting a 72-hole scoring record of 20 under, the lowest score to par in the history of the Masters at Augusta National. He has five straight top ten finishes at Augusta, so we know he has great course history. Dustin was one of the first major names to jump over to LIV, and he made the most of it! Dustin Johnson won $35 million in earnings in the first year of the Saudi-backed LIV tour. This includes his $18 million for winning the season-long individual title! Dustin has the skill, and clearly has the course history, but you know how the saying goes, “it’s hard to wake up when you’re sleeping on silk sheets.” Let’s see if Dustin wakes up for the moment. 

If you aren’t ready to sit back and watch four days straight of Masters coverage, I can’t help you! Once you hear that sweet song play, and Jim Nantz’s sultry voice welcoming you onto Augusta National, you will be hooked just like me. I hope and pray that golf will be added to the platform before next season's Masters, and we can do this properly, but until then, let's use our imagination, and watch this tournament with Prediction Strike in mind. I hope you enjoy the tournament, and enjoyed this article! Make sure to keep an eye on the posts, because I plan on having an MMA expert discuss this weekend's championship card between Israel Adesanya and Alex Periera in a Blue Chip Beat Reporter article. Until then, enjoy the beautiful spring weather, and try to get out on the course if you play! 

Happy trading,

Alex True


Popular posts from this blog

How to Win on PredictionStrike

What is PredictionStrike?

Insider Trading, Edition #2: Brian Martin, Dallas Cowboys