The Masters Tournament begins tomorrow Thursday, April 11th. The first tee time is scheduled for 8:30 AM. For a quick refresher on the first major of 2019, check out my previous article. In this article, I’m going to discuss my top ten golfers to win the event. It wasn’t easy to comb through some of the greatest golfers in the world, but I’m confident one of these men will walk away with a green jacket.
10. Francesco Molinari: FedEx Cup Rank 25, World Golf Rank 8
Starting off my list of top golfers is Molinari, a player who has made a strong impression on PGA Tour in the past two years. He won his first major in 2018 (The Open Championship) and recently won the 2019 Arnold Palmer Invitational. Molinari has been to the Masters seven times (three as a PGA Tour Member) and finally scored under par (-2) in the 2018 tournament. I’m predicting a large improvement this year for the golfer which could earn him his second career major.
9. Brooks Koepka: FedEx Cup Rank 11, World Golf Rank 4
Since his first win at the CJ Cup, Koepka hasn’t had much luck on tour. Out of the eight events played, he has only reached the Top 10 twice. However, he only had two wins last year; The U.S. Open and The PGA Championship. Get ready for Koepka to make an impact at the Masters after a slow start to his Spring.
8. Jon Rahm: FedEx Cup Rank 25, World Golf Rank 8
Out of my favorite golfers to win the even, Rahm is the one with the least experience at the Masters. However, in last year’s tournament he scored an impressive 11 under to finish in fourth place. His tour stats are solid to begin his 2019 season. Out of the ten events he’s played, Rahm’s finished within the Top 10 six times and has yet to miss the cut. In addition, he won the Hero World Challenge, an unofficial Tour event. Look for Rahm to surprise on the course this week.
7. Justin Thomas: FedEx Cup Rank 9, World Golf Rank 5
Thomas has been a very active golfer early in the season. Out of the ten events he has played this year, he’s finished within the Top 10 five times. This experience will definitely help to relieve the pressure he may face during his first major performance of the year. Like my last few golfers, Thomas has limited experience at Augusta National. Having played the last three tournaments, his play has improved from T39 at 10 over in 2016 to T17 at 4 under in 2018. Let see if he can learn from his busy season and use that to advance event further at the Masters.
6. Tiger Woods: FedEx Cup Rank 81, World Golf Rank 12
Woods is no stranger to the Masters and has won the event four times, just two shy of the all-time record. He should be able to use this experience to his advantage. Tiger’s biggest disadvantage is that he has yet to prove himself this year, and with only one PGA Tour win since 2013 it will be a battle. But as one of the greatest golfers of all time, it is hard to doubt Woods.
5. Jordan Spieth: FedEx Cup Rank 170, World Golf Rank 33
You can’t judge Spieth’s position in my rankings on what he’s done this year, but on what he’s going to do. Looking back at this year he has yet to place in the Top 10 and has been cut from three events out of the ten played. But my confidence in him comes from what he has done in the past. He has placed in the Masters for five straight years, two years in he won his first. 2017 was the only time he did not place in the Top 10, but came in 11th. As mentioned in the previous article, he is tied with Tiger for the lower winning score in Masters history. Last year he placed in third despite facing challenges in 2018 as well. Don’t count out Spieth in his first major performance of the year.
4. Justin Rose: FedEx Cup Rank 12, World Golf Rank 1
It would be hard to count out Rose who has earned the honor of being ranked the current #1 golfer in the world. Out of the seven PGA events played, he finished in the Top 10 five time including a win at the Farmers Insurance Open. His worst play was at the AP Invitational which seemed to be the case with a majority of the top golfers. Rose has played the Master thirteen times since 2003. In 2015 and 2017, he placed 2nd in the tournament, this could be the year he breaks the chain.
3. Rickie Fowler: FedEx Cup Rank 8, World Golf Rank 9
There is little doubt that Fowler deserves a spot in the Top 10 but some critics may point out that number three on the list is too high. But I have no doubt that he will be a force in this tournament. There is no doubt that last year’s 2nd place finish left a bad taste in his mouth, and a desire to achieve better. This year, Fowler has an early win at the Waste Management open but hasn’t done much to impress since then. What better venue that Augusta National to make an impact? Out of his eight appearances in the Masters, he has placed within the Top 10 twice.
2. Dustin Johnson: FedEx Cup Rank 10, World Golf Rank 2
Johnson is known for his ability to drive the ball, which often gives him the edge on the course, but will he have the discipline to play the short game? I think so. He has placed in the Top 10 during six of the nine events he’s play, included a victory at the WGC- Mexico. With the exception of the slight hiccup in the Dell Match Play, his game has been improving throughout the year. Johnson has competed in the Masters eight times, and has placed in the Top 10 the last three. He was a favorite to win in the 2017 tournament but had to withdraw due to back injuries.
1. Rory McIlroy: FedEx Cup Rank 2, World Golf Rank 3
McIlroy is having an impressive year. With a huge win at The Players Championship, and a second place finish at WGC Mexico being the best so far. He’s finished within the Top 10 seven times out the eight events played. In addition to this, McIlory has competed in the Masters ten times and has placed within the Top 10 the past five years in a row. Already having U.S. Open, The Open Championship, and PGA Championship wins under his belt, the Masters would complete his majors sweep.
Sources: Dates, standings, and league info taken from pgatour.com
Featured Photo Source: ALLEN EYESTONE/THE AUGUSTA CHRONICLE
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