Columns

Early Masters primer

Early Masters primer

We’re two weeks away from the start of the 2016 Masters. And this year’s battle for the prestigious green jacket is shaping up to be quite the showdown.

Tiger Woods will not be teeing it up, but he hasn’t won at Augusta in over a decade anyway, and Woods needs as much time off as possible to heal his body and mind if he’s ever going to be a factor again.

However, a lot of big names and former champions are rounding into form as the Masters draws closer.

Here’s how I rank the top contenders right now with the opening tee shot set for April 7th.

1. BUBBA WATSON

His ball flight and track record of winning when he’s in contention here are too good to ignore. Plus, Bubba also won earlier this year at Riviera. That’s a nice trend for the two-time Masters winner.

2. ADAM SCOTT

The 2013 Masters champ won twice on the Florida swing (Doral and Honda) and is playing with a ton of confidence. One of the biggest surprises on tour this year is the way the Aussie has handled the transition from the long putter to a regular sized flat stick. Hasn’t hurt Scott so far, but Augusta’s Indy 500 fast greens will be a truer test of his nerves.

3. JORDAN SPIETH

The defending champ hasn’t had much of a year by his lofty standards. I think he played too much overseas early (those multi million dollar appearance fees are hard to ignore) and burned himself out. Spieth won the Hyundai in January, but he hasn’t had a top-10 since. Still, the way he plays majors and manages his game on the big stage makes him a huge threat.

4. JASON DAY

Day has been in contention many times at Augusta National, but hasn’t slipped into a green coat yet. The Aussie did win at Bay Hill last week and if he drives it well his short game and putting will keep him in the hunt again. Plus, finally winning that first major at the PGA last year helps him be able to close.

5. PHIL MICKELSON

If you need a tour guide to show you how to play this course, Phil is your best choice in this field. Lefty is almost always a factor here and has three top-10’s this season in seven events, including a runner-up finish at Pebble Beach. Pretty good signs that he should be near the top of the leaderboard Sunday.

OTHERS TO WATCH

Charl Schwartzel (2011 winner)
Rory McIlroy (strange year)
Rickie Fowler (#5 in the world)
Henrik Stenson (3 wood Master)
Danny Willet (rising in the rankings)

We’ll be there to cover the event at our totallytickets.com Augusta Studios starting Wednesday, April 6th.

Thanks to Mike Fletcher and our friends at totallytickets.com for hosting us again.

Maybe……. Yes Sir!!!

More in Columns

Week 7 Recap – Late Night Fantasy

Staff WriterOctober 23, 2017

Week 9 Franchise Heisman Watch: We can all agree on something

John E. HooverOctober 23, 2017

John E. Hoover: Mike Boynton’s home run hire of Scott Sutton is a shot in the arm for Oklahoma State

John E. HooverOctober 22, 2017

John E. Hoover: Cowboys bring nation’s No. 1 offense and an impressive winning streak to Austin

John E. HooverOctober 21, 2017

John E. Hoover: Worried about Sooners blowing double-digit leads? Stoops figured it out; so will Riley

John E. HooverOctober 21, 2017

The Franchise