The 2019 Masters gets underway for real tomorrow. And I’ve got four story lines I’m curious about as we get ready to celebrate another year at Augusta.
WILL TIGER BE A FACTOR SUNDAY?
Since Tiger’s last win at the 2005 Masters, that year when he made the incredible shot on the 16th to out duel Chris DiMarco, his average finish is 11th.
It’s been remarkable to see Tiger back out there playing without pain. Last year’s Tour Championship win was one of the best moments in golf we’ve seen in awhile. Golf needed it. Tiger needed it. As great as he once was, I’m not sure he was totally convinced he’d win again. And he did.
I see Tiger getting around a Top 15 finish this week. He’s not putting that well, which can be a big issue at the ANGC. If he can hang around the lead until the back nine Sunday, maybe he can conjure up some old magic. I just don’t see him winning.
RORY GOES FOR THE GRAND SLAM… AGAIN
Rory is playing some great golf. His recent win at The Players showed he can still close a golf tournament, which had become an issue for him.
McIlroy is the game’s greatest driver of the golf ball. That’s a huge asset for him at a lengthier Augusta. If Rory can make the big putts, the birdies and par saves, I think he wins.
Will his match play blowup against Tiger be in his head? Will the ghosts of his 2011 meltdown haunt him? It would be fun to see him deal with those issues down the stretch on Sunday.
IS IT RICKIE’S TIME?
Surely one of these days Rickie Fowler is going to win a major. He’s the guy at the top of that undesirable list for awhile now.
The former OSU Cowboy has said “I have all the shots that it takes to win here.”
He’s right. Rickie is one of the most popular players on Tour, but he desperately needs that major to beef up and already impressive resume.
Fowler did win earlier at the Waste Management Phoenix Open this season, and is playing well. He’s had issues in final rounds that have prevented him from winning over the years.
Fowler did shoot 65-67 over the weekend to finish 2nd last year. He also has another Top 5 in his 8 Masters appearances, and has never missed the cut.
I like Rickie to be a factor when it’s on the line Sunday.
JORDAN SPIETH, HELLO?
Jordan Spieth has been the number one player in the world 4 times. Right now, he’s a long way from number one. Not even in the same zip code.
Spieth was in the 30s in the OWGR prior to the Valero Texas Open, and 164th on the money list.
This is a guy that looked like a sure bet to win double digit majors, but now looks like a guy that lacks his old confidence.
Early Spieth made seemingly every putt, this Jordan isn’t making nearly as many.
However, if there’s one guy who can flip a switch, it’s Jordan Spieth at Augusta. His career 70.5 scoring average is the lowest over for the Masters for 20 rounds, and he shot a final round 64 to finish 3rd last year.
Spieth won here in 2015, and famously crumbled at the 12th hole with another green jacket in his grasp the next year.
Jordan has a win, two 2nds, a 3rd, and a tie for 11th in his 5 trips to Augusta. Pretty darn impressive.
Don’t think he’ll win, but do expect him to play well here again this week. Don’t bet against that track record.
Rory. He gets that career grand slam. Justin Rose runner up, with DJ third.
And btw, Charley Hoffman will have the lead at some point, right?
Let’s play this thing!
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