Masters Preview

Before I get into it, I’d like to wish a very happy Masters’ Week to those who celebrate.

Is it a little weird that the PGA tour essentially kicks off their season with their signature event? Yeah it’s a little strange. Kinda like how NASCAR starts the racing season with the Daytona 500. In every other sport, the signature event ends the season, but hey I’m not gonna complain too much.

I’m pretty sure Augusta and southern California are the only two places on the planet where the weather is perfect all year, so if you have to start the golf season somewhere,it might as well be Augusta.

So let’s dive right into it:

Groups to Watch Thursday:

  1.  Tiger Woods, Marc Leishman and Tommy Fleetwood (10:43 AM).
  2. Justin Thomas, Sergio  Garcia and Doc Redman (10:53 AM)
  3. Matt Kuchar, Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler (1:27 PM)

The intrigue in the first group is obviously Tiger, but Marc Leishman may be the best player on Tour to never win a major. The second group features world #2 Justin Thomas and reigning Masters champ Sergio Garcia. The final member of the group, Doc Redman, is a collegiate golfer at Clemson, and won the 2017 US Amateur tournament, qualifying him for the Masters.The final group is probably the most exciting, featuring three players that should be in contention on Sunday.

Longshots to Win:

Matt Kuchar (50-1 odds), Thomas Pieters (70-1 odds)

Yes I know that Kuchar has never won a major. But I also know that he always hangs around in every tournament he’s ever played in, and he’s finished top 10 in 4 of his last 6 starts at Augusta.

Thomas Pieters is interesting because he’s played like shit pretty much everywhere. Except Augusta. He’s 26 and has just three top 20 finishes to his name. He has never won on the PGA Tour. Yet one of those top 20 finishes was a 4th place finish at the Masters last year. Maybe it was just luck, or maybe his driver ability just really shines at the Masters. Who knows. Keep an eye on him.

Top 5 in Order:

5. Matt Kuchar
4. Justin Thomas
3. Tiger Woods
2. Jordan Spieth
1. And

Winner: Justin Rose

Thomas is the best golfer in the world right now. Tiger is hot. Spieth placed tied for 11th at the Masters last year, but never finished lower than 2nd prior to that.

But Rose is on a different level right now. He has eight top 5 finishes in his last 14 starts. He’s never missed a cut in 12 tries at Augusta, and he has 5 top 10 finishes to his resume, including 2nd place finishes in 2015 and 2017. Simply put, Rose has the perfect game for Augusta. He drives big, putts well, and is overwhelmingly consistent. You can’t expect to win the Masters and have a big number anywhere on your scorecard. Big numbers is not something Rose is accustomed to.

Brian Borders (@bborders12)

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