We’ve arrived, the 2015 Masters is here. So it’s time for our masters predictions.
A year went fast, sure, but it seems like forever since we’ve last laid eyes on the beautiful property which sits inside Augusta National–the land of Bobby Jones.
An excerpt from a 2013 post by Dillon Friday titled, “The Masters: A tradition unlike any other…”
We stare out at an echoing snowscape in mid-winter, never further from the eighth fairway on an August morning. At moments like this we’d trade a couple of three putts, maybe even a four putt, to escape to the course for a few hours.
Then the piano chimes on the television, the camera fades out on Amen Corner, and Jim Nantz utters the now famous tagline “A tradition unlike any other… The Masters.” The commercial serves to remind us that, like Augusta’s trophy, the grass is greener on the other side of winter.
We recorded our podcast, which includes all of our Masters Picks, so click on the image below and listen!
Shell Houston Open Picks (LINK to Preview)
Matt Kuchar: 70th
Lee Westwood: MC
Shawn Stefani: 25th
Winner– J.B. Holmes: WIN
I hit with another winner with John Bradley Holmes. Now, I know humility is the goal, but I am quite proud of my “hot streak” so far in 2015, no matter how lucky I’ve gotten.
In the first century, no one would ever say to be humble, because to be humble was to lack integrity. The ancient Romans were up-front with their boasting, so why shouldn’t I? Aristotle said of evil things in the world, “they hamper the spirit and make it humble.” He didn’t view humility well.
Another quote from the time, “A humble man has forgotten his God-given dignity and is therefore, a scoundrel.”
Of course, I’m kidding. None of this is to boast, but if anything, share in my luck this year! Previews that have hit in 2015:
- Brooks Koepka’s win at the Waste Management Phoenix Open (Read Preview here)
- Brandt Snedeker’s win at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am (Read Preview here)
- Near miss (2nd) with Stenson at Bay Hill (Read Preview here)
Let’s hope I can make a couple of nice picks this week for everyone reading!
- What really needs to be said about Augusta? It’s incredible
- Read this article about how the professionals will be altering their clubs for Augusta National.
Click here for a link to the entire 2015 Masters field.
All of the TV Times can be viewed here.
Last 5 Champs at the Augusta National Masters
- 2014: Bubba Watson (Recap here)
- 2013: Adam Scott (Recap here)
- 2012: Bubba Watson (Recap here)
- 2011: Charl Schwartzel
- 2010: Phil Mickelson
Augusta National Venue Overlook
What needs to be said, this is the most magical place in all of golf. People fall asleep in their homes in all places of the world, and as they sleep, they think of Augusta.
This Week’s Picks– The Masters Preview
FIVE From the Fairway (that’s right, 5 Masters Picks!)
Jordan Spieth | Betting odds 12:1
You’ve gotta start your list with the hottest player in the world, Jordan Spieth. Now an argument could be made right now for J.B. Holmes (who stole victory Sunday from Jordan at the Shell), but I’ll take the kid with a stretch like this: 1, T7, CUT, T7, T4, T17, 1, 2, 2. You’re reading that correctly, 4 top-2s in his last 9 starts and 8 for 9 in top-25s.
His play last year speaks to the fact that his game can travel–especially to Augusta. At only 21 years of age, he should be finishing his junior year in college. Instead, he’s a favorite at Augusta.
Jason Day | Betting odds 12:1
The only disappointment that will truly stem from watching Jason Day this year will be the lack of his mullet above. His hair looked fresh today during his presser. As for his golf game, he will be completely fine.
Jason Day’s game has adapted tremendously well to Augusta National Masters golf course. The 27-year old has two top-3s in his last four appearances at the Masters. He can hit it long and combine that length with trajectory, a great fit at Augusta. He’s also got a deft short game. At Arnie’s place a few weeks ago, he didn’t shoot higher than 71.
He’s undoubtedly one of the favorites heading into the week.
Rory McIlroy | Betting odds 6:1
He’s a no-brainer to contend here, need I elaborate?
- This is the last leg of his career Grand Slam
- He’s won the last two majors– the 2014 Open and 2014 PGA
- He’s got two top-10s on Tour this year (in 3 starts)
- He’s been so close on a few different occasions at the Masters
- He has the distance to take advantage of Augusta National
One thing working against him is the fact that last year was his first top-10 at Augusta. He hasn’t dominated this event by any means, but he’s so talented, he’ll contend.
I mean, the dude is the world’s number one player. He’s been unflappable in his focus preparing for this event.
(He just needs to take better charge of the par-5s at Augusta and clean-up the big numbers.)
Rickie Fowler | Betting odds 25:1
He’s still waiting for his first major championship, but last year was historic with those top-5s–four of them. When looking for a basis to pick a player, you want to find a player who has a good track record at the venue and is playing well at the time of the event. Rickie’s weekend at the Shell Houston Open (77-76) doesn’t bode well for current form.
But I will pick Rickie based off his past performances in the majors and his focus placed on Augusta with swing coach Butch Harmon. His starts at Augusta before his T5 where also respectable, nothing worse than T38.
No win for Rickie, but a top-25 (or better) nonetheless.
Brandt Snedeker | Betting odds 30:1
I hope he lifts the hat like this at the end of the week, I will be cheering for him the hardest coming down the stretch–if he’s in contention. With a win already in 2015, he’s in the top-10 on the FedEx Cup rankings and finished T13 in his last start at Bay Hill.
Brandt Snedeker has two top-6s in this event since 2007. He’s one of the best putters in the entire world when he’s got it rolling and I expect him to make a lot of 8-15 foot putts this week, but will they be for birdies and pars? I hope so.
Look at the emotion from Brandt after his shortcoming in 2008. This event means a lot to everyone playing. But I wanted to show you what it means to a player with 4 top-20 finishes in his last 6 starts at the Masters.
One From the Rough (a Sleeper)
Ryan Palmer | Betting Odds 100:1
Be honest, you wanted to see a picture of Angel Cabrera here, didn’t you? El Pato! Nope, I’m going with a Palmer–after all, Palmer is a great name for the Masters.
Heading into the week, if you could tell me I get a guy who ranks 23rd in the world, 6th on the PGA Tour in driving distance and is coming off a T6 in his last start (Valero), I would start salivating. And when I find out that he’s 100:1 and has a top-10 on his resume at Augusta (2011), he’d my lock for a sleeper on the week.
Ryan Palmer is a great find. And if he can get the putter rolling, he might find himself in contention come Saturday. Remember, we’re picking a sleeper here. If you have a 100:1 player in contention on the weekend, you’re already playing with the house’s money.
Ryan Palmer is a player who favors the big, right-to-left shot shape. It’s all about how Palmer performs from the fairway in proximity and what he does with his conversion. I don’t think he will have any issues from the tee.
I like Palmer for some success this week.
(PS I also like Jamie Donaldson in the sleeper hole this week. In one start, he has a T14. He missed the cut at the Shell, but that only means more rest.)
(PPS I also think Gary Woodland’s game can compete here. He’s long as well, with a T24 in 2011 and a T26 in 2014. I think a healthy Woodland is a threat for Augusta. Not to win, but he’s a sleeper.)
The Man with the Trophy (In this case, jacket)
Jimmy Walker | Betting odds 40:1
Jimmy Walker is my boy this week.
I have a hunch that Jimmy Walker will be donning his new green jacket coming Sunday. Now I know I said above that I will be pulling hardest for Snedeker down the stretch, but now with my pick of Jimmy Walker, my allegiances might be with the Walker Texas Ranger.
Jimmy’s last start was a win at the Valero Texas Open. He now sits at the top of the FedEx Cup rankings for 2015. He also has a win at the Sony Open in January.
Talking though about Augusta, it’s long been the mantra that the “long, right-to-left shot gives an advantage.” This is a shot Jimmy Walker absolutely possesses and possesses well and he does it like Jason Day, with some serious “traj” (trajectory). He not only hits it long and can shape it in a favorable way of Augusta, but he is one of the best putters in the world.
Statistically, Jimmy’s putting ranks him 3rd on the PGA Tour in Strokes Gained: Putting. When looking at it with the eye ball test, his putting at the Ryder Cup under big pressure was impressive–extremely impressive. He did win 2.5 points for the U.S. side.
Finally, Jimmy’s track record at the Masters has stability, even if the list of achievements is short. In his first (and only) appearance last year, he locked a T8. Jimmy builds off that this year at age 36. I can just feel it.
Jimmy Walker: a Masters champion.
Read about Jimmy Walker’s first impression of ANGC in this PGA Tour article:
JIMMY WALKER: We played about 2009, in January or December. We had a great time. My dad birdied three out of four par‑5s. My dad and I got to play together for the first time. We stayed in cabins. It was amazing. I shot even par on the first day we played, and it was very wet. It played really long. Then the next day we played in 38 degree weather. I think that’s the only place on the planet you will go out and play when it’s 38 and drizzling. We played the back nine. We played nine holes. I shot 1 under and it was nasty. I remember the first day I hit driver, 7‑iron up into 18. Then the last day we played I hit driver and a hybrid into the green. Played completely different. It was hard, but it was cool. What a great experience. My dad, staying in the cabins. I think we stayed in Palmer’s cabin. Played the Par‑3 Course. We did it all. It was ridiculous.
Thank you for reading our Masters Picks, COMMENT below!