We gave you five sleepers to watch this week at The Masters, and now we’ll run through the favorites. Most of these guys have won a major tournament, so instead of “Best major finishes,” we’re doing best Masters finish, and oddly enough, only one of these guys has a green jacket.
Is there really anything to say about DJ at this point? He won his first major last year and had his best finish at Augusta as well. He’s coming off of three straight wins and is the best player in the world at this moment in time. If he can win his second major championship at Augusta, he will join a select group of people who have won a U.S. Open and Masters in under 12 months.
Current rank: Numero Uno
Results this season: T35, T3, T6, MC, T3, 1, 1, 1
Best Masters finish: T4 in 2016
PGA Tour stats rankings: SG Off Tee – 2, SG Tee-to-Green – 1, SG Putting – 29, SG Total – 1
Will this guy just go ahead and complete the grand slam? McIlroy has come close to winning a Masters but has yet to get over that elusive hump that’s been holding him back as one of only six to win all four majors. A win at the Masters would take him to the next level.
Current rank: No. 2
Results this season (including Euro): T4, T9, 2, T7, T4, T30
Best Masters finish: 4th in 2015
PGA Tour stats rankings: McIlroy doesn’t have enough measured rounds on the PGA Tour for a ranking
Everyone knows what happened with Spieth last year, so there’s no reason to recap that, the question entering this season was “How will Spieth deal with what happened at Augusta when he returns?” So far this season, he’s done nothing but turn in great scorecards, and with his experience of both the highest of highs and lowest of lows at Augusta, he probably should be the real favorite.
Current rank: No. 6
Results this season: T6, T3, 3, T9, 1, T22, T12, T30, MC
Best Masters finish: Won in 2014 (T2 in 2013 and 2016)
PGA Tour stats rankings: SG Off Tee – 118, SG Tee-to-Green – 14, SG Putting – 39, SG Total – 7
Matsuyama started his 2016-2017 season on fire but has since returned to Earth. That doesn’t mean you should overlook him because the 25-year-old from Japan has finished in the top 10 in his last two starts at Augusta, and it is likely he will do so again this year…if he can control his putter.
Current rank: No. 4
Results this season (including other Tours): 1, 2, 1, 1, 1, 2, T27, T33, 1, MC, T25, T45, T51
Best Masters finish: Fifth in 2015 (T7 in 2016)
PGA Tour stats rankings: SG Off Tee – 10, SG Tee-to-Green – 7, SG Putting 185, SG Total – 30
Fowler is having an outstanding season and while two years ago he finished in the top five in all four majors, last season he missed the cut at the Masters and U.S. Open and outside of the top 30 in The Open and PGA Championship. It seems that something has changed since the end of the 2015-2016 season inside of Fowler. He appears to be more focused and considering in his nine starts he’s finished outside of the top 10 only twice, he has to be considered a threat this week.
Current rank: No. 8
Results this season: T6, T2, T3, MC, T4, 1, T16, 12, T3
Best Masters finish: T5 in 2014 (T12 in 2015, MC in 2016)
PGA Tour stats rankings: SG Off Tee – 26, SG Tee-to-Green – 4, SG Putting – 9, SG Total – 2
As a bonus, we’ll include Jason Day in this because he’s ranked in the top five.
Day has other things on his mind. He withdrew from the WGC-Dell Match Play after learning his mother would need surgery and has had a shaky start to his 2017 season. Despite those things, Day is still one of the best in the world, and his desire to succeed on the PGA Tour is second to none.
Current rank: No. 3
Results this season: T12, MC, T5, T64, DNS, T23, 58WD
Best Masters finish: T2 in 2011 (T10 in 2016)
PGA Tour stats rankings: SG Off Tee – 54, SG Tee-to-Green – 51, SG Putting – 147, SG Total – 77
And apparently, we’re just going to overlook number five Henrik Stenson which means he’ll probably win.
Odds via BigOnSports.com