Insights

Masters Tournament – Preview

Dustin Johnson is aiming to become the fourth player in history to retain the Masters title. A feat that has only been achieved by Jack Nicklaus (’65 and ’66), Nick Faldo (’89 and ’90) and most recently by Tiger Woods (’01 and ’02).

The year of the J

Dustin Johnson has been the best in the world for a while now and rightfully so. A man on a mission, he is one of two players in the field that have finished in the top 10 in the last three Masters – Jon Rahm is the other.

Jon Rahm is the most likely challenger to DJ. The Spaniard has been knocking on the door for a while and is consistent both on the PGA and European tours. It’s time for him to win a major. 

Jordan Spieth won the Valero Texas Open last week and loves playing at Augusta. Thomas, a previous winner, won the last big tournament (Players Championship). Both have been in good form. 

Holes to watch

There are five holes in particular where the Masters will be won or lost. 

Hole 5 – Magnolia

Most difficult in 2019. Magnolia is the second-longest par 4 on the course. If you go left off the tee, a bogey would be a good result. 

Amen Corner: 

Hole 11 – White Dogwood

Longest par 4 on the course at over 500 yards. Must hit a good tee shot to set up a long iron into a welcoming green. Birdie opportunity if you are brave. 

Hole 12 – Golden Bell

Short par 3 which plays havoc with golfers, as wind is difficult to judge. If you end up short of the green, your ball will get wet. If you go a little longer, you will end up in the back bunkers. Expect a lot of players to end up in those said bunkers.  

Hole 13 – Azalea

Azalea is the perfect example of risk vs reward. Short par 5 with an eagle opportunity, if you are willing to drive the ball (blindly) over the trees. Alternatively, you can take the safe route, and hope to make a birdie. 

Hole 18 – Holly

Narrow fairway to the green, bunkers placed in the landing spot of a 315-yard drive off the tee. One of the best closing holes on any golf course. 

No love for a “lefty”

Augusta tends to favour left-handed players who can play a decent fade shot. So, Phil Mickelson, arguably the best lefty of all time, will be looking to add to his five major wins this week. However, if you are really looking for a lefty to follow, Robert MacIntyre might be a good prospect. Ranked 45th in the world, he ticks all the boxes apart from one…he is a debutant. Debutants don’t tend to do well. 

Outsiders and No-hopers

A shock winner may come from the likes of Shane Lowry, or Joaquin Niemann, but don’t expect the golfing gods to shine on Rory McIlroy or Brooks Koepka. The latter had knee surgery three weeks ago, and McIlroy is still working on fixing his swing. Both could miss the cut, badly. 

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