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2019 Masters Preview


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It’s that time of year again the world best golfers will drive Magnolia Lane and answer the call of the 83rd Masters Tournament. 87 men will tee it up on Augusta National’s famous 18 holes of those 85 men, 20 are past champions of this event combing for 28 wins, 14 more are Major Champions in their own right. Around 6:30, Sunday evening 2018 Champion Patrick Reed will present the 2019 Champion with the Green Jacket unless of course, he defends his title then Chairman Fred Ridley will present the jacket to Reed himself. Let’s preview the field and rank them in power rankings

  1. Rory McIlroy: Best Finish: (4th: 2015) McIlroy will make his 11th straight Masters start and he’s yet to win and he’s finished in the top ten the last five years. The story of McIlroy at Augusta seems to be the same every year one high numbered round ends his chances. I think that ends this week and he completes the Career Grand Slam. 
  2. Dustin Johnson: Best Finish: (T-4th: 2016) Johnson was playing the best golf in the world two years ago when he hurt his back in his rental home on the eve of the tournament. He’d love a shot at getting a victory this week.
  3. Brooks Kopeka: Best Finish: (T-11th: 2017) Kopeka has won three of the last seven Major’s, he missed last years tournament with a wrist injury and looks to add his fourth Major a very esteemed class.
  4. Francesco Molinari: Best Finish: (T-19th: 2012) Molinari the reigning Open Champion first came to Augusta National to caddie for his brother Eduardo in 2006. He is playing the best golf of his career and looks to make it two Majors in the last three.
  5. Tiger Woods: Best Finish: (1st: 1997, 2001, 2002, 2005) Tiger Woods makes his 22nd start at the place that kickstarted his career 22 years ago. It’s hard to believe it’s been 14 years since his victory over Chris Dimarco in 2005 highlighted of course by his famous chip-in birdie on 16. A victory this week would have him join Jack Nicklaus as the only five-time winner.
  6. Jordan Spieth: Best Finish: (1st: 2015) Speith has not played good golf recently he hasn’t won in nearly two years but there is something about Augusta and Spieth that just brings out the best in his game, he’s finished no worse than 11th in his five starts here two years ago and that took a poor final round to drop that far. He’s finished no worse than 3rd in any other year, he’ll be in the mix this week.
  7. Justin Thomas: Best Finish: (T-17th 2018) Thomas comes to Augusta in good form, he was in shouting distance entering the final round last year but couldn’t get any momentum going. He’d love to add his 2nd Major Championship this week.
  8. Xander Schauffele: Best Finish: (T-50th 2018) Schauffele already a winner on tour this year out on Maui is playing very good golf and has a game that fits Augusta well and looks for the win in his 2nd start.
  9. Phil Mickelson: Best Finish: (1st 2004, 2006, 2010) Mickelson comes to Augusta National at age 48, he’ll make his 24th straight start at the Masters and 26th overall and looks to join Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and Tiger Woods as the only men in the four-time winners club
  10. Rickie Fowler: Best Finish: (2nd 2018) A birdie on the 72nd hole last year put pressure on Patrick Reed to Par the last which he did, Fowler will make his 10th start in the Masters and 39th Major Championship start he’s yet to win one and is stuck with the most dreaded title in golf “the best player to never have won a Major.
  11. Tommy Fleetwood: Best Finish (T-17th 2018) Fleetwood is playing the best golf of his life and comes into his 3rd Masters looking to make it five straight and 8th out of 9th first time Major winners at Augusta.
  12. Justin Rose: Best Finish (T-2nd/2nd 2015, 2017) Rose a two-time runner up at Augusta victim to Jordan Spieth’s remarkable performance in 2015 and a poor tee shot in a playoff cost him the win to Sergio Garcia in 2017. He looks to become the first European to win the US Open and Masters.
  13. Bryson DeChambeau: Best Finish (T-21st 2016) DeChambeau was in contention to win as an Amateur in 2016 until a triple bogey at 18 in the 2nd round led to a poor weekend in which he still won low Amateur honors. He’s back for his 3rd crack.
  14. Tony Finau: Best Finish (T-10th 2018) Finau made his Masters debut last year and played on a dislocated ankle he finished top-ten in three Major’s last year and looks to break through to win in 2019.
  15. Patrick Reed: Best Finish (1st 2018) Reed had never broken into the top ten at Augusta until he put together an incredible performance last year. He looks to become the first back to back winner since Tiger in 01 and 02
  16. Jon Rahm: Best Finish (4th 2018) Rahm was in contention last year until he put a ball in the water on the 15th and a bogey ended his chances. He looks to become the 4th Spainaird to win.
  17. Matt Kuchar: Best Finish (T-3rd 2012) Kuchar won Low Amateur here in 1998 as a Georgia Tech grad he makes his 13th appearance in the tournament looking for his first Major win.
  18. Adam Scott: Best Finish (1st 2013) Scott became the first Australian to win the Masters six years ago and the final round will be played on the 6-year anniversary to the day of the win. He looks to summon the magic he had six years ago once again.
  19. Bubba Watson: Best Finish (1st 2012, 2014) Watson is the last man to win the Masters and have it not be his first Major title, when he won his 2nd Green Jacket, five years ago. He looks to join the esteemed the three-time winners club.
  20. Fred Couples: Best Finish (1st 1992) Something special comes out of Couples when he drives down Magnolia Lane. He’s only finished worse than 20th once in his 50 and won 27 years ago I still don’t know how that ball stayed out.
  21. Jason Day: Best Finish (T-2nd 2011) Day was going to quit the game the week he finished tied for 2nd eight years ago. Since then he has added a Major and has become one of the World’s best players he looks to become the 2nd Australian to win.
  22. Sergio Garcia: Best Finish (1st 2017) Garcia finally had his moment in the spotlight two years ago. He eagled the 15th hole in the final round last year in the 1st round he made a 15 when he put five balls in the water. He looks to win his 2nd Masters in 3 years.
  23. Viktor Hovland (A): Masters Rookie: The US Amateur Champion from Norway makes his Masters debut he’d love nothing more than to have a seat next to Reed and the 2019 Champion at the Green Jacket Ceremony as the Low Amateur.
  24. Patrick Cantlay: Best Finish (T-47th 2012) Seven years ago Cantlay took home the Low Amateur title, he made his first trip back last years and looks for his first Major in his 3rd Masters.
  25. Cameron Smith: Best Finish (T-5th 2018) The 25-year-old from Brisbane looks like he’s six-years-old with the flat brim hat quickly establishing himself as one of the world premier players he looks to improve from his tie for five a year ago.
  26. Rafa Cabrera-Bello: Best Finish (T-17th 2016) Cabrera-Bello finished in the top ten of the last Major played last years PGA Championship, he’d love to follow in Garcia’s footsteps and become a Spaniard to win his first Major at Augusta.
  27. Paul Casey: Best Finish (T-4th 2016) Casey was the last player to make the cut last year he was sent out with Head Club Pro Jeff Knox on Saturday, and he surged all the way to into the top ten come Sunday eventually finished 15th. He looks to get his first Major Championship title this week.
  28. Zach Johnson: Best Finish (1st 2007) The man who laid up on all the Par Five’s that week 12 years ago and played them -11 looks for his third Major
  29. Marc Leishman: Best Finish (T-4th 2013) Leishman was just two shots out of the playoff that his fellow countrymen Adam Scott won six years ago. He had a good history at Augusta and looks to get his first win this week.
  30. Webb Simpson: Best Finish (T-20th 2018) Simpson makes his 8th straight Masters appearance and nearly broke the course record in the final round last year to get into the top-20. He’s played well over the past calendar year and looks to get his 2nd Major title.
  31. Kevin Kisner: Best Finish (T-28th 2018) Kisner is coming off a win in the Match Play, and was the 54 hole leader at last years Open Championship. It will be his 4th Masters and looks to get his first Major Championship.
  32. Louis Oosthuizen: Best Finish (2nd 2012) Oosthuizen lost in a playoff to Watson in 2012 despite a double eagle in that final round. He looks to add his 2nd Major Championship in his 11th Masters and become the 4th South African to win.
  33. Hideki Matsuyama: Best Finish (5th 2015) Matsuyama won Low Amateur honors in 2011 as the first-ever Asian Pacific Amateur Champion. He’s now back in his 9th Masters and looks to become the first Japenese winner.
  34. Keegan Bradley: Best Finish (T-22nd 2015) The 32-year-old from Woodstock, Vermont, and nephew of Hall of Famer Pat Bradley makes his first trip to Augusta in three years. He pulled off one of the greatest upsets in golf history with his win at the 2011 PGA Championship he would love to add a 2nd Major this week.
  35. Henrik Stenson: Best Finish (T-5th 2018) Stenson had his best ever result at Augusta a year ago, it was his first top-ten at Augusta in 13 tries he’s back for his 14th try and looks to get his 2nd Major Championship.
  36. Charley Hoffman: Best Finish (T-9th 2015) Hoffman routinely gets off to good starts at Augusta as he’s led after the first round three of the last four years. He looks to get his first Major Championship in his 6th try at the Masters.
  37. Brandt Snedeker: Best Finish (T-3rd 2008) Snedeker played in the Final Paring on Sunday 11 years ago a Final Round 77 left him in tears. He contended again in 2013 and 16 he missed last years tournament but is back for more this year.
  38. Eddie Pepperell: Masters Rookie: Pepperell shot a Final Round 67 at the Open Championship a year ago while playing hungover as he self-admitted. That Final Round got him into this Masters he looks to join Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979 as the only rookie winners.
  39. Jimmy Walker: Best Finish (T-8th 2014) Walker will make his 6th straight start at Augusta and appears to be back to Full-Strength after a battle with Lyme Disease. He looks to add a 2nd Major Championship to go along with his 2016 PGA title.
  40. Billy Horschel: Best Finish (T-17th 2016) The 2014 FedEx Cup Champion will make his 5th start at Augusta and he’s yet to have a top-ten he looks for his first Major this week.
  41. Ian Poulter: Best Finish (T-6th 2015) The 11th-hour win for Poulter got him into last years field after he had agreed to work for BBC broadcast of the event. He’ll make his 14th start at Augusta and looks to become the 3rd Englishmen to win.
  42. Tyrell Hatton: Best Finish (T-44th 2018) Hatton has been one of the best golfers in the world since the start of last summer, earning his way onto last years Ryder Cup team. Two top-ten finishes in Major’s last year have him back for a 2nd crack at Augusta.
  43. Charles Howell III: Best Finish (T-13th 2004) Howell makes only his 2nd appearance at Augusta this decade and first since 2012. He grew up just two miles from the course and fell in love with the game because of the Masters. He looks to become just the 2nd Augusta native to win the tournament.
  44. Kevin Na: Best Finish (T-12th 2012) Na didn’t make the field a year ago but he’s played well this year and would love to add a Major Championship to his mantle.
  45. Jovan Rebula (A): Masters Rookie: The nephew of Hall of Famer Ernie Els became just the 2nd South African to win the Amateur Championship last year and would love to win Low Amateur honors.
  46. Matthew Fitzpatrick: Best Finish (T-7th 2016) Fitzpatrick will make his 4th straight and 5th start overall at the Masters a Back Nine 30 on Sunday in 2016 got him that Top Ten Finish. He looks to add a Major title to an impressive young resume
  47. Kiradech Aphibarnrat: Best Finish (T-15th 2016) The 29-year-old from Bangkok will make his 3rd start at Augusta. He’s enjoyed a fine 12-month stretch and looks to become the first golfer from Thailand to win a Major.
  48. Li Haotong: Best Finish (T-32nd 2018) The 23-year-old from China was in contention through two rounds last year but a poor weekend cost him his chances. He finished 3rd in the 2017 Open Championship and wants to become the first man from China to win a Major.
  49. Angel Cabrera: Best Finish (1st 2009) The man who will play on the 10 year anniversary of his victory in 2009 in a playoff over Kenny Perry. He’s contended since but injuries have taken a toll on “The Duck” but don’t rule out him getting his 2nd Green Jacket and 3rd Major.
  50. Emiliano Grillo: Best Finish (T-17th 2016) Grillo looked like one of the games up and coming stars in 2016, but he has fallen off since but looks to pick himself up and become the 2nd Argentina man to win the Green Jacket.
  51. Branden Grace: Best Finish (T-18th 2013) The man who holds the record the lowest round in Major Championship history a 62 at the 2017 Open. He comes to Augusta with a new caddie and looking for his first Major.
  52. Charl Schwartzel: Best Finish (1st 2011) The man who birdied the final four holes of the 2011 tournament has had a poor past year but the Champions always rise up at Augusta.
  53. Si-Woo Kim: Best Finish (T-24th 2018) The 2017 Players Champion in what might be his final Masters before having to serve his South Korean Military service looks to get a win in what might be his last chance.
  54. Martin Kaymer: Best Finish (T-16th 2017) That tie for 16th in 2017 was his only top 30 at Augusta he looks for his 3rd Major and become the 2nd German winner.
  55. Bernhard Langer: Best Finish (1st 1985, 1993) The only German winner 34 and 26 years ago has enjoyed the greatest Senior Tour career of all time. He was in contention through 3 rounds three years ago but a poor Final Round cost him his chances.
  56. Gary Woodland: Best Finish (T-24th 2011) That tie for 24th is one of only two times he’s made the cut at Augusta. He’d love to follow in the footsteps of fellow Kansas native Tom Watson to win the Masters.
  57. Patton Kizzire: Best Finish (MC 2018) Kizzire the longest hitter on the PGA Tour in 2018 will make his 2nd start at Augusta.
  58. Vijay Singh: Best Finish (1st 2000) The 2000 Champion from Fiji will be back for his 26th straight Masters appearance this week he’s missed the cut five times this decade
  59. Thorbjorn Olesen: Best Finish (T-6th 2013) Olesen will make his first trip back to Augusta since that Top Ten six years ago earned him an invite back the next year.
  60. JB Holmes: Best Finish (T-4th 2016) Holmes put together an impressive weekend to get into contention three years ago he’s back for his 4th crack at the Masters
  61. Danny Willett: Best Finish (1st 2016) The Champion three years ago who fired a bogey-free 67 on the final day to win. It would be a massive upset if he were to win again.
  62. Devon Bling (A): (Masters Rookie) The UCLA Sophmore and US Amateur Runner up will play in his first Masters.
  63. Kyle Stanley: Best Finish (52nd 2018) Stanley coming off the best year of his career will make his 3rd start at Augusta.
  64. Shane Lowry: Best Finish (T-39th 2016) Lowry would love to become the first Irish born golfer to win at Augusta.
  65. Alex Noren: Best Finish (MC 2017, 2018) Noren like Stenson would love to become the first Sweedish winner at Augusta
  66. Takumi Kanaya: (Masters Rookie) The Asia Pacific Amateur Champion will make his Masters debut.
  67. Stewart Cink: Best Finish (T-3rd 2008) A top-four finish at the PGA Championship gets Cink back into the Masters for the first time since 2014, he looks for his 2nd Major.
  68. Lucas Bjerregaard: (Masters Rookie) Bjerregaard looks to become the first man from Denmark to win a Major title.
  69. Matt Wallace: (Masters Rookie) Thes 28-year-old from England looks to become the 3rd English winner.
  70. Satoshi Kodaira: Best Finish (T-28th 2018) Kodaira won the week after the Masters to earn his invite to this year’s event.
  71. Corey Conners: Best Finish (MC 2015) The winner last week in Texas to earn his invite
  72. Keith Mitchell: (Masters Rookie) The winner earlier this year at the Honda Classic to get his invite will make his Masters debut
  73. Trevor Immelman: Best Finish (1st 2008) 11-years ago Immelman came here and pulled off one of the biggest upsets in Masters History. He doesn’t play very much anymore and does TV work but he can play here as long as he wishes.
  74. Jose Maria Olazabal: Best Finish (1st 1994, 1999) The two-time Champion from Spain.
  75. Michael Kim: (Masters Rookie) Kim won the John Deere Classic last year to earn his invite
  76. Justin Harding: (Masters Rookie) Being in the top fifty in the OWGR on April 1st got him into the tournament.
  77. Alvaro Ortiz (A): (Masters Rookie) The Latin American Amateur Champion the winner of that event has never made the cut here
  78. Mike Weir: Best Finish (1st 2003) Weir pulled off a very solid victory 16 years ago he’s struggled since
  79. Aaron Wise: (Masters Rookie) Wise earned his invite by winning Byron Nelson’s tournament
  80. Kevin Tway: (Masters Rookie) Wise won the first event of the year on the PGA Tour to earn his invite
  81. Shugo Imahira: (Masters Rookie) As usual Augusta sends out one special invite every year this year’s recipient
  82. Adam Long: (Masters Rookie) Long won the Bob Hope Classic in January to earn his invite
  83. Andrew Landry: (Masters Rookie) Landry won two weeks after the Masters last year to earn his invite
  84. Kevin O’Connell (A): (Masters Rookie) The US Mid-Amateur Champion, only one Mid-Amateur Champion has ever made the cut since they started getting the invite in 85
  85. Larry Mize: Best Finish (1st 1987) 32-years after his victory the lone Augusta native to ever win the Masters would love to do it again
  86. Sandy Lyle: Best Finish (1st 1988) 31-years ago Lyle’s 7-iron from the fairway bunker on 18 that led to his winning birdie is back for what is widely expected to be his final Masters.
  87. Ian Woosnam: Best Finish (1st 1991) A 7-foot Par Putt on 18 won Woosnam the Green Jacket 28-years ago. He’s back for perhaps his final Masters.
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