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Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Masters Picks

With the Masters just around the corner, come Sunday, who is likely to be wearing the green jacket? The reality is, it could be just about anyone in the field. It doesn't have to be a bomber. It doesn't have to be a past champion. It could be anyone. Current form, and past form at Augusta, is a good predictor, but anyone can catch lightning in a bottle for one magic week. 

For my money, however, there are five top picks this year. Naturally, all eyes are going to be on Rory McIlroy. If he plays his best, he will definitely win, because, at his best, he has demonstrated the ability to totally dominate. Furthermore, his game seems perfectly suited to Augusta National, with his ability to hit it high, long, and right to left. However, he has definitely gone off the boil of late and may just want it too much. I would love to see it, but he's not my pick this year.

The other player who, if on his game mentally, is equally as likely to win this year is Bubba Watson. In fact, Bubba must be seen as having the edge on Rory because he has done it twice, and nothing succeeds like success. Bubba knows he can win at Augusta. It will all depend on whether he gets it rolling and keeps his head in the game. If he gets in the hunt, he's the man to beat on Sunday.

I like Henrik Stenson's chances this year. He should have won last week at Arnie's place, and his game is tailor made for Augusta as well. I think he has the best swing, and he may just be the best ball striker, in the game today. He probably feels like he's got something to prove as well. If I was a betting man, I'd put a few bucks on Henrik.

Patrick Reed is in my top five this year. Nothing would surprise me with this kid. He's fearless. He's been in great form, and he has desire and self-belief in spades. But, for my money, the man who is most likely to win this year is Jordan Spieth. He's been in the hunt at Augusta. He's just had a great win, where he gutted it out, fighting a balky driver. This could just be Jordan's time to announce to the world that he's ready to challenge Rory for world dominance. He may not be a bomber, but he's got the mind and the heart of a champion. If he can hang in there, not get down on himself, and get a few breaks, he's going to be there or thereabouts on Sunday.

I just hope, whoever wins this year, that the Masters provides the Sunday drama that it tends to provide every year. There's no place, and no tournament, quite like it. I can't wait.