The Top Contenders:
Rory McIlroy (+1000)– As I covered 2 weeks ago, when McIlroy is on he can beat anyone at their best. His ceiling is Peak Tiger Woods. And the last time we saw him…he was ON. But it’s always been up and down with Rory. His struggles are well documented, and his putter may be too inconsistent to ever win at Augusta. A worthy co-favorite, but I’d bet him to show.
Jordan Speith (+1000)- This guy is boring, often takes forever to play a shot, and his relationship with his caddie is bothersome…but he’s my favorite golfer not named Graeme McDowell. He can make shots…he’s a shot maker. And he’s one of the best putters in recent history. That, my fellow golf enthusiasts, is a recipe for being in the mix at Augusta. His T11 was his worst finish ever at the Masters, and he may never fall out of the top 5 again. A MUST PLAY in Fantasy, and a solid bet, even as co-favorite.
Justin Thomas (+1200)- He was playing the best earlier this year, and is even more of a machine than Speith- who will occasionally show that he his a human being. He’s shown he can win tournaments, but can he win a major…I know he won the PGA, but, whatever. It was also his first top 5 ever in a major.
Dustin Johnson (+1200)- His game doesn’t set up for Augusta- he’s a fade off the tee and a horrific putter- but he’s always a factor, I guess. Hard Pass on this guy.
The Storyline Play:
Tiger Woods (+1400)- He was playing very well when we last saw him, like, REALLY well. The yips are gone, and the flat stick was working overtime. But as he tried to work from his recent cut to a draw off the tee in March, he was struggling a little with keeping it on the fairway. We’ll know right away in Rd 1 if he has a chance in this thing. I think (+1400) in this field is a suckers bet though, you’re paying for the Narrative…like when I bet on Smarty Jones at the Belmont…don’t worry, Kuch and I also had Birdstone…oh what a night!
Phil Mickelson (+2000)- Because he’s won here, and he won recently, he’s got a little buzz as a contender this week. I don’t see it, to be honest. But the course is his friend, and I wanted an excuse to throw this video in again…BEST. SHOT. EVER.
Sergio Garcia (+3300)- Two in a row? Not this time pal. That’s for all time greats, not all time pretty-goods.
Watch out for these guys:
Hideki Matsuyama (+3300)- One of my favorite guys to throw in when I’m picking “guys who could win whatever major”. Trust me. You watch. You won’t hear much about him then…BOOM. Turn it on Saturday and he creeps up onto page 1 of the Leaderboard. I don’t have a stat on this, but I’m pretty sure it happens like 98% of the time. Eventually he will win one, so throw a couple of bucks on him. Plus, people are always like, “Nice Pick”
Henrik Stenson (+4000)- He’s like the Euro version of Mastuyama…always hanging around in big tournaments. He’s a slightly less boring far less British version of Justin Rose.
Ultimately, my pick is Speith. All the focus early on will be on Woods, Thomas and McIlroy, giving Speith time to get comfortable, get his game going, and get his measurements over to Butler Cabin for Green Jacket #2.