2016 The Masters Picks, Including the Driver-Off-The-Deck BOLD Play of the Week #isitThursdayyet

Hello friends, and welcome to the 2016 Masters (Jim Nantz voice).  The tournament that needs no introduction is finally here.  Heck, even my golfs-twice-a-year-at-most wife is excited.  It truly is a tradition unlike any other.  A continuous loop all week on the Masters music?  Um, yes please!

Having been lucky enough to stroll the verdant Augusta National landscape three times in person, all I can say is that if it isn’t already on your bucket list to either attend and/or play, the you need to head straight to Lowe’s and get yourself a new bucket.  There are no words to describe its magnificent beauty, the perfectly manicured EVERYTHING, the azaleas, the $1.50 pimento cheeses, the no cell phone policy, the par 3 course, the undulation of the greens, how hilly it is, the big oak tree by the clubhouse….ah yes, I could go on and on and on.  I’ve had the list of winners at the Masters memorized since I was 18, yep, pretty much straight obsessed with the place.

So, who’s my pick to don the green jacket this year?  Who will surprise and who’s the major bust of the week?  Who will secretly eat all the pimento cheese?  Well, keep on reading my friends.

My picks last week at the Shell Houston Open were a mix of duds and studs, as my Lockzilla Dustin Johnson was in contention all week, ultimately finishing 3rd and I spot on nailed previously red hot Louis Oosthizen missing the cut.  But, my picks on both Brooks Koepka and Patrick Rodgers were both disappointing as they each narrowly missed the cut.

Now, let’s hop into some picks for this week:

LOCKZILLA (Last week: Dustin 3rd)

Zach Johnson
Zach Johnson
– PXG! PXG! PXG!  Love me some 2007 Masters champ this week.  Not just because he’s from Iowa and I love Iowegians, not just because he’s been prepping for this week by having the Sea Island superintendent attempt to replicate the Augusta National conditions, not just because he’s rounding into form (solo 5th at Bay Hill a couple weeks ago and advanced out of pool play at WGC Match Play), not just because he notched his first top 10 here last year (t-9th) since his victory in ’07, not just because the course is going to play extra firm and fast this week with blustery conditions 3 of the 4 days and he thrives in those conditions, not just because he’s starting to become accustomed to his new PXG equipment, but because of yep, all of those things.  One of the big guns may very well take home the green jacket, but I believe the two-time major champ gives it a serious run this year.

SEMI-FLIER (Last week: Koepka MC)

Ian Poulter
Ian Poulter
– I hate Ian Poulter.  Hate him.  Like all-out despise every fiber of his being.  He is the inverse of “15 minutes of fame,” as he was actually only good for 15 minutes in one Ryder Cup and now he’s famous and feared forever.  Ok, obviously I’m exaggerating to some degree, but seriously, he never wins anything and he goes into wild tailspins that make it abundantly clear that he’s spending too much time waxing his Asten Martin collection, as opposed to practicing.  BUT, I like his chances this week.  Despite a few funky swings he actually played quite steadily at Bay Hill a couple weeks back, then followed that up with a t-3rd in Puerto Rico.  He won’t win this week, and never will win a major, but he’s on a good run of three straight top 25s here at Augusta, and a top 10 is highly possible this week with a top 20 all but a guarantee.

HOSEL-ROCKET BUST (Last week: Oosthuizen MC)

Jordan Spieth
Jordan Spieth
– It seems more than a wee bit crazy to label consecutive finishes of t-17th, t-18th, t-9th and t-13th as “misfiring,” but it’s all relative in this ballgame.  No question about it though, Spieth doesn’t have his best stuff at the moment, as evidenced by his 8 water balls last week at the SHO (EIGHT!).  He can scramble with the best of em, but I’m sensing some Greller/Spieth on-air feuds to be the defining moment for the defending champ at this year’s Masters.  Much like I nailed Louis as a BUST last week, stay away from Jordan this week and thank me later.

DRIVER-OFF-THE-DECK-BOLD-PLAY-OF-THE-WEEK (Last week: Rodgers MC)

Marc Leishman
Marc Leishman
– Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!  I can already hear the chant from down under as the 32-year-old approaches the first tee on Sunday near the lead.  Poised for a big season with his wife’s health scare now behind him, Leishman has been counting down the days til this year’s Masters.  He’s showed his major mettle of late with back-to-back top 5’s at the British Open (t-2nd last year), and also recall that it was just 3 years ago when Leishman had a chance to win right here at Augusta on Sunday, ultimately finishing t-4th to fellow Aussie Adam Scott.  Look for Leishman to add to that top 5 major finish total this week.

#isitThursdayyet

Joel Harrington
@joel4deepgolf

 

Speak Your Mind

*