Mammoths at the Masters: 2017’s Laudable Linksmen
Danny Willett’s career majors won: one. Which one? Oh, just the 2016’s Masters Tournament! Bravo, Danny. Willett, the first Englishman to be fitted for the green jacket in 20 years, finished the 2016 Masters with a bogey-free final round, edging out Lee Westwood and Jordan Spieth (tied for second).
The iconic green jacket awarded to champions of each Masters Tournament began as a symbol to identify members of the prestigious Augusta National Golf Club in 1949 (the green jacket was then retroactively awarded to each former winner since the inaugural tournament in 1937). Thus, this year’s tournament will mark the 83rd presentation of the green jacket. Will Spieth be tailored for the second time in three years? Or will one of his fellow linksmen atop golf’s leaderboard be adorned in Pantone 342 green?
Chances of Success on Sunday
Let’s start at the top with Dustin Johnson – currently teeing off in pole position as the No. 1 golfer in the world. With 15 career PGA Tour first place finishes (including last year’s U.S. Open victory), Johnson is primed to tally another major win on his stats sheet.
The second best golfer on earth right now is heir apparent Rory McIlroy, with four career major victories and 13 first place PGA Tour finishes since 2011. McIlroy has been demolishing golf balls this season, with a PGA-leading 318.8 yard average driving distance off the tee, which will help him on some of Augusta’s monstrous par fives. The North Irishman has also been on something of a “major drought,” with his last big winning streak on PGA Tour golf courses tallied during the summer of 2014. McIlroy took first place at the Open Championship that July, and followed it up a month later, claiming victory at the 2014’s PGA Championship. Needless to say, he’s due.
Golf’s favorite Aussie Jason Day is currently ranked third in the world coming into Augusta. Day took home his first and only major championship win at Whistling Straits in 2015 and has fairly good odds of coming out on top at this year’s Masters.
Another contender for this year’s green jacket is Japanese phenom Hideki Matsuyama, holding strong at No. 4 in the world of golf. Matsuyama is in good shape, with 20/1 odds of coming out of Augusta’s final round victoriously.
Oh, you thought golf’s golden boy had been forgotten? Well, this compilation would not be complete without sinking our teeth into the scintillating statistics of superstar Jordan Spieth. While he may be ranked sixth heading into this year’s Masters Tournament, professional golf mathematicians place some of the best odds (6/1) on Spieth’s 6-foot-1-inch frame sliding into another Pantone 342 blazer.
Why does a golfer ranked sixth in the world have the second-best chance of winning the Masters Tournament in 2017? It’s quite simple: Jordan Spieth has been unequivocally dominant in Augusta, Georgia, for the past three Masters. In 2014, he tied for second place. In 2015, he tied the tournament record with an 18 under par victory. In 2016, Spieth again tied for second (after a well-documented final round collapse). All eyes will be on the young gun this April.
Keep it Going
Momentum can be a crucial factor when heading into the tournament. Looking at the top five potential winners, it seems these players are warmed up and ready to go at Augusta. Having just won the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play tournament, Dustin Johnson may be the most in touch with his swing currently. Will that result in success in the Masters, though? We’ll have to see.
There you have it, golf fans. Recline and digest the gut-busting golf data as we excitedly await this year’s 2017 Masters Tournament. Sit back and soak up the splendor of Augusta while searching for your favorite golf gear at Fanatics.com.