Masters Final Form Chart

    Let’s take a brief look at the world’s top ten players, and a few others who might have a chance to sneak in and win the Green Jacket.

    Jordan Spieth: By now, we all know the story. Last year Spieth turned Augusta National into a pitch and putt, leading from wire to wire and tying the 72-hole scorning record. He won the U.S. Open and had a legitimate chance to win all four majors in the same year. This year, after a hot start in Hawaii, Spieth has struggled (for him). He’s especially struggling with short iron approaches and not giving himself enough good looks. He does however possess perhaps the strongest mental make-up and world-class course management skills. Those components are very important at Augusta.

    Jason Day: Day has had the opposite year of Jordan Spieth – he didn’t do much early in the season (in fact he missed the cut at the Farmers Insurance Open where he was defending champion) but then he got on fire, winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill and then the WGC Dell Matchplay. Last year, Day proved he can sustain a high level of play for long stretches. He is dealing with a back issue, but with a week to rest, he has to be considered one of the top favorites.

    Rory McIlroy: McIlroy made it to the semi-finals at the Matchplay before running into Day’s buzz saw. McIlroy has struggled with consistency this season. Take Doral as the case in point – McIlroy shot two rounds in the mid-60’s and two rounds in the mid-70’s. He also began putting left-hand low, or crosshanded this season, that change is unlikely to instill a lot of confidence in a player especially on Augusta’s firm, fast greens. Golf however, as all of us know is a funny game. If McIlroy can get get hot, he clearly has the best major championship experience of golf’s new generation. A win would give him the career Grand Slam at just 26 years of age.

    Bubba Watson: Bubba already has two Green Jackets hanging in his closet. He’s already won an event in 2016. His booming drives and quirky shot making ability pair well with an underrated short game and putting stroke. It’s been feast or famine at the Masters for Watson. After his two wins, his next best finish at Augusta is a tie for 38th. Bubba arrives in great form with a win at the Northern Trust Open and a second at Doral in his last three starts.

    Rickie Fowler: Fowler is beginning to win on a more regular basis and his fantastic charge at last year’s Players Championship (the closest atmosphere to a major on the schedule) shows he can win on the big stage. He also will have the advantage coming in under the radar given the recent multiple victories by Adam Scott and Jason Day.

    Adam Scott: Far from struggling after being forced to convert his putting stroke, Scott has putted well enough to take advantage of his tremendous ball-striking skills. He made a huge putt under pressure at Doral on the 18th hole and is having a remarkable start to the season. He’s won here before as well which takes a lot of pressure off him, giving him essentially a free-roll at another Green Jacket.

    Henrik Stenson: The long-hitting Swede has long possessed the skills necessary to win a major championship. Stenson is in good form. He finished third at Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill tournament. Earlier in the season he tied for 6th at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic and tied for 3rd at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. Stenson hasn’t won since November 2014 and his second place finish at last week’s Shell Houston open is Stenson’s 8th runner-up finish since his last win. Stenson’s record at Augusta is below his standards. While he has 9 top-ten finishes in the majors, he hasn’t cracked the top ten at the Masters. His best finish is a tie for 14th in 2014.

    Justin Rose: Rose is a major championship winner, with a great track record at Augusta National and when he gets the putter rolling, like he did at the 2014 Ryder Cup, he is as good as anybody in the game. Rose tied for 5th at the 2007 Masters, tied for 8th in 2012 and tied for 2nd last year. He’s played solidly this season, not spectacularly but should likely benefit from flying under the radar.

    Dustin Johnson: Consistently one of the longest hitters on tour, Johnson has the ability to overpower most golf courses. However, an inconsistent short game has a way of rearing its head at Augusta National with its hard, fast, highly contoured greens. Johnson played himself into contention at the Shell Houston Open, finishing in solo 3rd place. This performance, on a green set-up similar to Augusta National, should help his confidence this week.

    Patrick Reed: After struggling in the second half of 2015, Patrick Reed has heated up in the new year. While he hasn’t won, he’s played consistently well and finished in a tie for 10th place at the Shell Houston Open. Reed has 7 top 10’s in his 11 starts during the 2016 season. He currently stands 15th in the FedEx Cup point standings. Reed has not finished in the top 10 of a major championship in his previous 8 starts.