What a deal with. 5 months after the final Masters, we’re again for extra at Augusta Nationwide.
The sector at Augusta is simply 88 gamers, together with amateurs and a few veteran previous champions.
Whereas it ought to make this one barely extra predictable than the opposite three majors, there’s a been a special winner for the previous eight years and many will fancy their probabilities of donning the well-known Inexperienced Jacket.
However we have now thrown our neck on the road and pinpointed the person we predict will triumph – having studied the traits and eradicated those that historical past suggests will fall quick.
Let’s check out the numbers, and discover our group of gamers more than likely to contend….
Lee Westwood is certainly one of Britain’s brightest hopes as he continues to chase that elusive first main.
However whereas his expertise might produce a top-ten end, his older legs are seemingly the most important impediment, similar to they have been when he was in competition at The Gamers earlier this yr.
Whereas Tiger Woods was 43 when he claimed his fifth Masters triumph in 2019, Westwood is 48 and no man over the age of 46 has received this match, with Jack Nicklaus the oldest to do it in 1986.
Writing Westwood off is admittedly fairly dangerous, as a result of he’s been enjoying nice in 2021 however we predict he’ll simply fall quick once more.
Augusta is a ball putting take a look at and ten of the final 15 winners have completed the yr within the high ten Strokes Gained Tee to Inexperienced.
We’ve regarded on the gamers who completed 2020 within the Tee to Inexperienced high ten, and those within the high ten this season thus far.
That leaves us an inventory of 13: Bryson DeChambeau, Jon Rahm, Collin Morikawa, Will Zalatoris, Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson, Tony Finau, Patrick Cantlay, Sergio Garcia, Hideki Matsuyama, Rory McIlroy, Corey Conners and Scottie Scheffler.
Curiously, Strokes Gained Placing isn’t essentially an indicator of success at Augusta. It’s extra a case of avoiding three-putts. The PGA Tour common for three-putts is 3%, at Augusta that jumps to close 6%.
We’re taking out the blokes from our record who rank poorly and fail the attention take a look at: Garcia, Conners, Johnson, Matsuyama, Finau and McIlroy.
It should be stated that Johnson has been streaky with the flat stick this season, whereas McIlroy’s unhealthy type is effectively documented.
Masters champions have just about solely taken a number of years to study the subtleties of the course.
We’re subsequently ruling out the blokes with the least expertise at Augusta. That removes Scheffler, Morikawa and Zalatoris.
Rahm has performed nice this season, however he and his spouse had a child final week. We expect that’s too large a distraction, so he’s out too.
In order that leaves us with three names: Thomas, Cantlay and DeChambeau.
DeChambeau hasn’t performed all that effectively at Augusta as a professional, and though we predict he’ll win a Inexperienced Jacket sooner or later, we really feel he’s nonetheless determining this well-known course, particularly the strategy pictures.
Thomas has simply received The Gamers, so appears an ideal shout, however he’s had his challenges this season off the course, and continues to be determining his driver this season.
That leaves us with Cantlay.
The world quantity ten, he’s a man with no weaknesses, and two top-ten finishes from 4 Masters outings.
DataGolf rank him as their world no. 5, and he represents nice worth – he’s 28/1 with some bookmakers.
The 29-year-old is in nice type this season, with 5 top-ten finishes, together with a win, 2nd and Third-place. He’s had horrible again issues through the years, so we wouldn’t again him in colder situations.
With the climate set honest, we predict his class will present and he’s our tip to turn into the 2021 Masters Champion.
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