When: April 7th - 10th
Where: Augusta National Golf Club
2015 Winner: Jordan Spieth (-18)
The format of this will go: I will select golfers based on the Yahoo format. I will select one A golfer, 2 B golfers and 1 C golfer that I think will do well as well as one dark horse pick, this should space out the selections and provide a vast field to select from for anyone who is in a format where you are limited to 10 starts per year.
August National Golf Club - Magnolia, Golden Bell, Amen Corner, how many courses have a more storied history in this day and age? Not many. The course was designed by Bobby Jones and Alister MacKenzie in 1933 but has gone through many changes since then. The grass is immaculately kept (so much so that there is no "rough" but instead "first" and "second" cut) creating fast play and quick greens. It advertises 44 bunkers and six water hazards. The course tends to be won and lost on the Greens though.
Adam Scott - A lot of popular names in this category: Bubba Watson, Jason Day, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and importantly - Jordan Spieth who might be the favorite but they have not played at the level Adam has this season. Both Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott have two top threes and one win at Augusta but Adam Scott actually has 3 top ten finishes to Jordan's 2. Adam is 11th in drive distance, 7th in Greens in regulation, and most importantly 9th in putting. Augusta has fast greens so if Adam can play into that, he could earn himself another green jacket. Adam's last 5 tournaments: Northern Trust Open (2nd), Honda Classic (1st), Cadillac Championship (1st), Arnold Palmer Invitational (12th) and Dell Match Play (28th) basically he's playing amongst the best on tour right now.
Kevin Kisner - There are a lot of flashy picks in the B category as well: Rory McIlroy, Jason Dufner, Webb Simpson, Patrick Reed but one person in this category has played this course already 15-20 times this year. A great piece was written by Steve DiMeglio of USA Today about Kevin Kisner (who grew up in Aiken SC which is 22 minutes from Augusta) about his repetitive play here. This will be his first time playing the Masters at this course but he might be among the most familiar with it. Finally, he's a strong player, the 10 year vet out of University of Georgia is 8th on the tour in driving accuracy and 3rd in putting average. He has two top ten finishes in 2016 and could add a third at the Masters.
Henrik Stenson - There are only 2 golfers in the B field who have not missed a cut this year. Henrik is one, Brandt Snedeker is the other. His last 5 tournaments: HSBC Champions (11th), Cadillac Championship (28th), Valspar Championship (11th), Arnold Palmer Invitational (3rd) and Shell Houston (2nd). Some stats on his play this year: 24th in Driving Accuracy, 6th in Greens in Regulation and 18thin Total Putting.
Charl Schwartzel - Another golfer who hasn't missed a cut on the PGA tour, Charl has only missed a cut at the Masters once. Additionally he has his a Masters win in 2011. He hasn't been the best putter this year but more than makes up for that with his strong driving and fairway play. He should be competing amongst the top on Sunday for a top spot.
Danny Willet - An excellent putter, Danny has had good success in his two PGA events this year HSBC Champions (3rd place) and Cadillac Championship (3rd place) and I'm banking on another strong outing. His drive is good enough to be top 70 and he hits Greens in Regulation among the top 20. He finished 38th here last year and I think he can crack the top 20 this year.
Last tournament results - Shell Houston Open (144 total) - Picks: Bradley, Reed, Tringale, Cabrera-Bello and Gore
A: 113th place
B: 10th place; 57th place
C: 4th place
Dark Horse: 113th place
YTD Avg: (Average field of 128 people)
A: 41st place
B: 33rd place
C: 47th place
Dark Horse: 48th place