Top 11 Players to Watch at Augusta

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First Major of the Year – Players to Watch and Products They Use

The first major tournament of 2018 is right around the corner and this year’s list of possible contenders appears to be longer than ever thanks to the emergence of a few young guns and the resurgence of several veterans. In the field of 87 professional golfers, which is the smallest field in 21 years, who should you keep on your radar? We’ve scanned through the list of potential winners and came up with our top 11 golfers to win at Augusta, along with the gear that they will be using to make a run at the coveted green jacket.

Dustin Johnson

Dustin Johnson - TaylorMade Golf

With 4 top 10 finishes, including a win at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in the 2018 season, DJ’s game appears to be in good form coming into the first major of the year. His two top 10 finishes in 2015 and 2016 (an unfortunate slip and fall kept him from competing in 2017) tell us that the long bomber has the distance and accuracy to play well at Augusta, giving him a legitimate shot at capturing his first green jacket.

 

Justin Rose

Justin Rose - TaylorMade Golf

After falling short last year in a playoff to Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose is coming into Augusta with a bit of a chip on his shoulder. Throw in two runner-up finishes in the past three years and never finishing outside of the top 25 in the past decade, you have to consider Justin Rose a favorite to finally break through and capture the first major of the year. Not to mention that his game is in top form with a win at the WGC HSBC Championship early in the season and consecutive top 5 finishes at Innisbrook and Bay Hill.

 

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods - TaylorMade Golf

The 14-time major champion has 13 top 10 finishes at Augusta in 18 appearances as a pro, four of which were wins. A few weeks ago, if someone had considered Tiger a top favorite to win the first major of the year, we would have questioned it. However, with a runner-up finish at the Valspar Championship and a close call at Bay Hill, Tiger is back and appears to have the game to capture his fifth green jacket. Need we say more about every golf fans unanimous favorite to win at Augusta?

 

Justin Thomas

Justin Thomas - Titleist Golf

Let’s take a look at Justin Thomas’ 2018 season so far; four top 5 finishes, including two wins (The CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges and The Honda Classic), and has not finished outside the top 25 in any tournament this season. He’s got the length, accuracy, touch, and short game to navigate Augusta and make a serious run at the green jacket. It may be concerning that his best finish at the year’s first major is a T-22 finish in 2017, but that is only with two appearances under his belt. The way he is playing, it is a matter of time before he gets his first green jacket and the World No. 1 title.

 

Phil Mickelson

Phil Mickelson - Callaway Golf

The three-time champion at Augusta has had a bounce back 2018 season including five top 10 finishes and cracking the winner’s circle for the first time in nearly five years. Phil is coming to the year’s first major with one of the best track records in the field (except for, well, Tiger) with 11 top 5 finishes, including three wins, and is showing that even at 47 he’s still got the game to compete for another major championship. The only question is, does Phil have what it takes to fend off the field and become the oldest champion at Augusta (currently held by the illustrious Jack Nicklaus)?

 

Bubba Watson

Bubba Watson - Ping Golf & Titleist Golf

Like his fellow lefty Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson is having a rejuvenated 2018 season, compiling two wins in his last four starts after a dismal 2017 season where he dropped to No. 117 in the Official World Golf Rankings. The two time champion at Augusta is sporting a 70% GIR (8% more than last year) and is putting like his old self. Bubba can work the ball and navigate the course unlike any player on the Tour. Combine that with his course knowledge and history of winning at Augusta, and Bubba is once again a favorite to win yet another green jacket.

 

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy - TaylorMade Golf

In case you missed his performance at Bay Hill, Rory blistered the back nine on Sunday to secure his first victory since the 2016 Tour Championship. With the win, Rory has emerged into the conversation of favorite to win the first major of the year, not to mention reinvigorated the career Grand Slam conversation. Rory’s putting was his Achilles heel in the stretch between victory’s but his performance at Bay Hill was a good sign. The only question is, can he keep his putting on track to make a run at the first major of the year and complete the career grand slam?

 

Jason Day

Jason Day - TaylorMade Golf

In his 2011 debut at Augusta, Jason Day nearly won but fell short when the eventual champion, Charl Schwartzel, rang off four birdies in a row to win by two over Day and Adam Scott. Two years later Day put together another stellar performance but eventually fell short, again by two strokes, to champion Adam Scott. After battling many injuries, Day made it back to the winner’s circle this year with a victory at Torrey Pines. With his game and health going in the right direction, look out for Jason Day to make yet another run for the coveted green jacket.

 

Sergio Garcia

Sergio Garcia - Callaway Golf

After many close calls in major championships, Sergio Garcia eventually broke through with a win last year at Augusta. The defending champion is coming off a victory overseas, three consecutive top 10 finishes and is game appears to be in great shape coming into the year’s first major. We know Sergio plays well at Augusta but can the new father be focused enough to defend his title?

 

Jordan Spieth

Jordan Spieth - Titleist Golf

In case you are unaware, Jordan plays well at Augusta. Like, extremely well. In his four appearances at Augusta he has one win, two T-2 finishes, and a T-11 (which he shot a disastrous 75 in the final group, but for the sake of this tournament is a sound result). He has been struggling on the greens of late, coming off a missed cut at the Valspar Championship, but you can’t count him out, especially at Augusta. Can Jordan find his putting stroke and make a run at the tournament he plays so well?

 

Rickie Fowler

Rickie Fowler - Cobra Golf & Titleist Golf

One of the best players without a major championship, Rickie Fowler is very close to finally breaking through and the first major of the year could be his ticket to victory. He has proved himself at Augusta having finished within the top 5 before. Rickie is trending in the right direction with a win early in the season at the Hero World Challenge and two top 15 finishes this season, and he certainly has the length, accuracy, and short game to perform at Augusta. There is a chance this could be the tournament that Rickie finally breaks through to capture his first major.

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