Hello friends, we are finally here: The Masters. The weather is starting to warm up (besides Northwest Wisconsin where they’re supposed to get 15 inches of snow), the courses are starting to open up here in the Midwest, we’re all getting ready for those early Saturday naps to wake up to Jim Nantz and Nick Faldo whisper sweet nothings in our ears watching somebody make a move on the leader board, we are finally back to Augusta.
- Thursday April 11th: ESPN, 2:00 PM – 6:30 PM CT
- Friday April 12th: ESPN, 2:00 PM – 6:30 PM CT
- Saturday April 13th: CBS, 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM CT
- Sunday April 14th: CBS, 1:00 PM – 6:00 PM CT
You can also watch live coverage on Masters.com that includes Amen Corner, Holes 15 & 16, and Featured Group Coverage. The Golf Channel also has live coverage from 8 AM till the main broadcast takes over each day.
**Sunday April 14th: Game of Thrones Season 8 Premier, 8:00 PM CT on HBO
Whose Teeing Off
Well this should be obvious by now, only the best players in the world get to tee it up here along with other who have received exemptions from winning tournaments in the past. So what you see here is the best players in the world, some older names you should recognize like Fred Couples, Vijay Singh, and then some young guns you have punched their ticket for winning specific tournaments, like Corey Connors did last week at the Texas Open.
Well look back to 2010 here for the winners and runner ups. Some things to know here: no player has ever won here playing for their first time, since 2010 four of the winners had a good track record at August before their first win (Mickelson, Garcia, Spieth, and Scott) while the other four did not (Schwartzel, Watson, Willett, and Reed). Remember, Watson won here in 2012 and 2014 I didn’t count his second win in that first group.
- 2018: Patrick Reed (-15)
- Runner Up: Rickie Fowler (-14)
- 2017: Sergio Garcia (-9)
- Runner Up: Justin Rose (playoff)
- 2016: Danny Willett (-5)
- Runner Up: Jordan Spieth, Lee Westwood (-2)
- 2015: Jordan Spieth (-18)
- Runner Up: Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose (-14)
- 2014: Bubba Watson (-8)
- Runner Up: Jonas Blixt, Jordan Spieth (-5)
- 2013: Adam Scott (-9)
- Runner Up: Angel Cabrera (playoff)
- 2012: Bubba Watson (-10)
- Runner Up: Louis Oosthuizen
- 2011: Charl Schwartzel (-14)
- Runner Up: Jason Day, Adam Scott (-12)
- 2010: Phil Mickelson (-16)
- Runner Up: Lee Westwood (-13)
Next, lets look at the big names here other than Tiger Woods. If you don’t know Tigers history here, you can make like a tree and get the hell out of here. I will give you this tidbit with Tiger though, hasn’t finished top 10 or better here since 2013. Although, he’s only played in two Masters since then.
- Rory McIlroy from 2018 to 2014, T5, T7, T10, T4, T8
- Dustin Johnson from 2018 to 2014: T10, (didn’t play), T4, T6, MC
- Justin Rose from 2018 to 2014: T12, 2, T10, 2, T14
- Rickie Fowler from 2018 to 2014: 2nd, T11, MC, T12, T5
- Justin Thomas from 2018 to 2016: T17, T22, T39
- Jon Rahm, 2018 finished T4 and T27 in 2017.
- Jordan Speith from 2018 to 2014: T3, T11, T2, 1st, T2
- Brooks Koepka didn’t play here in 2018 but the three years previous he went T11, T21, T33.
- Paul Casey from 2018 to 2015: T15, T6, T4, T6
- Jason Day also has some close finishes here, 2011 finished T2 and 2013 finished T3. He’s never missed a cut here or finished worse than T28.
- Adam Scott obviously has a win here, he also has multiple top 10’s including a T9 in 2017. His last missed cut here? 2009.
Augusta National was designed by Bobby Jones and Alister Mackenzie and opened in 1933. Since then, it has been updated and tweaked by twelve other people. The major change this year on the course comes on hole number 5. They added 40 yards to make it a 495 yard Par 4 with two new bunkers. It sits as a 7,475 yard Par 72 course. The course weaves in and out of the pines in Georgia, it has only a few water hazards but all are in play, sand traps line this course throughout, and there isn’t much rough but trees and pine-needles players need to deal with.
Because of those things, driving accuracy isn’t too big a deal breaker here but it is nice to be a longer hitter. Par 5 scoring here is important, all Par 5’s are reachable in two shots with good shots off the tee. Also the greens here can be very tough so greens in regulation and scrambling are also important for guys to pull out the win here at Augusta.
As far as holes go, we obviously have the famous Amen Corner with #11, #12, and #13. A very tough par 4, a short par 3 thats created havoc in the past, and then the Par 5 that is one of the most exciting in golf. I’ll let Tiger Woods take you through those three holes.
Instead, I’ll focus on two of my other favorite holes on this course. One on the front nine, and the other on the back nine.
Hole #2 Pink Dogwood: 575 Yard Par 5
The first Par 5 on the course and it is reachable in two for many players, Louis Oosthuizen got an albatross here in 2012. The hole is a dog leg left with players hitting their tee shot down a narrow fairway guarded by the pines. Once the get to the slight left turn, the hole opens up downhill to a green that is guarded by two bunkers. There is also a fairway bunker on the right side that will come into play, but everybody wants to play the ball down the left hand side here and get a better angle at the green.
Hole #16 Redbud: 170 Yard Par 3
This is my favorite hole at Augusta because its still a great scoring opportunity after going through Amen’s Corner and the Par 5 #15. There have been a ton of hole in ones here on Sunday because of the pin placement. This is also the location of Tigers epic chip shot in 2005 where the ball barley rolled in after showing the Nike sign. There’s nothing really difficult about this hole, the shot is over the water so you just need to get it on the green. There are three sand traps to deal with but depending on pin placement, they shouldn’t play a huge factor. If the pin is where its located in the picture above (front of the green), then going into a sand trap where you’re shooting towards the water can be a dangerous shot.
One & Done: Paul Casey. Playing good? Check. Won a tournament this year? Check. Has a good track record here? Check.
Betting Winners: Kevin Kisner (+6600), Matt Kuchar (+4500), Paul Casey (+2500)
Kisner has made all three cuts here and he’s been playing good. His a Georgia boy that doesn’t live to far away from Augusta, he likes to drink beer and have a good time. I love his chances this year. Kuchar has been on fire this year and plays very well at Augusta.
Top 5: Gary Woodland (+1400), Henrik Stenson (+800), Tony Finau (+750)
Woodland is a risk because he’s been horseshit here, but so was Reed before he won last year. I’m basing this off on the good odds with Woodland and how well he’s played this year. Finau has one start here but finished T10. Stenson meanwhile has played here a ton and although he had a rough start to 2019, he’s been playing much better and striking the shit out of the ball. Stenson has one missed cut here since 2013 and finished T5 last year.
Top 10: Adam Scott (+350), Webb Simpson (+600), Zach Johnson (+1000)
Scott and Johnson both have won here, and have great track records besides those wins. Scott has been playing well of as late and the guy never misses a cut here. Simpson has never finished better than T20, but I think he’s never been more confident coming into this year Masters and he also has won a major before.
- Paul Casey
- Tyrell Hatton
- Kevin Kisner
- Rory McIlroy
- Louis Oosthuizen
- Webb Simpson
One & Done History: If Paul Casey misses the cut here, I’m handing this portion off to someone else.
- Waste Management Open: Matt Kuchar – $293,467 (T4)
- Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Shane Lowry – $0.00 (Missed Cut)
- Genesis Open: Hideki Matsuyama – $177,600 (T9)
- WGC-Mexico: Jon Rahm –$65,000 (T45)
- The Honda Classic: Sergio Garcia – $183,700 (T9)
- Arnold Palmer Invitational: Rickie Fowler – $35,000 (T40)
- The Players: Jason Day –$350,000 (T8)
- The Valspar Championship: Webb Simpson – $0 (Missed Cut)
- WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Brooks Koepka – $53,000 (T53)
- Valero Texas Open: Bud Cauley – $0 (Missed Cut)
- The Masters: Paul Casey –