Golf, Top 5 list

Masters Preview: Top 5 Golfers to Watch

It’s been an amazing week of sports with an epic national championship finish; major league baseball opening week, and now Augusta Georgia takes center stage as the Masters begins today. There are plenty of storylines and golfers to look out for as this week begins. Will Spieth repeat? Will the Aussies dominate? Or will someone come out of nowhere and create a Cinderella story? It’s always been an entertaining week reminiscing about the history and amazing golf played there for centuries.

A new year means new possibilities I can’t wait to see what the 2016 Masters brings us. Here are my top five golfers to watch this week that has the best chance to don the green jacket and create their own legacy at the Masters.

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Jason Day

The clear-cut favorite for many this week is the newly minted number one player in the world Jason Day. He’s playing the best golf of anybody heading into the year’s first major he’s coming off back-to-back victories at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Dell match play championship. I think he is poised to add a green jacket to his trophy case this week.

Not only is his game in tip top shape  for this historic venue, but I also believe his mental toughness is second to none as he has dealt with multiple injuries and health issues that have popped up over the last couple of years. Most recently dealing with a back injury that almost forced him to withdraw from the match play, but was able to gut it out and dominate for the victory. He has also dealt with bouts of vertigo that have taken its toll on him as well, but he hasn’t those obstacles deter his golf game at all.

Another thing in Day’s favor coming into this week is his past performances at the Masters have been very good. He had a tied for second in 2011, a third-place finish in 2013, a tied for 20th in 2014 and a tied for 28th last year. He’s absolutely on fire right now and    his confidence is through the roof and his past success at this tournament give him some good memories to draw on if needed. He has a really good chance to be wearing that green jacket on Sunday night.

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Adam  Scott

Jason Days fellow Aussie Adam Scott is playing very good golf as well, picking up two victories thus far in 2016. He’s had to deal with changes, switching from the long putter because of the anchoring band. That story line was a constant question, Scott had to answer until his back-to-back victories then all the skepticism went away. I really like him this week because he’s had great success at this event, including being the first Australian born player to win the Masters in 2013.

In addition he’s had two top five finishes and a top 15 finish in his 14th career appearances at the Masters. He knows what it takes to reach the top of the mountain and as long as his putter cooperates with him and he carries the momentum he’s created early in 2016,he could definitely make some noise this week in Augusta!

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 Rickie Fowler

Fowler is one of the most popular players in the game today and his skills have caught up to his popularity in recent years. In 2016,his game has been very consistent and I feel is going to break through in the very near future as he’s had so many close calls in major championships. A couple of those close calls were at the Masters with a tied for fifth and a tied for 12th in his last two appearances.

Fowler is a guy that if he gets his putter rolling he could make it from anywhere and strikes fear in his competitors because they know how much of a bulldog, he can be having no fear and taking calculated risks when he needs to jump start a round. He has the makeup and mentality to win many major championships.

I feel if he’s able to break through this week or this year it will open the floodgates for him and his confidence will allow him to play even freer and that’s a scary thought for all of his other competitors. Expect a very good week from Fowler this week that started off pretty awesome when he drained a hole in one at the par three contest. A pretty cool way to start an intense week.

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Jordan Spieth

Spieth is the defending champion so obviously I think he has a good chance to repeat. He is coming off an historic performance at last year’s Masters setting the scoring record at -18 and an overall ridiculous season with six victories and two majors.

This year has been a little more of a rocky road as Spieth’s obligations continue to grow and fatigue becoming a factor his game has suffered a little bit.Inconsistency on the greens and with his wedge play causing frustrations. However, he still has one victory this season and four top tens it’s just not the historic pace he was on last year.

I am still very confident in Spieth’s ability to find his wedge game and his putting ability because he can flip a switch and make everything he looks at. Also he has an awesome partnership with his caddie that can help navigate these intense major weeks. I think he will always have an advantage in that category as well.

I expect Spieth to have a very good week and would be surprised if he’s in the thick of things on the back nine Sunday because he did absolutely dominate the same course last year. His confidence has to be pretty high at this course despite the inconsistency of late.

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Bubba Watson

The last guy that I think has a really good chance to win the Masters this week is Bubba Watson. Who is sort of flying under the radar despite being a two-time champion because of Jason Day being on fire and other big names overshadowing Watson. I feel like he’s had a pretty good season with the one victory, but he seems to know matter how his season is going he shows up at Augusta and contends.

He is one of the quirkiest golfers ever with no swing coach and a reckless abandon type attitude when he’s on the course because he can absolutely crush the golf ball giving him one of the biggest advantages and most of the time he takes advantage. Watson seems very comfortable at the Masters and plays it like any other tournament tee at high and let it fly.

His frustrations sometimes get the best of him, but somehow he is able to play the miraculous shot he needs to keep his round together it’s remarkable the things he can pull off. The reality is Watson is a very free-spirited player that has a great track record at the Masters and every time he’s able to see it up he should be a person to keep your eye on.

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Conclusion

 I know I chose five of the top golfers and didn’t really go out on a whim but they are in the best in the world for reason  and they always put on a good show and create storylines. I’m sure there will be an out-of-the-box golfer that comes out of nowhere to make a run at the green jacket, but I feel like you will be talking about these five guys the entire weekend and it should be a  Masters to remember! Sit back and enjoy and be jealous of the skills of these players wishing you were them!

 

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Golf

Day Finally breaks through for 1st Major Win

Golf’s final major was much anticipated with tons of storylines the biggest involved the top two players in the world. Would Rory McIlroy ankle hold up and would Jordan Spieth win his third major of the year? Rory’s ankle was held up well as he finished -9 in 17th place. As for Jordan he had another magical week finishing in second place at -17 overtaking McIlroy as the number one golfer in the world and he broke Tiger Woods record total in major championships at 54 under par that is ridiculous. To say the least the game of golf is in great hands with those two, but this week belonged to Jason Day.

Jason Day has his Moment

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Jason Day is one of the best golfers in the world, but there was something missing and that was a major title. It hadn’t been for lack of trying as in, 22 career major starts, he had seven top five finishes and ten top ten finishes with so many close calls; people began to wonder if the golf gods were ever going to be in his favor. This week he left no question whom the best golfer was setting the record for the best score in major championship history at 20 under par!

He put on a driving clinic striping down every fairway giving him great chances for birdie. He has stupid power on one of the par fives he drove it 383 leaving himself just a pitching wedge to the hole, it was jaw-dropping. It was very impressive the way he putted as well, on Saturday he recorded six straight threes propelling him to this record victory. He was able to do this with Spieth nipping at his heels the entire way; he just seemed in total control today and it was fun to watch!

This guy is one of the most popular golfers in the world and his play speaks for itself, but his attitude and personality is second to none and that’s why he is one of my favorites on and off the golf course. This will be the first of many the sky’s the limit for him now going to be fun to see where he takes this. Congrats, Mate well deserved!!!!

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Golf

Spieth Wins the Masters in Record Breaking Fashion

The Masters,  one of the most prestigious and closely contested courses, was anything but as Jordan Spieth came in this week on a roll,  with a win and two second place finishes. His hot streak continued in a big way, as he broke countless records with a historical performance that may never be repeated again. It all started in round one, where the young American  posted an 8 under 64, one behind the course record. It was the first time Spieth broke 70 in his young career at the Masters.

The hardest thing in golf has been to back up a great round with another. However,  not for  Spieth as he shot a 66 to go 14-under and take a five shot lead into the weekend.  That score broke the 2nd round scoring record as well. He was challenged a little bit by the heavy weights on Saturday, as Tiger woods shot a 68, Phil Mickelson a 67 and Rory McIlroy a 68. But the rookie wasn’t intimidated by the charge made by the veterans.

Spieth was unmoved by the advances of the former winners. He had another solid round of 70, with some clutch shots at the end of his 3rd, that were pivotal to keep his confidence up and keep a stiff-arm on the field. After a rare double on the 17th, he short sided on 18. After a flared second shot, he was able to get up and down for par, to keep his 4 shot lead going into  Sunday. He had ice in his veins with that putter in his hands the entire week, and was incredible to watch as he set the 3rd round scoring record..

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Sunday was more of the same with a solid round of 70 and more clutch putts especially on the 16th. When a two-stroke swing could’ve taken place between him and Justin Rose, it didn’t because  Spieth stepped up and nailed a speedy 10 footer, to keep the momentum and cruise to victory. When you thought there was a chink  in his armor, he bounced back with amazing stuff. He was the first man in Masters history to reach the 19-under number; he would bogey the last to tie Tiger Woods for the all-time scoring record at 270. Right now Spieth is on another planet and its tough to put his accomplishments  into words.

Here are some other mind-boggling things he accomplished this week, he broke the record for most birdies with 26, an unthinkable number in any tournament let alone the Masters. He is the 5th wire- to wire winner and 1st since Raymond Floyd in 1976,  39 years ago. He is just the 4th player to win in just his 2nd Masters appearance. Also, lets not forget he had a chance to win last year, but was beat out by Bubba Watson who scored a crazy record. In all 8 rounds at the Masters he has been in the top 5. A feat that is hard to fathom considering how difficult the game is unless you’re Tiger Woods or Rory Mcilroy when they were on their runs.This win is one of the most impressive in major champion history.  It vaults Spieth to second in the world, and shows that American golf is in great hands for many years to come. Congratulations to Jordan on a historic performance well deserved, fun to watch!

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Brooks Koepka Gets 1st PGA Tour Win

Coming into Phoenix there were tons of storylines, including the season debut of Tiger Woods. We all know how that ended up, so no need to relive the horror that took place. Phil Mickelson was in the 132 player field as well, and he had a lofty expectations due to the prior success he has had at this tournament, winning just two years ago. Phil was on a 59 watch, which is the most exciting thing that happens in golf; unfortunately, that didn’t happen, as he missed the cut for the first time since 2009. Definitely not the way those two wanted to begin their 2015 seasons.

That opened the door for the field to make a statement, and that is exactly what Brooks Koepka did. The 24-year-old from the University of Florida State is a two-time All-American that has Bubba Watson type power, and that gives him a leg up on the rest of the competitors off the tee. He didn’t take the traditional route that most PGA Tour players take. Instead of the Web.com Tour, Brooks went the European Challenge Tour route, which, he said, taught him how to deal with failure and become a better player and person. He was able to get a win on the European Tour in Turkey, building his confidence that he could beat anyone anywhere.

He proved that this weekend, coming from 3 strokes behind leader Martin Laird on Sunday, posting a 65, and holding off Bubba Watson, Hideki Matsuyama, and Ryan Palmer. Koepka’s defining moment was a 50 foot eagle from off the green to give him the lead for good. He had to hold his breath because Matsuyama had a putt to tie and send the two players to a playoff. Matsuyama missed the putt, and that was it. Brooks Koepka was the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open champion.

Brooks Koepka’s driving accuracy was the reason he came back to win, as he didn’t miss a fairway on the Saturday or Sunday. That’s an amazing fairway hit percentage. The little known American has now made a name for himself in the golf world, as he is now the 33rd ranked player in the world and one to watch out for come April for The Masters.

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