07 April 2015

2015 Masters Preview

It is time to go down that familiar road in Augusta for the first golf major of the season, the Masters. It is the 79th edition of this tournament, the one where all players are vying for the most valuable prize in all of golf, the green jacket. Which golfer will be putting on that green jacket on Sunday night? Here is my 2015 Masters Preview.

TV Schedule & Announcers

Is this finally Rory McIlroy's time?
McIlroy sits as the pre-tournament favorite and he also now has the standing of being the new face of golf. After all, there is a reason why the video games are now called Rory McIlroy PGA Tour after 16 years of someone we will get to momentarily. McIlroy got his first top ten finish last year by finishing eight, even after after a second round 77 effectively took him out of contention. He has played well in 2015 thus far (save for missing the cut at the Honda Classic).

Are we poised for a big showing from Jordan Spieth?
One year after putting together a big show in his debut at Augusta, in which he nearly won the damn thing at the age of 20, Spieth has truly broken out this year after finishing off 2014 very well. He has six top tens in nine events this calendar year, including finishing tied for fourth at Rivera, winning in Palm Harbor with two straight runner-up finishes in his last two events in San Antonio and Houston. He is now in second in odds only to McIlroy and as we saw last year, he is going to be well prepared for such an event this weekend.

Will Bubba Watson repeat?
As I always note, it is tough for anyone to repeat at Augusta as it has not happened since Tiger did it in 2002. That said, Watson may be in good shape to do it and not just because he already has won the green jacket twice in three years. He has been playing very well this year with a win in China, runner-up finishes in Bermuda and Scottsdale and a third at Doral and his power suits him well for a longer Augusta.

What will we see out of Tiger?
I made my opinions on the outlook for Tiger Woods clear on Sunday evening, before he reportedly shot well in a practice round on Monday morning. He even looked like he was enjoying himself yesterday, certainly a departure from the Tiger of old. I still am skeptical on Tiger's performance and I still don't think he will make the cut but it looks like he will keep it at least a little interesting.

Who will win?
For as long as I have had the blog (which celebrated its fifth birthday yesterday as a matter of fact), I have never been able to correctly predict the winner of the Masters. Nevertheless, I'll move forward and make a prediction this year of Jordan Spieth to win his first green jacket. I love how well he has been playing going back to last year and he has the confidence from last year's Masters that he knows he can compete for the win. This year, he will do it.

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