With Spring finally here, the Masters takes center stage (cue The Masters theme music). We all know the Masters is known for its approach shots and massive slopes on the greens. Being in top form coming into the week and being able to control your ball flight and distances is key to winning the tournament. In this entry, I’ll be giving you my dark horse, contender and who I think will be putting on the green jacket.
Lee Westwood (Dark Horse) – While his play of late doesn’t really lend itself to a dark horse, Lee Westwood is often labeled as the best player to never win a major. He is coming to Augusta in top form with a new mental approach to golf. Playing in the final group at both Bay Hill and the Players, he posted second place finishes in both events. Westwood has had success around Augusta, finishing in the top 10 five times since 2010. Although Westwood’s stats do not show that he should be considered for the week, his new mental approach and the way he has been putting shows me that he is one to keep a close eye on. The only knock on Lee is that his putting has held him back for most of his career. But if he can continue his recent putting success, “Westy” could shed that less than desired “best to never win a major” label.
Webb Simpson (Contender) – Webb’s last three Masters appearances resulted in a T20 or better, with his best finish being a T5 in 2019. Webb is known for having an impressive short game and with the switch to the arm lock putting method his putting stats have improved tremendously. Webb is ranked 14th in stroked gained putting and 9th in strokes gained around the green. Combine that with being in the top 10 in GIR and 7th in scoring average, Webb should definitely be a contender on the back nine Sunday afternoon.
Dustin Johnson (Winner) – The number one player in the world and reigning Master’s champion, “DJ” has finished T10 or better every year since 2015. Since devoting focus on his short game, Johnson has become one of the most dominate players in recent memory. He is currently in the top 10 in driving distance and strokes gained around the green and approach shots. Despite the fact that there hasn’t been a back to back winner at Augusta since Tiger in 2001 – 2002, Johnson arrives at Augusta in top form, and could very well win his third major.
Who is your dark horse, contender and eventual winner? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.