How can you spot a Masters winner? In this piece we look at some key trends from the last decade's winners and narrow the field down to just five names!
How To Spot A Masters Winner
Of all four majors, the US Masters is undoubtedly the easiest to pick the winner. But how can you spot a Masters winner?
Well allow me to dive head first into the stats from the last decade of winners to reveal a few helpful points that narrow down the field that is teeing it up at Augusta National this year.
Watch the GM Tipster discuss who will do well at Augusta this year
In Reasonable Form And Not Rusty
Since 2011, The Masters’ winner has posted a T3 or better that same calendar year, with Sergio Garcia, Danny Willett, Jordan Spieth, Bubba Watson and Charl Schwarztel all winning. Nine of the last 10 winners had also played in six or more tournaments that year, ruling Jason Day out of this year’s picks.
Not The Defending Champion
Spieth would have got the job done in 2016 were it not for his collapse on the 12th, but Willett’s win means nobody has defended the Green Jacket since Tiger Woods in 2001-2002. Before Woods it is only Sir Nick Faldo (1989-1990) and Jack Nicklaus (1965-1966) who have pulled off the feat.
Not Ranked World Number One
Phil Mickelson at number three in in 2010 is the highest ranked player to win in the last decade. The likes of Angel Cabrera (ranked 69th in 2009), Zach Johnson (ranked 56th in 2007) and Trevor Immelman (ranked 29th in 2008) prove there is value to be had when betting further down the field.
Garcia and Willett are the only European winners since Jose Maria Olazabal in 1999, so as far as the trend book is concerned, it’s unlikely to happen again soon. (I for one hope this is wrong)
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Not Aged Over 40
In the last decade all 10 winners were under 40. Mickelson and Cabrera (both 39) were the oldest, while Willett, Spieth, Schwartzel and Immelmen all came in under 28-years-old
Made The Cut The Previous Year
Willett was 38th on his debut and won the next year, while Spieth followed his debut 2nd finish with a win. Garcia (34th), Watson (50th), Adam Scott (8th), Watson (38th), Schwartzel (30th), Mickelson (5th), Cabrera (25th), Immelman (55th) and Johnson (32nd) all also made cut the year before they won.
This Year’s Contenders
So who fits the profile for this year you ask? Just five names.
Branden Grace, Adam Hadwin, Justin Thomas, Brendan Steele and Louis Oosthuizen…
(If you want to include Europeans then Rory McIlroy and Paul Casey would also be on the list)