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.
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. Last year Patrick Reed had had three top 10s in a row before getting to Augusta. Nine of the last 10 winners had also played in six or more tournaments that year.
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.
Not A Rookie
Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979 is the only rookie to have won the US Masters since the second tournament…. the odds of a rookie winning are very low.
Not European or Asian player
Garcia and Willett are the only European winners since Jose Maria Olazabal in 1999 to win, so as far as the trend book is concerned, it’s unlikely to happen again soon. (I for one hope this is wrong). YE Yang is still the only player from Asia to have won a Major and no one from that continent has won the Masters, so for this argument we are excluding players from both these continents… of course the likes of McIlroy, Casey, Molinari Haotong Li, Si Woo Kim and Hideki Matsuyama tick the rest of the boxes.
Who is going to make a move on…
Sky have the full rights, but you can…
Not Aged Over 40
In the last decade all 10 winners were under 40. Mickelson and Cabrera (both 39) were the oldest, while Reed, Willett, Spieth, Schwartzel and Immelmen all came in under 28-years-old. The average of the US Masters winner this decade is 30.6
Made The Cut The Previous Year
This one stat doesn’t work for Patrick Reed as he missed the cut in 2017 before winning in 2018. But it does have a lot of times where it has worked – Danny 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?
Well there are more than usual this year – so many good players have been playing well this season –
Bryson Dechambeau, Rickie Fowler, Branden Grace, Marc Leishman, Louis Oosthuizen, Xander Schauffele, Adam Scott and Justin Thomas all tick all of the boxes above.
If we need a tie breaker, Rickie Fowler and Branden Grace are bang on the 30 years old mark… so those are the two who should be battling it down the stretch on Sunday evening…
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