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BlogWho will win the Masters on Sunday?

Masters

April 9 – 12, 2015

Augusta National G.C.

Augusta, Ga.

Par: 72 / Yardage: 7,435

Purse: $10 million

with $1,800,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Bubba Watson

 

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

So what happened on Saturday?

I have been coming to the Masters since 1988 and have seen a lot happen.  I can count on my right hand how many folks have dominated this event in 54 holes and frankly in the last 27 years I can think of three, Greg Norman in 1996, Tiger Woods in 1997 and Rory McIlroy in 2011.  I have to add another with Jordan Spieth’s great performance this year.

After 36 holes he was in command of his game, only making that one bogey in the first round.  On Saturday he was still in control, but we saw him struggle a lot more.  He made bogeys at 4, 7 and 14 before making a double bogey at 17 and I would say that he was lucky to shot 70.  There were a lot of highlights to his day, with his birdie at 16 he joined Tiger Woods for the lowest score in the Masters at 18 under par.  But after making that birdie things looked under control as he had a seven shot lead.

But that all changed with his double bogey at 17, while Justin Rose made birdies at 13, 14, 15, 16 and 18 to go from nine back to four back.  On paper four is a lot, but not at Augusta National.  We have seen a fair amount of big 54 hole leads disappear, like Ken Venturi leading by four in 1956, shot 80 and lose by a shot.  In 1979 Ed Sneed was five up after 54 holes, but made bogeys at 16, 17 and 18 to tie with Tom Watson and Fuzzy Zoeller and watch Fuzzy win the playoff.  Then you had the biggest collapse in a major when Greg Norman had a six shot lead over Nick Faldo, but Norman shot 78 and lost to Faldo by two.  Then you had the Rory McIlroy debacle in 2011, he led by four going into the final round, shot 80 and finished T-13th.  So am I surprised that Spieth had a big lead after his birdie at 16 only to see it disappear?

Now it’s not a disaster, Spieth leads Justin Rose by four, Phil Mickelson by five, Charley Hoffman by six and Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Kevin Streelman and Kevin Na by ten.  Wisdom and odds say that it should be an easy day for Spieth, but this is the Masters a place to expect the unexpected.

So is Jordan Spieth going to win?  He should, too good of a player not to.  But we saw how much a lead can shrink real fast at Augusta.  The thing in Jordan’s favor is tomorrow is suppose to be a perfect day with no wind.  If that is the case he should be able to hold on.

Can Justin Rose win?  Yes but probably not.  I have to think he needs at least a 67 because I see Spieth shooing at least 71 on Sunday.

How about Phil Mickelson?  Anybody remember his last win?  Came at the 2013 British Open, Phil was yes five back, the same number he is today and won.  So does that answer your question.

Can Charley Hoffman win?  Don’t think so, he is first six back and I just can’t see him shooting a 65 on the last day.

How about Tiger, Rory and Dustin?  Hate to say that ten is too far back.  Yes Paul Lawrie was ten back when he won the 1999 British Open, but there was bad weather and a lot of carnage around him.  I just don’t see this happening on Sunday.

Below is a list of the top-9 players on the leader board going to six under which is 10 shots back of Jordan Spieth

Those that have played well of late:

Of the top-9 on the leaderboard, who is playing the best: for the Masters

Player Shell Houston Valero Texas Trophee Hassan Arnold Palmer Valspar Tshwane Open WGC Cadillac Puerto Rico Africa Open Honda Classic Joburg Open Northern Trust AT&T Pebble
Jordan Spieth
(366 pts)
T2
(100)
2
(100)
DNP DNP Win
(88)
DNP T17
(33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T4
(26.67)
T7
(18.33)
Dustin Johnson
(245.33 pts)
DNP T6
(60)
DNP DNP DNP DNP Win
(132)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T2
(33.33)
T4
(26.67)
Kevin Na
(138.33 pts)
DNP T20
(30)
DNP T6
(40)
T10
(26.67)
DNP T9
(45)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T61
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
Phil Mickelson
(94 pts)
T17
(33)
T30
(20)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T31
(19)
DNP DNP T17
(22)
DNP DNP DNP
Charley Hoffman
(90 pts)
T11
(39)
T11
(39)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T38
(12)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T30
(6.67)
DNP
Rory McIlroy
(64.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T11
(26)
DNP DNP T9
(45)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

Of the top-9 on the leaderboard, who isn’t playing well: for the Masters

Player Shell Houston Valero Texas Trophee Hassan Arnold Palmer Valspar Tshwane Open WGC Cadillac Puerto Rico Africa Open Honda Classic Joburg Open Northern Trust AT&T Pebble
Justin Rose
(-0.33 pts)
T37
(13)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP 55
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP
Kevin Streelman
(8 pts)
T42
(8)
DNP DNP T67
(0)
T40
(6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Rory McIlroy
(64.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP T11
(26)
DNP DNP T9
(45)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

In Conclusion

Have to say that Jordan Spieth will win it.  He is just too good and has too big of a lead.

Here are some things to look forward to on Sunday for Spieth:

  • *Jordan Spieth goes into the final round with a four shot lead after shooting the best 54 hole score at the Masters with a 200 total.  He beat by a shot the 201 record that was held by Raymond Floyd in 1976 and Tiger Woods in 1997.
  • *The eventual Masters champion has come out of the final Sunday pairing 20 out of the last 24 years, with Zach Johnson (2007), Charl Schwartzel (2011), Bubba Watson (2012) and Adam Scott (2013) the exceptions.
  • *The only Masters champion who was not inside the top 5 on the leaderboard after 54 holes was Doug Ford in 1957 (T-6th), Jack Nicklaus in 1986 (T-9th), Nick Faldo in 1989 (T-9th), Gary Player in 1978 (T-10th) and  Art Wall Jr. in 1959 (T-13th).
  • *The third-round leader/co-leader has gone on to win the Masters Tournament 42 out of 78 times, most recently Bubba Watson (2014) and Angel Cabrera (2009).
  • * Spieth has led after each round this week. There have been four true wire-to-wire winners at the Masters: Craig Wood (1941), Arnold Palmer (1960), Jack Nicklaus (1972) and Raymond Floyd (1976).
  • *Spieth got to 18 under on his 52nd hole tieing him with Tiger Woods as the lowest marks in Masters history.  So he still has the chance to break that record on Sunday.  One record that nobody will break this year, four rounds in the 60s.
  • *If Spieth wins on Sunday he would be the second youngest winner of the Masters at aged 21 years, 8 months and 16 days old.  Tiger Woods is the youngest with his 1997 win at age 21 years, 3 months, 14 days.  Right now Seve Ballesteros is the 2nd youngest with his 1980 win at age 23 years, 4 days
  • *Right now the with Jack Burke, Jr, Charles Coody, Ben Crenshaw, Jimmy Demaret, Ralph Guldahl, Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson Texas has the most Masters won at 12 titles.  Spieth who was born and lives in Dallas, could be the eight player.
  • *Spieth is playing his second Masters and would join this list of champions that reached it in the shortest span:
  • In their first try – Horton Smith in 1934, Gene Sarazen in 1935 and Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979
  • In their second try – Jimmy Demaret in 1940, Herman Keiser in 1946 and Charl Schwartzel in 2011.

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Screen Shot 2015-04-10 at 7.48.21 PM

So who will win on Sunday?

He is the only choice to win:

Jordan Spieth

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
leads by 4 shots T2

He is too good of a player to lose. He will do everything in his power to stay cool and calm and avoid any big problems. He knows based on what happened on the 17th hole today that anything bad could spell disaster and that no lead is too big until he reaches the 18th hole.

 

Could put pressure on Spieth and will be there if he falls:

Phil Mickelson

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
35 shots back CUT T54 T3 T27 Win 5 T5 T24 Win 10 Win 3

He knows what it takes to win a major from five back (did it at the 2013 British Open). He also knows how to win at Augusta, look for him to play hard and put some early pressure on Jordan. Only question is if he can keep it rolling, his bogey on 17 stopped his big charge.

Justin Rose

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
2

4 shots back

T14 T25 T8 T11 T20 T36 T5 T22 T39

He learned a lot at Merion and knows to play patient, that anything can happen and he could be in the right place at the right time.

Needs a miracle:

Tiger Woods

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T5

10 shots back

T4 T40 T4 T4 T6 2 T2 T3 Win T22 T15

Boy the one thing going for him is that he seems to get better as time roles on. Only problem, he is ten back and that is a lot of ground to do the deed. All of these players at six under need at least a 63 on Sunday to have any chance and then they need help from Spieth. One thing that will help Tiger is playing with Rory.

Rory Mcilroy

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T5

10 shots back

T8 T25 T40 T15 CUT T20

Don’t think that he has a 63 in him, but should be lot’s of fun watching him and Tiger. Remember in 2011 when Phil and Tiger played together and made a great front nine run, could that happen again?

Dustin Johnson

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T5

10 shots back

CUT T13 T38 T38 T30

Was in the running until he made Double bogey at 12, then bogeys at 17 and 18. If he could of shot a 33 instead of a 38 things could be different. So like everyone else, he needs a miracle and that may not be good enough.

Long shots that still don’t have a chance:

Charley Hoffman

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
4

6 shots back

T27

He has played great and I should be more respectful of him but I just don’t think he will make a difference and is playing for a high finish.

Kevin Na

2015 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03
T5

10 shots back

59 T12 CUT CUT

He doesn’t really go low so he has no chance on Sunday.

Comments

  1. ken caldwell says:

    I looked at the 24/7 Golf. There does not appear to be any order to the listing of the players, not alphabetical, by gender, etc. Would
    be better and of more value if some kind of order.

    Just a suggestion. No value to me the way it is.

    Thanks, Ken

  2. Ken, lots of way to sort and filter the player list. Default is male and female golfers, sorted by Official World Ranking. Just click on Filter/Sort to customize to your liking. Your preferences will also be saved between sessions.

    You can also save favorites (touch the star on any player or tournament), and the favorites will appear at the top of the list.

    –Ed

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