Its Masters time.
The 2018 Augusta Masters
When the Masters begins on Thurs 5th of April the UK will be nearly 2 weeks into summertime.
As the evenings grow longer and the temperatures become bearable, 1000's of golfers will head off to their garage, or the trunk of their car and get the clubs out. This year there are more geniune contenders for the Masters title than ever.
Here are my hunches for this years tournament.
At a best price of 80/1 Xander Schaufflete is my pick for this years Masters. He hasn't hit the heights of last year yet when he finished the 2017 season as the Fed Ex Champion, but he has been on a few leader boards recenly before slipping away. I think he's class.... and I like someone who smiles a lot.
Jordan Spieth for the last few years has been a favourite for the first Major of the year, and rightly so. With 2nd place finishes in 2014 and 2016, his 2015 win, and an 11th place finish last year Spieth has the pedigree........but does he have the game?
He happens to be my favourite player, and sad as it is for me to say but this year he gets a raspberry. He just cant keep hitting in the trees and bunkers, off the tee and then missing short putts.
The genius of his long putting sailed off into the sunset after the Fed Ex series last Autumn, but the cracks were appearing before then.
So sorry Jordan, I know miracles sometimes happen but not this year.
Dustin Johnson 489yd drive, 2018 WGC World Matchplay
PGA Tour gunslinger Dustin Johnson, has recently been shooting with the safety on.
A bad result in the WGC Matchplay in Houston recently, must have created some uncertainty in his mind.
When he's on he blows fields away, but he doesn't have the Michelson, Woods, or Spieth ability to chow down when he is playing poorly, and post his best score.
Its not in his DNA. This year Dustins shotgun’s out of shells.
On to the Tiger.
Woods is back with a bang, exciting the crowds and bringing them flooding back to the tournaments.
I would absolutely love him to win this year and he can.
The form he has shown in the few tournaments he has entered so far this year, has seen him on the leader board plenty.
Thats enough for me to think this Tigers fierceness might scare the youngsters.
Tiger Woods 2018 Genesis Open
Justin Thomas recently finished 4th in the WGC World Matchplay behind the tours No1 ‘twitcher’ Bubba Watson.
He was my early pick, but picking him now would be a cop-out. Still JT might just run away with it. He has plenty of game but is a bit quick to sulk if the round isn’t going his way. He gets a shooting star!
Another player who deserves a mention is John Rahm, he has gone off the boil of late, but he is one of those players who can bounce back any time.
He still has world No.1 in his sights even though Justin Thomas might pip him and become the next one to get there.
He ticks the box for talent and determination and will win it for sure, just not this year.
Ricky Fowler gets on the leaderboard and something just happens, his nerves get the best of him.
He has Butch Harmon in his camp, and if he cant help the lads confidence under the gun no one can.
He cant go into the back 9 head to head with anyone at the moment, but can still win if he shoots a great score on day 4 from a few groups back.
McIlroys back with a recent win at the late Arnold Palmers tournament at Bay Hill.
Its a shame that he followed this up, by being dumped out of the WGC Matchplay at the group stage.
He has found a new lease of life on the greens it seems, but the chance of becoming only the 6th player to win the Grand Slam will weigh heavier each year.
I just dont think he has it.
Someone who just might do it this year is Justin Rose.
I am not sure if he's peakedalready. He keeps hanging around leaderboards, at almost every tournament he enters.
He is a number cruncher at a tournament where flair often wins... not for me this year.
Tyrrell Hatton, has a real shot this year.
Even though his fragile temperament, means he suffers inside more than most, this fellow has a great game.
He knows how to win and boy can he putt.
If he gets on the hunt he wont back off, but you can only be miserable about bad shots so many times before your body cries ..... enough!.
The psychologist George Humphrey referred to this parable in his 1923 book... The story of man's mind: "No man skilled at a trade needs to put his constant attention on the routine work," he wrote. "If he does, the job is apt to be spoiled............read more!