Where: Augusta National Golf Club. Augusta, Georgia.
When: April 6-9
Defending Champion: Danny Willett
Winning Score Last Year: -5
Course Layout: 36-36=72. The traditional Masters layout.
Featured Holes: #2 Pink Dogwood- One of my favorite holes on the course, and arguably the easiest one on the front 9. It averages a 4.82 score on a par 5 which ranks as the third easiest historically. It’s a place where players should be able to get their round started on the right foot. #7 Pampas- What looks like a relatively simple par 4 plays as the third-hardest hole on the course due to its tight green and difficult approach shot. Get a par, and get out happily. #11 White Dogwood- The hardest hole on the course, playing .35 strokes over par historically. This 505 yard par 4 is just the beginning to Amen Corner. #16 Redbud- The best hole when it’s a Sunday afternoon. This is often where the tournament is won or lost.
TV Coverage: Thursday, April 6th: 3:00-7:30PM ESPN
Friday, April 7th: 3:00-7:30PM ESPN
Saturday, April 8th: 3:00-7:30PM CBS
Sunday, April 9th: 2:00-7:00PM CBS
Sleeper of the Week: Russell Henley. It’s not often that the winner of the week before does incredibly well at the Masters, but Henley is coming in hot. It’s hard to ignore a golfer that had 10 birdies in his most previous competitive round. This will be Henley’s 4th Masters appearance, improving in each one, with a top 25 back in 2015. Expect him to do a little bit better this year.
Weather Conditions: Looking like what should be a dry week in Augusta for this tournament. Storms are expected on Wednesday, which should soften up the course. Thursday and Friday will be in the low 60s with 20-25MPH wind which could make conditions very tough. Saturday and Sunday look beautiful, with sun and in the 70s and mild winds.
5. Bubba Watson- The two time winner has played inconsistently lately, but you can’t deny the fact that he has two jackets in that beautiful shade of green,
4. Phil Mickelson- See above. Phil has always done well in this tournament, and I don’t anticipate that changing no matter what his age might say.
3. Dustin Johnson- The dude is just on fire. With two top 10s in the previous two Masters, anticipate his name on the front page of the leaderboard on Sunday.
2. Jordan Spieth- After his collapse last year, he has to be thinking about revenge. 2nd, 1st, 2nd, in his three appearances here. Not too shabby
If I had to pick a winner…Rory McIlroy- It’s his time. He recently said in an interview that he would not have fulfilled his career if he didn’t own a green jacket. The feeling of achievement, fulfillment and happiness will come to a much more focused Rory this week.