2019 US Masters Preview
August National Golf Club
April 11–14, 2019
The 83rd edition of the US Masters kicks off on Friday, and it’s shaping up to be a close finish once again.
Patrick Reed will be out to defend his crown after taking home the green jacket last year, although a number of superstars will be looking to kick start their 2019 majors calendar with a bang.
Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy is one of the favourites, with the 29-year-old looking to complete a career grand slam given the Masters is the only major he hasn’t won so far.
McIlroy will enter his 11th Masters outing on the back of some strong form, after taking out last month’s The Players Championship at Sawgrass.
McIlroy saw off Jim Furyk by one stroke as he finished at -16, with his impressive long game on show.
Back in 2011, McIlroy led by four shots after three rounds at the Masters, but had a disastrous day in the final round, finishing with a double bogey and triple bogey within three holes to record a score of 80, and fall outside the top 10.
If he can put the ghosts of 2011 behind him, he could be the man to beat at Augusta.
World No. 2 Dustin Johnson enters the tournament on the back of two wins in 2019, and is playing himself into form at the right time.
Johnson finished 10th in the 2018 Masters, and was tied for fifth in The Players last month, three shots behind McIlroy.
He was the PGA Tour Player of the Year in 2016, and with his win in the 2019 WGC-Mexico Championship in January, became the third player in Tour history alongside Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods to win a Tour title in each of his first 12 seasons.
He’s only got one major to his name (2016 US Open), with his best performance in a Masters back in 2016 when he finished tied for fourth.
There are a number of other contenders who could realistically take home the crown, but none would be more special than Tiger Woods.
Woods already has four green jackets in his locker, but a fifth would just be that much more special, given what he’s been through.
On his day, Woods is still one of the strongest iron players in the world, and has regained enough form over recent events to be able to contend in this one.
In Woods’ last two majors, he finished in second at the PGA Championship and sixth at The Open, showcasing his ability to step up and come to play in the big moments.
He’s got enough tricks in the bag to be able to force this one down to the wire, and if it comes down to it, why wouldn’t you back Tiger during a playoff?
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