One of the greatest weeks in all of sport is finally upon us. I cannot think of many previous Masters that I have had more anticipation for than this 2019 version. The storylines are plentiful, the big dawgs are all out to play, and Augusta National will be as pristine as ever. This is a stacked field full of seasoned veterans hungry for a chance at another jacket, and young stars dreaming of their first. Without further ado, let’s get into the rankings.
Standard Disclaimer: For non-major Championships I will be ranking 12 golfers a week, and for the Majors I will be going 20 deep. I don’t rank for guys that I think will be in the mix, I rank solely on likelihood of winning the golf tournament. Thus, whoever I give the #1 spot to each week, is the guy I feel is most likely to reach the winner’s circle, and so forth down the list. Without further ado, let’s get into it.
1. Justin Rose- Just feels like it’s time. We all know about the just-miss in 2017, but JR has had plenty of solid performances at Augusta. Game is in a rock solid place and he is flying under the radar a little bit. Time to pounce.
2. Dustin Johnson- When he has his best stuff it’s hard to argue that there’s anyone better. It’s been awhile since DJ has been firmly in the mix late at the Masters, and he certainly will be as hungry as ever this week. As good a shot as anybody.
3. Justin Thomas- Some close calls early in 2019 have this man extremely motivated to claim his second career major in Georgia. Took a step forward at ANGC last year, and will look to build off it this time around.
4. Rickie Fowler- We all know this narrative. Last year was a giant step forward for Rickie as he played extremely clutch golf the entire back nine to give Patrick Reed everything he could handle. Can he rise one spot higher this year? Certainly.
5. Tiger Woods- I’m buying stock in Eldrick this week. At this point in his career it’s about majors and he enters this week primed for success. Knows how to play the course as well as anybody and should be well rested.
6. Jon Rahm- Rahmbo was one of the great storylines of the 2018 Masters, and he will look to build off of that success this time around. Consistency on the greens will be the question, but if he can get the putter going he will be very dangerous.
7. Phil Mickelson- Phil the Thrill in the mix on Sunday at the Masters? A tale as old as time. Lefty knows the window is getting smaller and expect him to flat out bring everything out this week. Phil will be right in the thick of things on Sunday. Book it.
8. Jordan Spieth- How can you bet against this guy when his worst finish in five starts here is an 11th? You simply cannot. I don’t care what the form is, Jordan Spieth knows Augusta like very few ever have, and he will be ready to roll.
9. Marc Leishman- When the wind blows, Leish goes. Was neck and neck with PReed through 36 holes a year ago, before a sloppy weekend did him in. That didn’t sit well with Marc. Back with a vengeance.
10. Brooks Koepka- Quite honestly slotting Brooks in the #10 hole is a bit insulting given what his last two years in majors looks like. Limited success at ANGC is the only hold-up, but I would not look to much into it. BK brings his best stuff at the biggest events.
11. Louis Oosthuizen– A man that is just different in Major Championships, and always someone I keep a close eye on. The form is there with great outings in his last two starts in Tampa and Austin. Sweet Lou never gets a ton of buzz, but he knows how to handle the big stages.
12. Rory McIlroy- My heavy fade for the week. I believe the Masters is to Rory what the US Open is to Phil. After last year’s disastrous Sunday, I expect Rory to come out nervy and struggle right out of the gates. I am calling a middle of the pack finish for McIlroy.
13. Jason Day– A man that is really flying under the radar right now. Two to three years ago he was known as apart of the “Big 3” in this game but with injuries and mixed results he hasn’t been able to sustain that kind of high level success. With all that being said, he is still an elite talent who could easily pounce this week. Look out for JDay.
14. Xander Schauffele- Only his second trip to Augusta but X continues to be different. A safe bet to be inside the top 20, and if he can avoid the big number he could definitely be in position to content on Sunday.
15. Tommy Fleetwood– Still waiting for the breakthrough after several recent close calls. Wowed the galleries last year with his low Saturday round to propel himself right into the mix. No longer here just for contention, Tommy is here to win.
16. Ian Poulter– Call it a gut, but I have a weird feeling about IJP this week. Has long dreamed of becoming a Major Champion, and maybe like Sergio, Augusta is the place where he breaks through.
17. Brandt Snedeker– Like Poulter, another sleeper for me this week. Has tasted plenty of success at the Masters but has never quite gotten over the hump. As Brandt gets closer to 40 he realizes the clock is ticking on his chances to win a major.
18. Henrik Stenson- The Iceman has had limited success at the Masters over the years, but appeared to turn a corner last year. Played very solid golf down in Austin so enters the week in a good place. Should be a safe bet to be in contention.
19. Francesco Molinari- Continues an absolutely unreal run of golf over the last 18 months. The record at Augusta isn’t stellar, but he had plenty of low rounds. Hard to bet against Francesco contending right now.
20. Tony Finau- Not on the greatest run of late, but Tony has shown he can play well in the big-time events. Luckily for his sake, won’t be nursing a crazy ankle injury this time around, so expect to see a rested Finau play some good golf this week.
This promises to be another special week at Augusta National filled with Sunday drama and late charges. Who will emerge victorious when it’s all said and done on Sunday evening? Time will tell. Grab your popcorn and enjoy.