(EDITORS NOTE: We here at A Few Good Mics like to pride ourselves in our sports takes. Not just in football and basketball, but in all sports. That’s why I’m proud to have my good friend Thomas Demet as our new resident golf expert. Tom gives us his analysis and prediction for the 2018 Masters in his inaugural piece for the site. Hope you all enjoy.)
Before I dive into golfers I like for the Masters I need to explain a few things. My “Most Hyped” players does not necessarily mean overhyped nor does my interested to watch players mean they are sleepers. This article is written solely from a golf fan perspective.
Listen, for those of you who are watching their first golf tournament of the year, Tiger Woods is back. Yes that’s right, I said it. For those who did not see him play Valspar Championship it truly was classic Tiger. Horrible tee shots followed by an electric short game. Concerned about that carrying over into the masters? 6th in strokes gained around the green. 11th in strokes gained in putting. These are two of the four major stats to look at for The Masters. I know this sounds cliche, and any big golf fan has heard it a millions times, but Augusta is not like any other course. It’s a course of where the winner adapts the quickest. It’s a course where the winning score could be -18 (Speith in 2015) or +1 (Johnson in 2007). No one knows how this course is going to play this week. I have not seen enough of Tiger making those (-6) days to jump from T45 to T8 for me to feel confident he will be able to adapt quickly enough and win it all. I have seen it from other key players so far this year.
Jordan Spieth is the favorite to win the 2018 Masters. Everyone saw Jordan’s putting struggles at the Waste Management Open. It was brutal. Since that, Spieth landed five Top 20’s which included two top 10’s. The last two weeks, Spieth has put on a display of aggressive shot making, accurate iron play, and good putting. Do not get me wrong, Augusta will test his putting. However, when you have a player who in his four go’s at Augusta has two 2nd place finishes and a win, you gotta love him.
Most Interested To Watch
If the Masters is your first golf tournament you are watching this year, remember this name: Alex Noren. This guy is good. Noren has yet to finish outside the top 36 in every event he has played this year. Out of the nine events he has played he has seven top 20’s and three top 3’s. Currently 15th in the world, Noren is 4th in scoring average. The Sweden native’s breakout year has been propelled by his ability to avoid bogeys. 2nd on tour in scrambling from 10 to 20 feet out. Short game is key at Augusta. The reason I am curious to see him play this year is that he went +8 last year before missing the cut. Poor guy was swallowed whole by the course. Maybe this will be the year he redeems himself.
Brian Harman is an interesting golfer. You have a guy who is 70% or fairways and 72% of greens in regulation. Golf is all about opportunities. The more opportunities you give yourself, the more chances you will to score lower. Furthermore, Harman is 15th in Birdie average and 13th overall in scoring average. If you have a guy like Harman that is ranking top 15 in all of these categories, why isn’t he getting any love for The Masters? Brian Harman may be the biggest dark horse in the tournament. I like to think Brian is a younger version of Kuchar.
2018 Masters Winner
To be honest, it was not even hard picking him. Justin Thomas is by far the best golfer in the world right now. His last four events resulted in top 10 wins, including a win at the Honda Classic and a second place finish at the Match play WGC. JT is 8th in driving distance which is a huge advantage. To compliment that advantage JT 5th in strokes gained Approach-The-Green. In order to be successful at Augusta players must be able to capabilize on par 5’s and a few par 4’s. JT is 2nd on tour in eagles per round and 6th in birdies per round. That’s crazy. JT is the hottest and best player in the world and it should show at the Masters.
Written by Thomas Demet