As the crescendo of excitement builds, the more discerning golfer is building their choice for the next green jacket. This is a difficult process and depending on your point of view, will include many factors that can be measured and others…..well, not so much. Before I announce my choice as the next Masters Champion, I thought I would share my selection process because it will help you understand how I reached my decision.
The easy answer is the winner has to be able to drive, hit close approach shots, scramble, and putt. This of course is not helpful because that is the recipe for every event, but playing at Augusta National, these and other factors are weighted differently to choose the next winner.
There are three aspects of a golfers game that I consider above others when playing at The Masters. They must be the foundation of their rounds that will allow the champion to take advantage of the few opportunities presented. Without them, I do not believe anyone can win at Augusta. The are:
Off the Tee. Hitting the ball in play off the tee is critical when playing at The Masters. To be clear, this does not mean long all the time. This skill focuses on the ball in play in the proper position that sets up the next shot. The course is difficult enough when in play, I cannot image that the pressure of making magical shots all the time will enable a player to remain at the top of the leaderboard. Getting off the tee is important if a player wants the green jacket.
Scramble. Every player misses a shot from time to time. The ability to recover like Phil Mickelson or Bubba Watson can make or break a round. Being able to scramble will stop the bleeding of a poor hole or put them in a position to shoot a surprising birdie or par. Having the imagination of Seve to see shots others cannot is a huge advantage and the player that scrambles the best will be in the hunt on Sunday.
Who is Hot. Believe it or not, this is intangible factor that cannot be measured. It is the wild card that must be considered, but is more of a feeling than anything else. This year, there are several players who are considered “hot” going into The Masters. They have always have game, but it is peaking at the right time. After the Houston Open, we will be able to see when fits this category and who is going the other way.
There you have it. I consider other factors as well, but I weight these three above the others. In the past, I have compared my selections to many categories; getting off the tee, scrambling, and who is hot always rise to the top of the list of things players need to do very well to win the first Major of the year.
When you pick your champion, what factors do you use? Is there something I am missing? If so, please share!
I am a grateful golfer! Bring on The Masters!