For the first time in many years I am excited to watch this year’s Masters. I have decided to delve into the world of predictions as in years past. This year it should be very interesting considering the rift in professional golf. There seems to be a nonsense story trending about the PGA and LIV and I can guarantee you that this will be the last I will talk about it. I will however focus on the players and who I think will have a chance to take home the Green Jacket. For today’s article, I want to discuss what I think the winner will need to do better than every other player in the field to be crown the 2023 Masters Champion.
The honorary starters will again be Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson and Gary Player. I am sure Arnold Palmer will continue to be missed at this momentous event. Nicklas and Player have carried the tradition on since the passing of Arnold Palmer and I think Tom Watson is a great replacement. With Jack turning 83, Gary turning 87 and Tom turning 73, who knows how long these legends can keep teeing it up at Augusta. For now, I will enjoy watching these living legends start my favourite Major of the year.
The odds makers have the world’s top three players as the odds on favourites; Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy, and Jon Rahm. Of course that is the easy way out and I am not sure that these are safest bets. They all are playing great and one might be in the last group on Sunday, but I think there is more to picking a winner that these three.
It would be easy to say fairways and greens is the key to winning at The Masters. Of course this is true, but everyone knows that little tidbit of information. This year, however, the champion will have to perform one skill better than the rest of the field in order to win. It is more complex than hitting the ball well. It is an intangible that all players must face during any Major. The ability to handle the pressure of Augusta.
This is not fuzzy logic. Just ask the players who folded to the pressure of Augusta in their final round:
- Greg Norman, 1996 Masters
- Scott Hoch, 1989 Masters
- Rory McIlroy, 2011 Masters.
- Jeff Maggert, 2003 Masters.
- Curtis Strange, 1985 Masters.
- Greg Norman, 1987 Masters.
- Ken Venturi, 1956 Masters.
- Ed Sneed, 1979 Masters.
- Arnold Palmer, 1961 Masters.
- Ben Hogan, 1946 Masters.
Everyone of the above players felt the pressure of The Masters. Once their downward spiral started, they could not push back against the pressure of their situation. Conversely, it takes a tremendous amount of effort to rise to the occasion. In 1996, Nick Faldo rallied from a six-shot deficit to Greg Norman entering the final day to win his third green jacket. Faldo embraced the pressure of the final round and watch Norman collapse with no chance of recovery.
The 2023 Masters winner will be determined by the which player best handles the press of this amazing Major. Tomorrow I will offer my picks for this year with a dark horse. Feel free to get your picks ready and let me know who you believe will win this year’s green jacket.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!
2 thoughts on “It Is Masters Week!”
Jim, with the rain and cold scheduled for the tournament, it will take a long ball striker with a high ball flight. Going with Rory here. The wet should help slow the greens a bit too. Get ready for a birdiefest!
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I relish to see which players step up and which disappear. It is going to be a great tourney for sure.
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