As I sit and contemplate who is going to step up at this year’s Masters, I find it hard to focus because a tremendous freezing rain storm rages in my area. No this is not a metaphor for anything, my entire region is being pelted with freezing rain which will result in everything being encased by ice today. With the strength of Atlas, I will forge ahead with my top three picks for champion and one dark horse for the first Major of 2023.
The greatest consideration for this year’s predictions is the weather. The weekend weather is going to be cold, wet and windy. These conditions make playing at Augusta National an even greater challenge than normal. It will require players to change their course management focus and play a bit more conservative than normal. On a brighter note, the weather conditions will soften the greens and allow for any player to go pin hunting. I expect to see a great deal of birdies over 4 days because Augusta National will not be the bear of a course it was in years past.
Taking into account the weather conditions, the player that hits the ball well off the tee and has a strong GIR game will likely have the greatest advantage over the four days of this Major. According to the stats at PGATour.com, Scottie Scheffler would be the odds on favourite. However, Jon Rahm leads the stats in scoring and birdie conversion. And surprisingly, none of the top names are near the top for the putting stat. As you can see, there are a plethora of considerations that go into making this year’s predictions.
My focus this year will be who will have the best GIR percentage in poor weather. I feel that the player that manages the rain and cold best will perform better over the moving day and the weekend. I realize that most elite professionals should handle these austere conditions well, but I am not so sure. Therefore, my picks might be a big unconventional, but here it goes.
My first prediction is Jordan Spieth. Spieth is a past champion who seems to perform well in tough conditions. He his a strong ball striker and great iron player. He can handle pressure well (most of the time) and if he stays focused, he will be unstoppable. His Achilles Heel is putting. His putter has to be performing for Spieth to have a chance. I think he will be at the top of the leader board on Sunday.
My second choice is Justin Thomas. Thomas has the full package and is ready for a big win. He is rated as the top player around the green this year. This skill will play an important roll given the poor weather over the last three days of the Masters. He hits a long ball and can putt. He has a complete game to win on the big stage. For Thomas to win his first green jacket, he will need to stay in the fairway off the tee and have a strong up and down game in the tough playing conditions.
My pick for Masters Champion this year is Rory McIlroy. His game is unquestionably in the top three of the world this year. He can play in wet and windy conditions without any real detriment to his scoring. The one hurdle that he must conquer this year is making unforced errors. The Masters requires 72 holes of focused play and McIlroy will have to be engaged for the entire journey. McIlroy will play best tee to green, lets see if his putter rises to the occasion. At the end of weekend, I expect McIlroy to be donning his first green jacket and completing a career grand slam.
My dark horse choice is purely based on hope. As a Canadian, I think that this year Corey Connors is our best hope of bringing the green jacket back to Canada. He is on a roll right now after winning the Valero Texas Open last weekend. Additionally, he has finished in the top 10 at Augusta over the past three years. Maybe this is his year!
On a side note, how can I talk about The Masters without mentioning Tiger Woods. I know he feels he is competitive and I think that is true. Unfortunately, I do not think he has the game to win this year. I do predict he will make the cut and finish in the top 20. Regardless, it is great to see Tiger at Augusta.
Predicting a champion in any golf tournament is tough. The Masters level of difficulty is exponentially more challenging. The weather is going to play a critical part in the tournament and the player who navigates the cool, wet and windy conditions best will be wearing the green jacket on Sunday. This year, I chose Rory McIlroy as the player the 2-23 Masters Champion.
Who do you think will win this year?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!
2 thoughts on “The Grateful Golfers 2023 Masters Predictions”
Jim I like Rory as well. If he can overcome the annual brain fart that sabotages his Masters ambitions, he can win it. I like that he is working with Dr. Bob. Enjoy the action!
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Thanks Brian, you enjoy the action as well.
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