Who wins the US Masters? Pros, golf writers and commentators weigh in

Features

Golf365 pools the collective brain power of European Tour pros, golf writers and commentators at Augusta National, the Open champion’s golf coach and even a trio of comedians to find out the big question – who will win this year’s Masters?

Andrew Cotter (BBC commentator)

1/ Dustin Johnson
2/ Rory McIlroy
3/ Bubba Watson

Why? “Could make a case for any of these three, or Justin Rose. But Dustin Johnson, when not injured after failing to cope with stairs, has top-10s in his last three Masters and has the length for a soft course and as good a chance as any of them. Although I’m secretly hoping for the story of McIlroy completing his grand slam.”

Richard Kaufman (Sky Sports golf commentator)

1/ Jon Rahm
2/ Rory Mcilroy
3/ Bubba Watson

Why? “The game to win a major and if his last three scores around Augusta National are anything to go by, a place where the Spaniard has quickly found a game-plan. Not yet found his midas touch in 2019 and I do wonder about this “new Rahm” he spoke about at Sawgrass with the temper tantrums gone. But on top of his game, he oozes class. Seve, Olazabal, Garcia… why not another Spaniard in a green jacket?”

Keith Jackson (Skysports.com)

1/ Rory McIlroy
2/ Brooks Koepka
3/ Rickie Fowler

Why? “Rory comes into Augusta this year on the back of a huge win at Sawgrass which was more about attitude and composure than raw power and talent. It’s time for him to overcome his ‘mental hurdle’ at the Masters.”

Denis Pugh (Francesco Molinari’s coach)

1/ Francesco Molinari

Why? “Just one pick, Francesco, because he now has the firepower to match the accuracy.”

Chris Paisley (European Tour pro)

1/ Francesco Molinari
2/ Rory McIlroy
3/ Justin Rose

Why? “Molinari is probably the best player in the world tee to green in terms of precision, he’s added considerable length and his putting is much improved. Great under pressure. Rory’s game suits the place and he has played great this season. Seems to be on the verge of getting back to where he should be, winning majors. World #1 Rose is due another major. Long game is amazing so if he putts decent he’ll have a chance to win.”

Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño (European Tour pro)

1/ Rory McIlroy
2/ Tiger Woods
3/ Tony Finau

Why? “Rory, because of the great form he’s in coming into the Masters.”

Jason Palmer (former European Tour pro)

1/ Justin Rose
2/ Rory Mcilroy
3/ Phil Mickelson

Why? “Rose is now fully focused on adding to his major tally and he’s made no secret of the fact that he’s tailored his entire schedule around them this year. He loves Augusta, his game is a perfect fit and after some excruciating near misses it could be time for Rose to don the green jacket.”

Martin Dempster (The Scotsman)

1/ Rory McIlroy
2/ Justin Rose
3/ Jordan Spieth

Why? “Rory couldn’t have asked for a better preparation for his latest bid to complete a career grand slam, with his performance – not just the fact he won – in The Players Championship at Sawgrass indicating he is ready to become a golfing legend this week.”

Philip Reid (Irish Times)

1/ Rickie Fowler
2/ Justin Rose
3/ Rory McIlroy

Why? “Fowler might finally get to close a deal in a major; he’s been within touching distance here regularly and just seems to have a more mature, stronger mental game about this latest bid.”

James Corrigan (Daily Telegraph)

1/ Jordan Spieth
2/ Rory McIlroy
3/ Marc Leishman

Why? “Coming back to form and comes alive at Augusta.”

Phil Casey (Press Association)

1/ Brooks Koepka
2/ Rory McIlroy
3/ Tony Finau

Why? “Koepka will win because of length advantage on softened course and because winning majors is just what he does.”

Paul Mahoney (Golf writer, veteran of numerous Masters)

1/ Tiger Woods
2/ Jordan Spieth
3/ Justin Rose

Why? “Because the people are aching for Tiger to win another major and the people simply won’t believe it’s never going to happen. It’s going to happen. Tiger is discovering how to make things happen again. Tiger knows his way around Augusta in the dark. Need more proof? He’s been practising with Fred Couples. Sunday’s headline: Freddie puts the Masters Boom Boom back into Tiger.”

Rob Bolton (PGATOUR.com)

1/ Rory McIlroy
2/ Justin Rose
3/ Tiger Woods

Why? “His streamlined approach in 2019 has been geared toward winning the Masters. The added layer is that the career grand slam would come with the green jacket. He’s ready for this.”

Ben Everill (PGATOUR.com)

1/ Rory McIlroy
2/ Jason Day
3/ Marc Leishman

Why? “Everything just appears to be coming together at the right time. Not a matter of if he will win career slam, but when.”

Jason Sobel (ActionNetworkHQ)

1/ Rickie Fowler
2/ Justin Thomas
3/ Rory McIlroy

Why? “If you’ve been picking him to win majors over the past decade — and yes, I’m guilty of it on a few occasions, too — then you’ve been shut out so far, but that doesn’t mean the drought will continue. Now 30, Fowler has matured into one of the world’s top players. A strong start to 2019, coupled with a runner-up finish last year, could result in his long-awaited first major title this week.”

Ben Coley (Sporting Life)

1/ Rickie Fowler
2/ Marc Leishman
3/ Justin Thomas

Why? “This might be the best preparation Fowler has had for Augusta, particularly given the win in Phoenix. Nobody putts these greens better and his performance last year can prove to be the final piece of the jigsaw.”

John Rhodes (Skybet golf odds compiler)

1/ Dustin Johnson
2/ Rory McIlroy
3/ Marc Leishman

Why? “Think DJ could almost be favourite this week with the damp forecast suggested. Two wins in last six strokeplay starts.”

Alex Perry (National Club Golfer)

1/ Rory McIlroy
2/ Rickie Fowler
3/ Francesco Molinari

Why? “Augusta is due a “superstar” champion and this is the first year since his 2011 meltdown that I’ve really felt it is actually McIlroy’s time to get over that. He’s having a sublime year and is on a run of five straight Masters top 10s. He’ll win by three over Fowler, who will just miss out again, and Molinari, who will plod his way round and largely stay under the radar.”

John Robins (Comedian, Radio presenter, Queen fan)

1/ Dustin Johnson
2/ Brooks Koepka
3/ Justin Rose

Why? “Dustin’s Masters record is decent and I can see him finally doing some serious damage in majors this year. Koepka is good value.”

Tim Key (Comedian, aka Simon Denton from This Time with Alan Partridge)

1/ Tiger Woods
2/ Paul Casey
3/ Francesco Molinari

Why? “Tiger: Written in the runes. Body looking better and better. Casey: Getting closer, this time he’ll get really close. As in second. Molinari: Likes beating Americans.

Alex Horne (Comedian, creator of Taskmaster)

1/ Jordan Spieth
2/ Rory McIlroy
3/ Kevin Na

Why? “Spieth is the best at golf. McIlroy should be the best at golf but Spieth has straighter hair and drives. Na? If this is correct, I will be very pleased with myself and everyone should give me a lot of credit and respect please.” (Editor: Not the first mention of Kevin Na from a comedian. See here)

Matt Cooper (Golf365)

1/ Justin Rose
2/ Bubba Watson
3/ Hideki Matsuyama

Why? “Rose is a winner this year, has a brilliant Augusta record, is more likely to be incentivized than intimidated if anyone tells him World No. 1s don’t often win the Masters, and he’s got his mate Fooch back on the bag.”

So let’s make sense of all this and pool the collective brain power.

To do that, we’ll allocate the following points system:

1st pick = 5pts
2nd pick = 3pts
3rd pick = 1pt

Breaking down the numbers and we have a very clear winner!

Yes, Rory McIlroy banks more than twice the number of points than second-placed Justin Rose while Rickie Fowler edges Dustin Johnson for third.

Tiger is a respectable fifth while Marc Leishman is considered a more likely winner than Jon Rahm. Crazy scenes!

Who will win the US Masters – final points table:

48 Rory McIlroy
19 Justin Rose
18 Rickie Fowler
15 Dustin Johnson
13 Tiger Woods
13 Jordan Spieth
12 Francesco Molinari
9 Brooks Koepka
6 Marc Leishman
5 Jon Rahm
4 Bubba Watson
3 Justin Thomas
2 Jason Day
2 Paul Casey
2 Tony Finau
1 Phil Mickelson
1 Hideki Matsuyama
1 Kevin Na