After an entire year of watching Jordan Spieth celebrate his win, kitted out in his green jacket, it’s time for a new Masters champion. Or perhaps, we could be destined for a repeat winner.
We asked Team VPAR, from both the UK and the US, who they thought would take home the win this Sunday.
Tommy Forte, PGA Pro & US Director of Golf
Rory McIlroy – Odds to Win 13/2
Since Rory watched his 6 shot lead disappear in the 2011 Masters, he hasn’t really been in contention. Now healthy, clear minded and putting cross handed, Rory has all of the tools Augusta National demands. He is consistently in the top 10 on par 5 scoring average, and as history has shown, the Masters is won by taking advantage of the par 5s. Building off his improved performances every year at Augusta and with a solid start, Rory will find himself in contention as he approaches Amen Corner on Sunday.
Rowan Northcott, UK Sales Consultant
Hideki Matsuyama – Odds to Win 33/1
Beating Rickie Fowler in a playoff at the Waste Management Phoenix Open rocketed Matsuyama into the realm of genuine Major contender. A phenomenally consistent 2015 – Hideki had nineteen top-25s out of his twenty-five PGA tour starts - was backed up by a big win at the Memorial tournament, proving he can mix it with the best. A final round 66 at last year’s Masters, including a back nine 31, shows he likes Augusta National too.
The Japanese’ ball striking is up there with the best, and if he holes a few putts, Matsuyama will be right there on Sunday afternoon.
Justin Rasile, US Event Manager
Phil Mickelson – Odds to Win 22/1
Augusta is a course all about history. In recent memory, not many players have a better history at the Masters than Phil Mickelson. Having won the tournament three times (2004, 2006, 2010) and finishing inside the top 5 eleven times, is there a keener player that knows what to do when walking up to the 18th green on Sunday?
If it weren’t for Jordan Spieth’s stunning round last year, Phil would have tied for first with Justin Rose at -14. So as long as Phil doesn’t pull a typical “Phil move” and leave himself with horrible lies, he should be right in the thick of things Sunday.
Howard Millard, UK Sales Consultant
Charl Schwartzel – Odds to Win 35/1
With two wins on the European Tour this season and also the Valspar Championship, Charl Schwartzel is one of the in-form players on both the European and PGA Tours. With a respected T17 at the WGC-Cadillac, he is showing that he has returned to compete with the best. With a top 10 ranking in the strokes gained (tee-togreen), he will look to continue that form when hitting into the Augusta Greens! He has been, for lack of a better word, “quiet” at the Masters since 2011. But with a few wins already this season, he should be in contention. If he can keep his nerve he could, like in 2011, be the underdog for this year’s Masters.
Agree with Team VPAR? Let us know who you think will be taking home the green jacket on Sunday by Tweeting out your predictions using the hashtag, #VPARMastersPicks.
As for Team VPAR, what side of the Atlantic’s predictions will be right? We’ll just have to wait until Sunday.