2018 Masters Preview and Prediction – Is Tiger Woods Ready?

Like every golfer on the planet, I’m ready for the 2018 Masters.  Below you will find a quick preview and my predictions for the top 10 players in the field, including Tiger Woods, who I think can win this year’s tournament.

by Jack Simon – Wannamakeabet Commissioner

Let’s get right into it.  Here are the players (and corresponding odds to win) that I think have the best chance to  put on the Green Jacket this year at The Augusta National Golf Club.

10.  Matt Kuchar (90-1) – The Kooch has been hot lately and has 4 top 10s in the last six years.  And as much as I can’t stand looking at his swing, this could be could be the year he breaks through and gets his first major, although I think it would only come from the misfortune of someone else on the list who blows it.

9.  Bubba Watson (20-1)– Coming in great form with a win last week at the Dell Match Play and a win last month in Cali, Bubba is emotional and ready to rock.  Add the fact that he’s a lefty, loves this golf course, and already has two green jackets… what’s not to love?   The only question is can he keep his emotions in check?  We shall see.

8.  Phil Mickelson (22-1)- Loose cannon Phil always has a chance here.  The question is only how well he can manage his bad swings and holes.  With his first win last month since he won The Open Championship in 2013, I like Phil’s chances this week, especially because he can draw on past experience and the potential to have major blow ups is limited by the general lack of water here.

7.  Dustin Johnson (14-1) – Don’t sleep on Dustin.  Finished 4th and 6th the last two years but last year did not play due to falling down the stairs the week of the tournament and withdrawing.  Also comes in good form with two top 10s in the last month.  He’s the number one player in the world and not the favorite?  What a motivation!

6.  Sergio Garcia (40-1)– Last year’s champion Garcia also comes in good form but may be slightly distracted having just had his first child.  He tends to get complacent even without distractions from home but knows this course as well as anyone in the field and coming in with three top 10s in his last three starts I would not be surprised if he defended his victory or was right there down the stretch on Sunday.

5. Tiger Woods (15-1) – The sentimental favorite by almost everyone watching, including many of the players in the field.  The GOAT is back but is he ready to put on another green jacket?  I don’t think so, mainly due to his still wild driver.  I think he’ll start hot and fade on the weekend but he will certainly give the patrons a ton of entertainment and I can’t wait to see it.  I predict a top 10 finish.

4. Jordan Spieth (15-1) – If you look at Jordan’s body language out there sometimes you would think he’s 3 over par but meanwhile he’s a shot off the lead.   Tee to green he’s the weakest of this bunch but man if that putter gets going look out, he could win another one.

3. Justin Rose (17-1) – Rose comes in great form this week and last year’s runner up and also the runner up two years ago.  He also has two top fives in the past month and many feel this is his week to break through and get his first green jacket.  It might just be.

2. Justin Thomas (14-1)– The #1 player in the world over the past year is poised to grab his first green Jacket.  Although his Masters finishes have not been that great with only two starts in the last two years and he didn’t finish in the top 20 in either event.  But you can’t argue he’s the hottest player on tour right now and in his last three starts finished 4,2,1.  Can’t imagine he won’t be in the mix on Sunday.

  1. Rory McIlroy (12-1) – is ready and I believe this will be his year.  Three top 10 finishes here in the last four years and a win last month at the Arnold Palmer have him chomping at the bit.  With the exception of Tiger Woods, he’s the most talented golfer in the field and the recent win proves to me that he’s ready to exorcise the demons that plagued him here in 2011.   Like all players, it will come down to the putter but I think Rory has found something and is ready to play this week without fear of failing.

Whomever you pick, it’s going to be another great week at The Masters.  With Tiger and Phill in good form combined with all the young blood, this year’s tournament could be one for the ages.

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