8 Masters rookies hoping to tame Augusta National

In 2014 Masters rookie Jordan Spieth finished tied second, but can 2016's crop go one better?

Justin Thomas
(Image credit: Getty Images)

At the 2014 Masters rookies Jordan Spieth and Jonas Blixt finished tied for second, but can 2016's crop, which includes the likes of Andy Sullivan and Justin Thomas, go one better?

During the last 79 years of The Masters, a first-time competitor has only pulled on the green jacket on three occasions, and the last of those times was a whopping 36 years ago when Fuzzy Zoeller was champion in 1979.

Jordan Spieth came close in 2014, but had to settle for a tie for second after he faded on the back nine to finish alongside another Masters rookie, Jonas Blixt.

This year the first-timers teeing it up include last season's three-time European Tour winner Andy Sullivan, 2015 European Tour Rookie of the Year Byeong-Hun An and CIMB Classic champion Justin Thomas.

So who should you be watching out for this year? Here’s eight Masters rookies who could make a name for themselves:

Justin Thomas - 125/1

Justin Thomas wins CIMB Classic

Thomas will be looking to go one better than good friend Jordan Speith who finished tied-2nd in his tournament debut in 2014. He captured his first PGA Tour event at the CIMB Classic in Kuala Lumpar, Malaysia in November.


Kevin Kisner - 125/1


Kevin Kisner won The RSM Classic

Kisner nearly won the Players Championship at Sawgrass last year, losing out to Rickie Fowler's stunning birdie at the 17th on the fourth playoff hole. He picked up the RSM Classic in November for his first PGA Tour victory and currently lies 2nd in the FedEx Cup rankings.


Andy Sullivan - 150/1

Andy Sullivan defends the SA Open

Sullivan can be picked up for as much as 150/1 which seems very generous considering he is now 31st in the Official World Golf Rankings and looking a dead-cert for Darren Clarke's Ryder Cup team. The man from Nuneaton picked up three wins on the European Tour last season at the Portugal Masters, Joburg Open and the South African Open.


Byeong-Hun An - 150/1

Byeong-hun An

Known as 'Ben', the South Korean looks one of the hottest prospects in world golf. He romped home at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth last year and finished seventh on the Race to Dubai in the season he became the European Tour Rookie of the Year. He also became the youngest ever winner of the US Amatuer Championship in 2009.


Emiliano Grillo - 150/1

Emiliano Grillo wins 2015 Frys.com Open

The Argentine won back-to-back last year, winning the Web.com Tour Championship before sealing his maiden PGA Tour victory at the Frys.com Open in his first start as a PGA Tour card holder.


Thomas Pieters - 150/1

Thomas Pieters wins KLM Open

The Belgian won twice on the European Tour last season, winning the Czech Open in August and then the KLM Open two weeks later in his next start.


Tony Finau - 150/1

Tony Finau

The big-hitting American is yet to win on the PGA Tour, with his only pro win coming on the Web.com Tour in 2014. He did finish T10th at the most-recent major - last year's USPGA Championship at Whistling Straights.


Kiradech Aphibarnrat - 300/1

Kiradech Aphibarnrat wins Paul Lawrie Match Play

Aphibarnrat is 300/1 with Paddy Power but you may wish to act quickly. He won twice on the European Tour last year at the Shenzhen International and Paul Lawrie Match Play. The Thai closed the Arnold Palmer Invitational with a seven-under-par 65 to finish T6th which moved him up to 39th in the world.



The leading website from the world’s oldest golf magazine, we’re the go-to destination for amateur and keen golfers alike who are keen to up their golfing game. As well as expert course reviews, news and tips to improve your handicap our golf-focused travel content will help you pair teeing off with your travels in some of the best destinations around the globe.