How can you spot a Masters winner? In this piece we look at some key trends from recent winners
How To Spot A Masters Winner
Of all four Majors, the Masters is undoubtedly the easiest to pick the winner with the course the same each year and the limited field.
But how can you spot a Masters winner?
How To Spot A Masters Winner – Key Trends
In Reasonable Form And Not Rusty
Since 2011, The Masters’ winner has posted a T5 or better that same calendar year, with Sergio Garcia, Danny Willett, Jordan Spieth, Bubba Watson and Charl Schwarztel all winning. Dustin Johnson was also in great form before his November Masters victory in 2020, having won the FedEx Cup and Travelers Championship in the months before.
Not The Defending Champion
Spieth would have got the job done in 2016 were it not for his collapse on the 12th, but Willett’s win meant that nobody had defended the Green Jacket since Tiger Woods in 2001-2002. That trend has continued. Before Woods it is only Sir Nick Faldo (1989-1990) and Jack Nicklaus (1965-1966) who have pulled off the feat. Will DJ go back-to-back? The stats say probably not.
Not Ranked World Number One
Dustin Johnson in 2020 was the only World No.1 to win The Masters since Tiger Woods in 2002. The likes of Angel Cabrera (ranked 69th in 2009), Zach Johnson (ranked 56th in 2007) and Trevor Immelman (ranked 29th in 2008) prove there is value to be had when betting further down the field.
Not A Rookie
Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979 is the only rookie to have won the Masters since the second tournament…. the odds of a rookie winning are very low.
Not European or Asian player
Garcia and Willett in 2017 and 2016 are the only European winners since Jose Maria Olazabal in 1999, so as far as the trend book is concerned, it’s unlikely to happen again soon. YE Yang is still the only player from Asia to have won a Major and no one from that continent has won the Masters, so for this argument we are excluding players from both these continents.
Not Aged Over 40
In the last decade or so, Tiger Woods was the only over 40 to slip on the Green Jacket. Mickelson in 2010 and Cabrera in 2009 (both 39) were the oldest aside from Woods in recent years, while Reed, Willett, Spieth, Schwartzel and Immelmen all came in under 28-years-old. The average of the Masters winner tends to be around 30 to 32.
Made The Cut The Previous Year
This one stat doesn’t work for Patrick Reed as he missed the cut in 2017 before winning in 2018. But it does have a lot of times where it has worked – Danny Willett was 38th on his debut and won the next year, while Spieth followed his debut 2nd finish with a win. Garcia (34th), Watson (50th), Adam Scott (8th), Watson (38th), Schwartzel (30th), Mickelson (5th), Cabrera (25th), Immelman (55th) and Johnson (32nd) all also made cut the year before they won. DJ was T2nd the year before he won.
This Year’s Contenders
So who fits the profile for this year you ask?
The likes of Bryson DeChambeau, Justin Thomas, Xander Schauffele, Patrick Cantlay and Tony Finau are all looking very good indeed.