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19th Hole

2021 Masters staff picks

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The opening major of the year is upon us and the GolfWRX staff have had their say on who they think will don the green jacket come Sunday evening.

Also, if you want to see what a professional statistician is saying, check out Richie Hunt’s “The 23 players who can win the Masters,” but if you’d like Masters picks from the rest of us, read on!

Brian Knudson

Win: Adam Scott – The 2013 Masters Champion hasn’t been on fire, but the tall Australian hasn’t missed a cut in the 2021 season. He knows Augusta National, loves the course, and has years of experience to guide him to a second green jacket. His wedge game has also been sneaky good this year.

Place: Scottie Scheffler – Scheffler has been playing some really solid golf the past month, and I think that trend continues this week. He is long enough to play with some of the big hitters and typically hits a consistent draw off the tee. If he can keep the putter rolling true we could see him battling for a jacket on Sunday!

Player I’m fading: Jordan Spieth – I absolutely loved seeing Jordan win last week; it was long overdue! He has been on fire since early February but this is the Masters and everything is a little different. Only two players, Phil Mickelson and Sandy Lyle, have ever won the Masters after winning the week before. I hope he proves me wrong this week!

Ryan Barath

Win: Dustin Johnson – The big man is as consistent as they come, and although his form hasn’t been red hot lately, it has still looked good. With that in mind, heading to Augusta just six months after winning the same event has to be a boost, and I expect he will end up on top.

Place: Bubba Watson – To me, Bubba is a big “vibes” guy, and he loves Augusta National. It inspires creativity and requires golfers to hit it both ways – something he is quite keen on. He played well at the WGC match play recently and we can’t forget that he is still one of the longest players on tour, which plays right into his hand.

Player I’m fading: Adam Scott – This pick is either going to look brilliant or make me look like a complete fool. He is a former champion and has had a great start to the season, but Adam lives and dies by his putter, and I just don’t see it all coming together this week. For many reasons, I hope I’m wrong, but the only way to melt wax is to fly close to the sun, and picking Adam here could have me falling back to earth come Sunday.

Gianni Magliocco

Win: Bryson DeChambeau – It’s only a matter of time before Bryson figures it all out at Augusta, and there’s plenty of signs that this will be the year he does just that. He’ll have learned an awful lot from November, and on a fast and firm course, he’s going to have nothing into these par 5s all week. Besides that, he also ranks top of the field for Strokes Gained: Total over his past 12 rounds. It’s Bryson’s time to shine at Augusta.

Place: Jason Day – There was a time that a win for Jason Day at Augusta seemed like a question of when not if, but the Aussie’s back issues have led to it being very much a question of if these days. However, the Players Championship was Day’s best strokes gained performance Tee to Green since 2015 and that is enough to convince me he can content here.

Player I’m fading: Dustin Johnson – DJ is the favorite and defending champion, but his recent form is concerning. Over his previous 12 rounds, Johnson ranks 51st for Strokes Gained: Off the Tee and 77th on the greens. Combine that with the difficulty of going back-to-back at Augusta, and it makes him an easy fade this week.

Ben Alberstadt

Win: Xander Schauffele – “He’s due” is never a great argument, but he’s due for a major. Third in total strokes gained: total among players in the field, Xander will have gotten things dialed following a missed cut at The Players. Plenty comfortable at ANGC as demonstrated by top-20 finishes his past two tries.

Place: Scottie Scheffler – After something of a coming-out party at the WGC, Scheffler is poised to make a major splash.

Player I’m fading: Jon Rahm – Reverse nappie factor will be in effect. Hard to bet on a guy who hasn’t picked up a club in a week and will only get one full day of practice.

We will be doing plenty of coverage leading up to Thursday tee-off, so stay tuned to the front page, social, and the forums for updates and info.

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19th Hole

Fred Couples’ Persimmon driver draws a crowd at the 2021 Masters

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Fred Couples is a Masters legend, and on the eve of the 2021 edition, it was a Persimmon driver that drew the attention of a notable crowd in Rory McIlroy and his new coach Pete Cowen on the range.

During Wednesday’s edition of ‘Live Masters on the Range’, Couples revealed that the driver – a MacGregor M85 – was the actual driver he used on his way to winning his green jacket back in 1992.

As you can see in the video below, McIlroy was particularly fascinated by the club today at Augusta.

The crew also provided a pretty awesome side-by-side to show the difference in size between Couples’ MacGregor driver and Rory’s SIM2.

C/o: Live Masters on the Range

The reason the driver is on the grounds? According to Couples, he had no idea previously that he is the only past champion not to donate a club from his win to Augusta National Golf Club. A detail he is correcting this week.

 

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19th Hole

Champions Dinner “pigs in a blanket” were probably not what DJ was expecting

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The annual Champions Dinner took place on Tuesday evening, with Dustin Johnson’s menu satisfying all the former Masters victors’ tastebuds.

To begin the meal, Johnson had chosen lobster and corn fritters and pigs in a blanket, but the 36-year-old may not have been expecting Augusta to put such an elaborate twist on an American favorite.

For starters, their name was changed to Smoked Kielbasa in puff pastry and served with a creole mustard sauce – and yes, they looked delicious.

@themasters

To wash them down, DJ served Premier Cru Chablis in a setting that looked as serene and picturesque as one would expect at Augusta National.

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@themasters

Tiger’s seat was left open for the occasion, with the 15-time major champion unable to attend following his surgery for multiple leg fractures.

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19th Hole

Bryson DeChambeau ready to attack Augusta National with ‘secret club’

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Bryson DeChambeau has revealed that he has a secret club in the bag this week at the Masters, which has been a few years in the making.

Speaking during Tuesday’s press conference, the 27-year-old claimed that the club would be very beneficial as he continues to “go down numerous rabbit holes” as he looks to win his first green jacket.

Bryson didn’t go into the club’s specifics but was very bullish on how significant an impact the club could have this week.

“There’s something in the bag this week that’s very helpful. I won’t go into specifics but just know this has been a few years in the making and I’m very excited for it. 

Whether it helps me perform at a higher level, I’m not sure, because it’s golf and you never know what happens. Definitely what I’ve seen on the driving range and what I’ve seen the last week in practice, there’s some tremendous benefits to it.”

However, the Californian did go into detail on his game plan for the week, revealing how he plans to take some trees and bunkers out of play come Thursday’s opening round.

“I’m trying to see how far right I can go, over the trees, on the first. That is the line I want to take. Number 11, I can squeeze it down the right side pretty far. Number nine, I can take it over the left trees and get into that big expanse of grass, which is cool.

On five, I hit it over the bunkers into the wind. On three, try and drive the green this year. It’s a little firmer this year. This is a place where I do put an expectation value that I think I have a good chance to play well.”

DeChambeau will tee off at 1.36 ET alongside Max Homa and former champion Adam Scott.

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