Golf Talk With Greg Holman – #23

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We’ve been talking about Jordan Spieth all season and after 2 and a half years he finally broke through for a win on the PGA Tour. Mission accomplished at the Valero, Texas Open where he finished with a 6 under 66 in the final round, for an 18 under 2 shot win over Charley Hoffman. Spieth may be peaking at the right time with the first major on the horizon, and Spieth already owns one green jacket and let one slip away. If he could win this weekend at Augusta he would join an elite club of two time Masters winners. Only 17 players have two or more green jackets. Jack Nicklaus leads the pack as a 6 time winner, Tiger Woods has won 5 times but of course would not be competing this weekend. Dustin Johnson is the defending champion in a tournament that was contested in November because of COVID protocol. Dustin Johnson is the draft kings favorite to win this year.

Even though the course has been gradually lengthened throughout the years, the length is no match for Johnson and the tours longest hitter Bryson DeChambeau who can hit a wedge into the 2 par 5’s in the back 9. The rough at Augusta is not too penal either, there are tall pines lining the fairways but most of the bunkers are not deep compared to what you might find at an open course. Augusta’s biggest defense is the greens. The severely sloped undulating greens. Nicklaus and Woods figured them out on 11 occasions. Graham McDowell is number 1 in avoiding the 3 putt this year which can happen so easily at Augusta. DeChambeau is tied for 89th, and Johnson is near the bottom tied for 141st. Peter Uihlein is actually the number 1 putter on tour right now averaging just 27.75 putts per round, but he’s only played 20 rounds. Patrick Reed is 2nd and Jordan Spieth is tied for 4th overall. Reed and Spieth are former winners at Augusta. DeChambeau is tied for 33rd, Johnson is tied for 153rd in total putting. Based on those stats and the way he’s trending, I like Spieth’s chances. Of course I’m a Rory Mcllroy fan, he’s a straight driver for as long as he hits the ball. It seems like he’s rarely in trouble, so I’ll root for him but I won’t pick him to win because he tends to be a little too aggressive on the greens at times. Look for a few amazing eagles from Mcllroy, along with 1 if not 2 handfuls of 3-putts.

The Masters is always a fun tournament to watch and I’ll be in front of the television Sunday afternoon to see if Jordan can hold it together on the back 9 to become a back to back winner and two time winner at the Masters to make it 18.