With the Masters only two weeks away, it’s time to look at two of the favorites to become the 2019 Masters champion. Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler have both been top golfers in the game over the last few years. But which one of them has a better shot at claiming the green jacket and hosting the Champions Dinner next spring?
Dustin Johnson leading up to the Masters
Since he is currently ranked as the No.1 golfer in the world, we will start with Johnson. DJ has had a very good start to 2019, capturing 5 top ten finishes in 6 events played. 4 of those 5 were in the top 6, including his victory in the WGC-Mexico Championship.
DJ has fared well in his last few starts at Augusta National but can’t seem to close out a win. Looking at the last 5 years he has finished in the top ten 3 times out of 4 as he missed the 2017 Masters after falling down some stairs.
Best Chance for DJ so far
The closest call for Dustin Johnson might’ve been the 2016 Masters where he started 3 back of Jordan Spieth. That year, Spieth had a meltdown on the 12th hole and basically gave the green jacket to Danny Willett.
Johnson finished out Amen Corner strong and was within a stroke of Willett after a birdie on the 13th. He then double bogied the challenging 17th while Willett, who was a group behind, birdied 16. This effectively ended his chances at winning the tournament.
If Johnson can maintain his form then he could finally breakout and win his first Masters this year. He has the driving ability to gain a step on the competition here. The approach shots and greens are definitely the more important aspect of the game at Augusta though.
Related: What’s in Dustin Johnson’s Bag?
He’s going to have to be better in that regard if he wants to be the 2019 Masters champion.
Rickie Fowler leading up to the Masters
Now on to Fowler. Rickie has had quite the up and down season so far in 2019. He started of the year with a win at the Waste Management Open back in January. Other than a runner-up finish at the Honda Classic, Fowler has finished 36th, 40th, and 47th. It’s obvious that since his victory at The Greatest Show on Grass, the 30-year-old has been inconsistent.
Like Johnson, the past 5 years at Augusta have been solid for Fowler. Rickie has had 4 finishes in the top twelve from 2014-2018. This is including a 5th place back in 2014 and a runner-up last year in 2018.
So Close for Rickie Fowler
Last year has been Fowler’s best chance to win the Masters by far. Rickie went in to the final round back 5 strokes from leader Patrick Reed. Shooting a final round 67 put him one shot back of Reed heading into the Reed’s final hole.
Related: What’s in Rickie Fowler’s Bag?
Reed would end up parring the 18th to secure his green jacket and end Fowler’s hopes. Although he came up short, posting a 5-under on a Sunday at Augusta National is something Rickie should be proud of. Maybe that experience will help him secure the title of “2019 Masters Champion” in a few short weeks.
Who has a better chance to win the green jacket?
Based off on how the year is going for Dustin Johnson, it’s hard to pick Fowler over him. But that is exactly what we are going to do! Rickie Fowler has a better chance to become the 2019 Masters Champion this year.
Let’s not forget that Dustin had a brilliant start to the season last year as well. He had a victory at the Plantation Course in Maui and a runner-up at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am. His other two starts before the Masters in 2018 were a 7th place and 16th place.
Then DJ was typical DJ at the Masters. He was never a true threat for the title but did well enough to add a top ten finish to his trophy case. As good as Johnson is, he never seems to be the guy at Augusta.
Fowler can be the guy
This is a golden opportunity in my opinion for Rickie to win the green jacket. You might think that he has been too hot and cold this year to compete. Look at his 2018 tournaments before the Masters. Same exact thing.
He finished 4th behind Johnson in Maui to start the year off. Then his next 6 tournaments went as follows: cut, 11th, cut, 37th, 14th, 43rd. Very hot and cold just like this year. Then he came to play at Augusta because he has that x-factor that only certain players have at the Masters.
Related: The Masters Hole-By-Hole Guide
Maybe it’s his swagger. Maybe he just knows when to buckle down and compete. Last year he really looked like he might steal it from Patrick Reed on Sunday, who had been leading since Friday. He can be the guy. We’re going with gut instinct and the eye-test and picking Rickie over DJ.
Rickie Fowler has a better chance at becoming the 2019 Masters Champion.