ALERT ALERT!!! There is one, count it, ONE WEEK until the 2019 Masters starts. Time to take a look at two more golfers who have a legitimate shot to become the 2019 Masters Champion.
Related: The Masters Hole-By-Hole Guide
Tiger Woods vs Jordan Spieth
Last week we compared Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler in this same series. This week we will take a look at the young wonder kid Jordan Spieth and the living legend Tiger Woods. It will be different though because Rickie and DJ haven’t won a Masters yet while these two both have.
Tiger had quite the comeback year in 2018 while Spieth took a small step backwards. But 2019 is a new year for both of them so let’s get right into it!
Tiger Woods’ 2019 Season
Although Spieth has been more successful in the last few years, we have to start with Tiger Woods. He is such a big piece of golf history already and he still has plenty of years left in him.
Woods has had a decent start to the season while playing in 5 events since the start of 2019. He has placed in the top 20 four out of the five and missed zero cuts. Woods’ best two tournaments were the WGC-Mexico Championship (T-10) and the WGC-Dell Tech Match Play (T-5).
Related: What’s in Tiger Woods’ Bag?
The one issue with Tiger’s game that has been concerning over the last year or so is his driving. Currently, he ranks 41st in average driving distance (300.8 yds) and 58th in driving accuracy (65.2%). If he can figure out his game off the tee a little more he could do some real damage.
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Tiger at the Masters
We all know that Tiger has had major success at Augusta National over the years. He won 4 times in 9 attempts from 1997 to 2005. Tiger’s past track record at the Masters is noted and obviously impressive but let’s take a look at the past few years.
Since 2013, Woods has played in only 3 Masters Tournaments. In 2013 he tied for 4th place. In 2015 he tied for 17th place. Last year he tied for 32nd place. Not so great when looking at his recent work at Augusta.
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In terms of major tournaments though, Tiger has been solid lately. In 2018, his last two majors were a stepping stone. He tied for 6th at the Open Championship and placed 2nd in the PGA Championship. I think it’s safe to say that he can still perform on a big stage like the Masters.
Will Tiger’s experience in majors help him earn the title of 2019 Masters Champion?
Jordan Spieth’s slow start to 2019
Now on to the golden boy Jordan Spieth who has had a rough start to the year. After being one of the highest earners on the PGA Tour from 2015-2017, Spieth cooled off last year and has turned to ice in 2019 thus far. It’s still early but it’s not looking good for Spieth to make 2019 his comeback year.
Jordan has played in 7 events since the start of the year. He was cut twice and finished 35th or worse in 4 more tournaments. That is pretty brutal for someone as good as Spieth is. But there’s still time to turn it around.
Related: What’s in Jordan Spieth’s Bag?
It’s tough to point a finger at one aspect of his game but if I had to pick one in strong need of improvement it would be his putting. Since last year, his putting has dragged him down a bit after it carried him through his first few professional years. Jordan will need to focus on the greens if he is to become the 2019 Masters Champion.
Jordan Spieth at the Masters
Let’s start with the good news. Spieth has been incredible at the Masters. Just listen to these finishes since he first debuted at Augusta back in 2014. 2nd, 1st, 2nd, 11th, and 3rd. Four top 5 finishes out of five and flirting with a top 10 for the 5th tournament. This kid can flat out play at the Masters.
Other than his meltdown on Sunday at the 2016 Masters, Spieth has been very good at Augusta. He has held the lead at day’s end in 9 of his career 20 rounds there.
His 70.05 career scoring average at the Masters is the best in the field this year. He shot a 64 in the final round last year which almost won him the green jacket and another crack at hosting the Masters Champions Dinner.
Now, on to the bad news. The historical trends don’t look favorable. Out of the past 9 Masters Champions, 8 of them have had multiple top-15 finishes in the 5 tournaments leading up to the major. Coincidentally, Danny Willett is the lone exception in 2016 when Spieth basically handed him the green jacket.
Related: 10 Facts About Jordan Spieth
So, do you side with stats and the eye test for 2019, or do you think the Masters is a different animal altogether? Jordan Spieth better hope that the Masters is different if he is going to become the 2019 Masters Champion.
The Masters is the most notable golf tournament in the world and one of the best sporting events every year. Some players step up to the challenge, get past the course’s beauty, and contend for green jackets.
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Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth are the two players in the field this year that do that the best. Between the two though, we think Tiger Woods has a better shot at the title of 2019 Masters Champion.
Tiger can win the Masters
Now, it’s safe to say that these two players aren’t on the top of the list to win at Augusta this year. However, Tiger has had an incredible last year or so on the golf course, relative to his last ten.
Woods might be finally turning the corner again to be in the mix for the major tournaments. His 2019 has been good. Not great, but good. He has a great track record at Augusta throughout his career so he know what it takes.
Tiger also stepped up in a big way the last two majors he’s played in. We all know he is capable of pulling a rabbit or two out of his hat at Augusta. So much history has been made at this famous golf course through Tiger himself. Who’s to say he can’t create some more magic this year?
Imagine watching Tiger become the 2019 Masters Champion. What a Sunday to remember that would be.