I come to you today LIVE form not Augusta National, but from my 2:40 Shakespeare Appreciation class. Riveting, I know. While this class may be the most boring class I have taken in my entire life, getting me through it, is the anticipation of the greatest four days of the year. Augusta National is a place like no other. The greens are greener, the bunkers are whiter, and the course is often referred to as the 8th wonder of the world. If the sheer beauty of Augusta National is not enough to get the hairs on you arms to stand up at attention, seeing upwards of 100 of the best golfers in the world compete in a grueling four-day tournament, with the end goal being to sport the legendary Masters green jacket by dusk fall on Sunday, must surely do the trick. The Masters are a tradition that stands as old as time, and a delicacy that will be honored and cherished for centuries to come. With that being said, it is important to note that when predicting a winner for the Masters, much thought and time must be put in, as this is not some charity show, this is the mother effing Masters. I have spent hours, upon days, upon weeks breaking down hundreds of professional golfers, all with the ultimate goal in mind of correctly picking the 2019 Masters champion. I am happy say that my choice has finally been made. It has been written down on a piece of paper and that paper has gone in a safe, away, lock and key. So without further a do, your winner of the 2019 Master will be……
Yup, you heard it here first. Jon Rahm is going to win the 2019 Masters and here’s why. For starters, Rahm has been playing some extremely impressive golf as of late. He is striking the ball well, his short game has been tremendous, and he has had one of the hottest putters on the tour. With a course like Augusta, it is essential that you execute every part of your game to perfection as the slightest mistake will eat you up. Rahm also has the swagger to rock the green jacket come Sunday night. To win at a course like Augusta, a golfer needs to be both confident, and fearless. They need to be fearless in the sense where they are not afraid to take big risk in high pressure situations. This description fits Rahm to a tee, as he is one of the most confident and outgoing personalities on the PGA circuit (see the what I did there lol.) If you look at last years winner being Patrick Reed, the guy took more chances in four days than Colton did on this season of The Bachelor. Clearly, it paid off and now Reed has joined one of the most prestigious clubs in the world.
I would like to now look at Rahm’s previous history at Augusta to see if I can spot a pattern that would indicate an upcoming win for the Spaniard. In 2017, Rahm made his debut at Augusta and finished in 27th place, as he shot a measly three above par for the weekend. In last years Master’s, Rahm put on an absolute show, finishing in fourth place, shooting a 65 during the third round of the tournament and finishing the weekend at 11 under par. If it were not for a rough first round in which the 24-year-old from Spain shot a round of 75, Rahm would have been wearing the Green Jacket on Sunday as opposed to Patrick Reed.
So you may be wondering, “Why was Rahm so much more successful at Augusta in 2018 than he was in 2017?” There are a few reasons for this, some being more common than others. For starters, Rahm made his Masters debut in 2017 and besides a few practice rounds prior to the tournaments start, the Spaniard had never played at Augusta before. Although Augusta National is not the hardest course to play at in the world, it has its challenges and it is very rare for a golfer who is making his Masters debut, to have much success. In 2018, Rahm came in with not only more experience, but a heightened confidence. Another big reason for Rahm’s turn around success at the 2018 Masters came in the form of the par 5’s at Augusta. A general rule of thumb in golf is that if you want to have success in a major tournament, you have to capitalize on almost every par 5 a course has to offer. Due to the fact that Rahm has one of the longest and straightest drives on tour mixed with an above average mid range game, he was able to not only capitalize on the par 5’s, but dominate them. As the 2018 Master’s came to a close, Rahm had shot an absolutely ridiculous -11 on par 5’s, which included 2 Eagles and 7 birdies. If Rahm can command the Par 5’s like he did a year ago, we may be looking at one of the all time Masters performances.
The verdict is now out. You know who I am picking and you know why. It is now up to you however, to decide whether to get on the Jon Rahm train now, or hop on your own horse and ride it out during the weekend. Whatever you choose to do, just remember one thing, the Masters are freaking awesome and at the end of the day, you should just enjoy it. Augusta is a magical place and whether you are at the event taking in Amen’s corner or watching at home as Jim Nantz serenades you, the Master’s are literally the perfect weekend. Grab a beer (or soda if your under 21,) sit back and enjoy the best golfers in the world do what they know how to do best. Compete. Happy Master’s everybody!