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US Masters: Our Writers Decide

According to iSeekGolf's writers, Justin Rose is among the leading chances for this week's Masters. (Photo: Asian Tour)
The most highly anticipated Masters in many years is upon us and picking a winner appears as difficult as it has ever been.

Many of the pro game's big names have found winning form in 2018 - Day, Watson, Mickelson, Thomas, McIlroy to name a handful while Tiger Woods' first appearance at Augusta since 2015 while attract the lion's share of attention from fans.

We've asked iSeekGolf writers Bruce Young, Henry Peters and Rod Morri to single out who they expect to be in the hunt for the Green Jacket come Sunday afternoon.

 

BRUCE YOUNG

For the Win: Jordan Spieth

He served notice in Houston that a recent ordinary run, at least by his standards, was over. Given that he has been the champion, twice runner-up and last year 11th in just four starts at Augusta National he deserves to be one of the favourites if not the favourite. He gets my nod as the likely winner in a very even field.    

Top 10: Justin Rose

The Englishman often sneaks along under the radar and he is again doing so in 2018 despite some really good tournament finishes this year. Twice runner-up in his last three attempts at Augusta National and with plenty of other good finishes to boot, his chances of going one better were heightened by two very good tournaments in Florida in recent weeks. Appears to be at least a top 10 chance.  

Roughie: Matt Kuchar  

It has been over a year since Kuchar missed a cut of any kind and his two most recent starts indicate he is approaching his best. Four top 10s in his last six starts at Augusta suggest he is comfortable at the venue and with his form falling into place he represents good value on most bookies' charts, and despite his credentials, fits into the 'roughie' category.

 

HENRY PETERS

For the Win: Justin Rose

The 37-year-old's record at Augusta - as mentioned above by Bruce - is beyond reproach. Rose's penchant for excelling in pressure situations also can't be faulted given he already has a US Open to his name and although he lost the Masters in a playoff last year to Sergio Garcia, that should have only steeled the Englishman's resolve further. Also, Rose is a far better putter statistically than he was 12 months ago, ranking 13th in the PGA Tour's 'strokes gained putting' category.

Top 10: Matt Kuchar

The easy going American seems to always bob up on Sundays at Augusta. I don't consider him a major threat over the closing nine holes, but I can't think of a better value top-10 bet than this guy. He's been a cut-making machine of late and a T8 in Houston last week coupled with his comfort level at Augusta is enough insurance for me that he will play well this week.

Roughie: Brian Harman

Short in stature but with big claims this week, the American lefty has two more top-10s in the current PGA Tour season (7) than any other player. But make no mistake; he is a roughie despite this. His only appearance at Augusta was a missed cut in 2015 however he's a vastly improved player since then, currently ranked 23 in the world, and seventh in strokes gained putting which suggests he can handle the tricky Augusta greens.

 

ROD MORRI

For the Win: Tiger Woods

Tipping winners in golf tournaments is a mug's game but given everything he's done, especially at Augusta, it's Tiger for me. He has no logical right to his favourite status but he also had no logical right to produce the golf he did at both the Valspar and Bay Hill. An inspired Tiger Woods at Augusta National is a perfect fit and would be one of the all-time great sport stories.

Top 10: Adam Scott

The Queenslander has been playing better golf than his results suggest and as a former champion he has a different sort of pressure to most. Even with his 'B Game' he is good enough to be amongst the top 10 and it wouldn't surprise if he was there at the business end come Sunday afternoon.

Roughie: Cameron Smith

The 24-year-old continues, somehow, to fly under the radar and in his second visit to Augusta will be looking for a significant improvement on his T55 showing of 2016. A third round 82 that year was almost incomprehensible and having claimed a PGA Tour title and an Australian PGA since then, he will be a much better performer this week.

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