13 Picks To Win The 2017 Masters

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13 Picks To Win The 2017 Masters

March 27, 2017

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Photo By: Hector Vivas/STR

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Photo By: Chris Condon

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1.) Jordan Spieth

Masters history: Winner in 2015; Runner-up in 2014 and 2016.Current Vegas odds: 13/2 (Lines from golfodds.com)Reason to pick: Have you seen what he's done in his first three trips to Augusta National? Spieth stays in the top spot despite the recent trifecta by the World No. 1.Cause for concern: What happened on the back nine on Sunday in 2016 -- particularly on the 12th hole -- could leave some scar tissue.

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2.) Dustin Johnson*

*On Wednesday evening, Dustin Johnson's agent released a statement saying Johnson injured his back slipping on stairs in his rental home. His status for the tournament is suddenly up in the air.Masters history: T-4 in 2016; T-6 in 2015.Current Vegas odds: 5/1 (Current favorite)Reason to pick: Have you see what he's done in the past 12 months? Now with a major under his belt, Dustin Johnson's three straight victories at Riviera, the WGC-Mexico and the WGC-Dell Match Play have given him a firm hold on the top spot in the Official World Golf Ranking, and make him a clear favorite at Augusta, according to Vegas.Cause for concern: While Johnson's putting has improved, Augusta National's slick greens put this weakest part of his game to the ultimate test. But. . . yeah. . . we're not too worried with the way he's playing.

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3.) Jon Rahm

Masters history: None.Current Vegas odds: 20/1 (Down from 25/1)Reason to pick: You laughed when we ranked him sixth (OK, not really), but even that number was too high (speaking of high, his opening odds in August were 80/1). A winner earlier this year at Torrey Pines, Rahm has vaulted into the top 15 of the Official World Golf Ranking on the strength of two close calls to Dustin Johnson in WGC events. And at 22, he's just getting started.Cause for concern: With such a decorated amateur career it's hard to believe Rahm is a Masters rookie, but he is. And no first-year player has won the event since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979.

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4.) Rory McIlroy

Masters history: Three consecutive top 10s, including a solo fourth in 2015.Current Vegas odds: 8/1 (Up from 10/1)Reason to pick: McIlroy seems long overdue to win a fifth major and a first green jacket. It's now been six years since he shot a final-round 80 after having a four-shot lead through 54 holes. On the bright side, his last trip to Georgia resulted in a dramatic Tour Championship/FedEx Cup sweep and he showed no signs of his rib injury bothering him in his T-7 at the WGC-Mexico Championship and T-4 at Bay Hill.Cause for concern: McIlroy has seven rounds of 76 or higher at Augusta National in the past seven years, including a Saturday 77 that dropped him out of contention last year.

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5.) Hideki Matsuyama

Masters history: T-7 in 2016; solo fifth in 2015.Current Vegas odds: 15/1Reason to pick: Matsuyama had two wins and two runner-ups in his first six starts of the 2016-17 PGA Tour season and he's felt comfortable at Augusta National since finishing T-27 as a 19-year-old amateur in 2011.Cause for concern: Playing in the penultimate pairing in 2016, Matsuyama played his way out of contention during a shaky front nine. The Japanese star has proven he can win on tour without being a great putter, but struggles with that club are tougher to overcome at the year's first major.

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6.) Jason Day

Masters history: T-2 in 2011; Solo third in 2013.Current Vegas odds: 15/1 (Up from 12/1)Reason to pick: After nearly winning as a rookie in 2011, Day came even closer to a green jacket in 2013 before a pair of late bogeys on Sunday. As recently as February, the Aussie was a co-favorite to win at Augusta, but a slow start to 2017 has downgraded his odds and cost him to lose his top spot in the Official World Golf Ranking.Cause for concern: Following a WD at the Match Play, Day revealed his mom was diagnosed with lung cancer. Two days later, Day said she had undergone successful surgery, but how he can hold up mentally remains to be seen. "Emotionally, it's been wearing on me for awhile."

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7.) Justin Rose

Masters history: T-2 in 2015; T-10 in 2016.Current Vegas odds: 20/1Reason to pick: In his past nine starts at the Masters, Rose has four top 10s and eight top 25s with his worst finish being a T-36. Like he did in 2015 when he finished runner-up, Rose will prepare by playing in the Shell Houston Open the week before.Cause for concern: Yes, Rose won gold at the Olympics, but it's been nearly two years since his last PGA Tour title. Also, while he remains one of the game's best off the tee, his iron play (125th in strokes gained on approach shots) has been puzzlingly off of late.

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8.) Rickie Fowler

Masters history: T-5 in 2014.Current Vegas odds: 20/1 (Up from 25/1 after T-3 in Houston.)Reason to pick: Despite Johnny Miller's curious comments, Fowler officially put all that slump talk to rest with a four-shot win at the Honda Classic. He missed the cut at Augusta National last year, but previously had nothing worse than a T-38 in five starts.Cause for concern: After finishing in the top five in each major in 2014, Fowler has zero top 10s and three missed cuts in golf's four biggest events since.

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9.) Justin Thomas

Masters history: T-39 in 2016.Current Vegas odds: 30/1 (Up from 25/1)Reason to pick: What has Thomas accomplished already in the 2016-17 PGA Tour season? Win three times, break the tour's 72-hole scoring record and shoot just the eighth sub-60 round in tour history. Not shabby for someone who still won't turn 24 until after the tournament.Cause for concern: Lack of experience? Maybe? Really, there isn't much here other than the silly "he hasn't won in the contiguous U.S." nonsense.

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10.) Adam Scott

Masters history: Winner in 2013; runner-up in 2011.Current Vegas odds: 30/1Reason to pick: We know the Aussie can win at Augusta National and his improved putting to start the 2016-17 PGA Tour season (39th in strokes gained through the WGC-Mexico Championship) make us believe he can do it without an anchored putting stroke.Cause for concern: Scott has been incredibly consistent in the past year, but after back-to-back victories at PGA National and Doral in 2016 he hasn't gotten back into the winner's circle.

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11.) Marc Leishman

Masters history: T-4 in 2013.Current Vegas odds: 60/1 (Down from 80/1)Reason to pick: Leishman punched a ticket to Augusta with his win at Bay Hill, and he's shown an ability to play well there. Leishman was the co-leader after 18 holes in 2013 and stayed in the top five the rest of the way. At 80/1 you could do a lot worse.Cause for concern: He's missed the cut in his three other Masters starts.

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12.) Phil Mickelson

Masters history: Three-time champ (2004, 2006 and 2010).Current Vegas odds: 20/1Reason to pick: Mickelson's short game and recovery skills have been something to behold in 2017, masking an erratic long game that won't be penalized as much -- at least off the tee -- at Augusta National. In addition to those three Masters titles, Mickelson has eight other top fives in the event.Cause for concern: Mickelson, 46 years and nearly 10 months, would be the oldest Masters champ if he won a fourth green jacket. Also, those 20-to-1 odds are a bit short for someone who hasn't won anywhere since the 2013 Open.

13.) Matthew Fitzpatrick

Masters history: T-7 in 2016.Current Vegas odds: 60/1 (Down from 80/1)Reason to pick: Even with a Sunday swoon at Bay Hill, Fitzpatrick jumped from 80/1 to 60/1, according to Westgate. He's still a good value bet. In addition to his impressive debut at Augusta National in 2016, he made his first Ryder Cup team and capped the year by winning the European Tour finale in Dubai.Cause for concern: Fitzpatrick is also probably the shortest hitter on this list. However, we don't recall fellow Englishman Danny Willett overpowering the course last year -- and he fared pretty well.

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