Golf Rankings for The Masters
Tiger Woods [Yahoo Class C]
Since 1997, Woods has won at Augusta four times -- totaling 10 top-fives with a dozen top-10 finishes in 15 starts. Tiger, despite recent issues with injury and erratic play, has remained unscathed at the Masters finishing sixth or better in seven straight years. After cruising to victory at Bay Hill, Woods is currently ranked first in scoring average, total driving and All-Around Ranking. Yes, Tiger is back.
Rory McIlroy [Yahoo Class A] - World Ranking: #3
After leading at the end of the first three rounds at Augusta a year ago, McIlroy tumbled to finish T15 with a nightmarish round of 80 on Sunday. Since that epic choke job, the Irishman has scored three victories and four runner-up performances with a total of 14 top-five finishes worldwide in 22 starts. Don’t let last year’s collapse keep McIlroy off your roster as he returns to the scene for redemption.
Phil Mickelson [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #24
Since 1995, Mickelson has scored three green jackets with eight top-fives and 14 finishes of 12th or better in 17 starts at Augusta. Over his last five events this season Lefty owns a win at Pebble, a share of second at Riviera and landed another finish inside the top five last week at Redstone. Mickelson is currently 16th in both scoring average and All-Around Ranking.
Hunter Mahan [Yahoo Class C]
After consecutive top-10s in 2009 and 2010 at Augusta, Mahan somewhat surprisingly missed the cut last year. However, his game appears to have reached a new level this season. Even though he recently struggled at Bay Hill, Mahan won at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship earlier this year and won again last week at Redstone. Riding high, it appears safe to overlook last year’s letdown and expect another big time outing from Mahan.
Luke Donald [Yahoo Class A] - World Ranking: #82
Following a slow start to the season, Donald finished T6 at Doral and won at Copperhead to reclaim the top spot on the OGWR list. The two weeks off should prove to be useful for Donald, who finished T4 at Augusta a year ago -- his best finish since a T10 back in 2007. While Donald’s history at this site doesn’t measure up with the other elite players, he’s ranked as the best in the world for a reason and worthy of the investment.
Lee Westwood [Yahoo Class C] - World Ranking: #57
Since 2008 at Augusta, Westwood has finished 11th or better three times in four starts, highlighted by a solo second in 2010. After a strong performance in match play, Westwood finished solo fourth at The Honda Classic, but has taken a step back in his last two events with a T29 at Doral and a T21 at Redstone. Expect a bounce back performance this week.
Keegan Bradley [Yahoo Class C] - World Ranking: #120
Among the limited number of first timers at Augusta, Bradley is easily the best player to choose from. Over his last five stroke play events, he’s finished 15th or better each time out with three top-10s and a pair of top-fives. Bradley is currently fourth in scoring average and third in All-Around Ranking. A lack of experience in the Masters will certainly raise some concerns, but Bradley plays well beyond his years.
Justin Rose [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #13
After missing the Masters in 2010, Rose returned to Augusta last year to finish T11, his best finish since a T5 in 2007. Over his last five stroke play events, Rose owns a win at Doral, a T5 at The Honda Classic and four top-15s. Rose ranks second in scoring average and seventh in All-Around Ranking.
Charl Schwartzel [Yahoo Class C] - World Ranking: #19
After starting the month of March with a pair of top-fives, Schwartzel appeared ready to defend his title at the Masters. However, he ended the month by missing two cuts and is suddenly struggling heading into the first major of the season. Thankfully, Augusta has proven to be a place where players that have the course figured out can shake off negative momentum. A strong title defense, regardless of the recent slide, is certainly not out of the question.
Steve Stricker [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #78
In four stroke play events this season, Stricker has one win and three finishes inside the top-10 but has fallen outside of the top 30 in the other two starts (including last week at Redstone). Stricker has finished 11th or better in two of the last three at Augusta and is typically a very solid start regardless of the venue. He currently ranks third in greens in regulation percentage, fourth in birdie average and ninth in All-Around Ranking.
Adam Scott [Yahoo Class A] - World Ranking: #14
In two stroke play events this season, Scott finished T17 at Riviera and T13 at Doral. After years of mediocrity at Augusta, the Australian finished with a share of second last year -- his first top-10 since his first start ever at the site in 2002. While Scott’s limited action thus far in 2012 makes projecting his performance more difficult, he’s playing well and looking to build upon recent success at the Masters.
Jason Day [Yahoo Class A] - World Ranking: #4
In his first career start at Augusta, showing no signs of inexperience, Day finished with a share of second. This season the Australian has finished T20 in each of his last two starts. After a strong 2011 season, Day has yet to make big waves this year, however, aside from a share of second in the Qatar Masters. While last year’s finish will draw your attention, Day’s game seems a bit off for the time being.
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