WOW!! We couldn’t have asked for a better first two rounds at the Masters. The greatest players in the world are showing us all why this is the greatest tournament in the world.
Most years, any golfer that makes the cut at Augusta has minimal chance to be in the tournament come Sunday. This year is looking to buck that trend. Golfers that are more than four strokes off the lead might want to start thinking about packing their bags. The big names these guys would have to get through seems insurmountable.
The biggest names within four of the lead (with Official World Golf Ranking and number of major wins) are a who’s who of golf supremacy. Tied for the lead at -7 is Molinari (#7, major winner), Day (#14, major winner), Koepka (#4, three time major winner), Scott (#29, major winner), and Oosthuizen (#19, major winner).
In a tie for sixth at -6 is Dustin Johnson (#2, major winner), Xander (#10), and Tiger (#12, 14 time major winner). Tenth place at -5 is Poulter (#32) and Rahm (#8). Finishing off the golfers within four shots of the lead are those tied for 12th at -4. This group consists of Kuchar (#16) and Mickelson (#22, five time major winner).
Good luck getting through that group of talented golfers to win a Green Jacket.
The ultimate equalizer in golf is the weather. Mother Nature looks to have a pretty interesting weekend in store for Augusta National. Thunderstorms are in the forecast for both today and Sunday with the final round on Sunday looking to be impacted most severely. As if this golf course was not hard enough now these golfers could deal with extreme conditions.
Look for the winner to come from this group within four strokes of the lead. Of those currently in the lead Molinari seems to be the most likely to win. He is scorching hot over the last several months. Molinari also has the game and the demeanor to get through a tough weekend. The one downfall for him will be if the course becomes soft and the bombers get an advantage. The long ball is not his strong suit. Day is injured, what’s new. Scott, Koepka, and Oosty can all be inconsistent.
The grouping one back, at -6, all have legitimate shots at this title. Johnson, Xander, and Tiger possess all facets of the game to excel in any conditions. Whoever is paired with Tiger on Sunday may be at a disadvantage as those huge Tiger crowds are back in full force.
Of those at -5 and -4 only Mickelson seems to have a reasonable chance at contending for the Green Jacket. Rahm’s blowup hole is coming at some point. He does not recover well when things don’t go his way. Poulter and Kuchar are certainly good enough to hang around, however, they always seem to lack enough firepower to go toe to toe with elite golfers.
There are also a few key names missing from the weekend showdown. World #1 Justin Rose has missed the cut. He is joined by Paul Casey who many thought would contend this week. Augusta National will punish those who are not prepared to play, it does not matter how good of a golfer you are.
This weekend is shaping up to be one of the greatest of all time. Just when you think golf can’t get any better we get a leaderboard like this going into a major weekend.