After watching (admittedly on-and-off) the first day of The Masters, it’s really anyone’s guess who will win. But given that the past several years have seen one of the top three from Day 1 be the winner, I like Jon Rahm as my Thursday pick. Ignoring his Hole 1 performance, he looked solid throughout. Rahm is a former major champion in the prime of his career and seems due for another victory. Plus, I think I have had a soft spot for him in particular after he was outright robbed of The Memorial (2021?) due to a baloney alchemy test.
Brooks Koepka is my second pick to win it all. For a while he was like Mr. Major, effectively showing up to play four times a year and always at the top of the leader board those Sundays.
Of course, any of those guys who are even or a few over par today have a legitimate shot to get hot and make up the difference over the next 54 holes. But practically I doubt the victor doesn’t come from any higher than the four-back (i.e. -3) Day 1 crowd.
- The wild card appears to be the weather with lots of storms forecasted over the next two days. Could this mean a Monday finish?
- Assuming that Rory McIlroy makes a sold three-day push again and comes up just short, again. At even par Day 1, there are just too many ahead of him.
- Oh and Tiger Woods…the good news is that it wasn’t uncomfortable to watch him play today (notwithstanding that strange bunker slip), like all of his recent past outings where he was obviously in pain. We will all see how he trends for Day 2. Age catches up to everyone, but for Woods it has to be uniquely difficult, for here is a legend pushing 50 likely with a mind as sharp as ever buttressed by decades of experience, but trapped in a ramshackle body closer to 70. I have little doubt (as I am sure most do) that if he had been fully healthy all these years, he would have easily past 100 PGA victories by now as well as have had the all-time majors win total, and would have continued winning well into his 50s.