These players are the legitimate contenders for The Masters. They have the games, guts and nerves to handle four pressure-packed rounds on one of the most treacherous golf courses in the world.
5. Jon Rahm
World Ranking: 2
Masters appearances: 5
Best Masters finish: 4, 2018
Crazy to think he’s being written off … and he might just like that. Now ranked as only the second best player on the planet, Rahm’s 2022 hasn’t gone according to plan. Without a win since beating Louis Oosthuizen at last year’s US Open, the Spaniard has still played some incredible golf and with some consistency. He owns four straight top 10s at Augusta National and will be pleased to see that someone has taken his putter out of the deep freeze where it seemed to be left for large parts of the year. As it warms up, so do his chances of joining the list of Spanish players who own Green Jackets (Seve Ballesteros, Jose Maria Olazabal and Sergio Garcia).
4. Brooks Koepka
World Ranking: 85
Masters appearances: Debut
World Ranking: 17
Masters appearances: 6
Best Masters finish: T-2, 2019
Embarrassed by his world ranking, Koepka’s game is on the rise as he heads into the biggest part of the season. Seems to be over his injuries and don’t forget this player is one that often shines when it matters most (T2 at the PGA Championship, T4 at the US Open and T6 at the Open Championship last year).
He missed the cut last year but was second to Tiger Woods in 2019 to go with three top 15 finishes in that time span.
3. Dustin Johnson
World Ranking: 8
Masters appearances: 11
Best Masters finish: Win, 2020
He has five top-10s at the Masters to his name and of course his win in 2020 to add to his “horses for courses” CV that this event requires. Now playing with a driver that is behaving, DJ played his way to fourth at the WGC Dell Matchplay to go with a top 10 at the Players Championship. His calm demeanour couldn’t suit this week better as he brushes past any sort of controversies or media moments.
2. Justin Thomas
World Ranking: 7
Masters appearances: 6
Best Masters finish: 4, 2020
He will know that he needs to address his current Major tally. It stands at just one. And while he is prolific in normal tour events, it’s high time that JT walks away with the Green Jacket. Alongside Rahm, he is the next holder of the top spot in the official world rankings. Has Bones Mackay on the bag and that experience could be just what he needs to convert. No better player in terms of strokes gained overall in the past six events of this great tournament.
1. Scottie Scheffler
World Ranking: 1
Masters appearances: 2
Best Masters finish: T-18, 2021
The hottest player on the planet and someone who will be playing this week with a definite “right time, right place” kind of thought process. Perhaps the most underrated talking point this week is that he has Ted Scott on his bag and that could be vital with the caddie’s experience of guiding Bubba Watson around the property successfully. As long as anyone on the tour is off of the tee and has a putter that behaves particularly inside 15 feet. We’ve seen plenty first-time winners at Majors in recent years and why would you leave Scottie out of the equation on current trends.
Not ranked but would form part of the top 10: Viktor Hovland, Collin Morikawa, Xander Schauffele, Cameron Smith and Daniel Berger
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