The NCG team of Alex Perry, Dan Murphy, Mark Townsend, Steve Carroll, Hannah Holden, Harvey Jamison and Joe Hughes have jotted down their Masters predictions for us to enjoy before and after the 2019 edition of the Augusta showpiece…
Before we get to your winner, any outsiders we should keep an eye on?
Alex: Everyone wants an Eddie Pepperell top 10, don’t they?
Hannah: Pepperell has played great recently and his 3rd place in his Players debut proves he can do it on the biggest stage.
Steve: I’ve written a whole piece dedicated to the outsiders I think could get into the frame at Augusta. The prices of Brandt Snedeker and Keith Mitchell are too big.
Dan: Snedeker has a more than decent record here over the years and seems injury-free and back to his best. I’m also interested to see if Xander Schauffele’s incredibly impressive major record is an anomaly or a sign of things to come.
Mark: Is Henrik Stenson now considered an outsider? If so then him. If not then Haotong Li is ridiculously underrated.
Harvey: He should already have a major to his name and Hideki Matsuyama’s record since 2015 is magnificent.
Joe: Marc Leishman has two top-10 finishes here so he clearly knows his way around Augusta.
And who will be the surprise flop?
Steve: Bryson DeChambeau hasn’t played well for a while and 38th last year doesn’t bode well. He should be a bigger price than 25/1.
Hannah: DeChambeau’s short game isn’t good enough to compete at Augusta.
Alex: DeChambeau’s purple patch is over and not looking like picking up any time soon.
Mark: This is an easy thing to say but the man who’s won three of the last seven majors, Brooks Koepka.
Dan: I had high hopes from a long way out for Justin Thomas but I have a suspicion that he has gone cold at just the wrong time. He hasn’t really got it right at the Masters just yet, though I am sure he will. But perhaps not this year.
Harvey: After the most awkward Champions Dinner in history, Patrick Reed to miss the cut? Yes please.
Joe: Phil Mickelson will not only miss the cut, but by a few shots too.
One more question before you reveal your winner: Who do you want to win?
Alex: My top 3 would be McIlroy (Slam), Tiger Woods (incredible story), then Jordan Spieth (best friend). Probably Pepperell fourth.
Mark: I’m still haunted by the sight of him slumped on his driver in 2011 so will always say McIlroy until he finally does it.
Steve: Rory. Or Jordan. Always one of those two players.
Hannah: I’d love to see McIlroy complete his Grand Slam.
Dan: Tiger please. It would be one of the best sports, let alone golf, stories of all time.
Harvey: It’s got to be Tiger.
Joe: Of all the players without a major, there’s nobody I’d rather see win one than Ian Poulter.
So who do the NCG team think will win come Sunday? Our 2019 Masters predictions continue on the next page…