Thomas Pieters

There’s an old cliche trotted out about learning from your mistakes. Boy, did Thomas do that on the back nine.

Having fallen apart on Thursday, an eagle at 13 and birdie at 14 catapulted him into a share of the lead. Ryder Cup mode has been engaged.

Rickie Fowler

masters power rankings

Still hard to believe his fellow pros once branded him – along with Ian Poulter – the most over-rated player on the circuit.

He showed them immediately how stupid they were at the Players. Imagine what a statement a Green Jacket would make.

Has been known to get a bit twitchy when in front. He’ll never be more nervous if he can see this through to Sunday.


Ryan Moore

Great job – and not just because I’ve got him at 200/1. That’s how you play in the wind.

It’s a bit breezy out in the desert, where Ryan went to college in Las Vegas, and America’s Ryder Cup hero used that knowledge to produce a faultless round of 69.

While trebles and quads flew round Augusta, Ryan played himself right into contention. I don’t know who’ll be more nervous on Saturday – me or him.

Sergio Garcia

masters power rankings

Alright everybody, just calm down. They guy who once chose Augusta to declare he’d never win a major is in the box seat for a weekend charge.

I’m going to say it. I’d LOVE him to do it. Can it stay a bit blowy? No one plays those conditions better than the Spaniard.

Fred Couples

As my colleagues wrote on twitter: “Nothing is EVER certain, except death, taxes and Fred Couples contending at the Masters.”


Willie McGirt

Once branded an “idiot” by Tiger Woods – he told the GOAT he didn’t look at leaderboards when in contention – Willie’s looking pretty smart right now.

McGirt. It’s a proper name for a solid player. He doesn’t look like he’s going anywhere at the moment.

Jon Rahm

masters power rankings

Thank God he’s European. If this guy played for the Americans I’d hate to think when we’d win another Ryder Cup.

This isn’t just a nice run of form. The Spaniard has been mustard on his first go round this quirky track. Could Fuzzy’s curse finally be about to fall?


Rory McIlroy

I find it incredible that a guy who grew up in Northern Ireland – they get some inclement weather there from time to time – can’t play in a gale. On the positive, with everyone now about to don factor 50 for two days, his Grand Slam dream is far from dead.

Jordan Spieth

Some birdies, some bogeys. This was positively boring by Jordan’s recent Augusta standards. It’s just what he needed. He’s not finished yet.

Charley Hoffman

Credit where credit’s due. I thought he’d fold like a cheap suit and, for a while, he proved me right with five bogeys in six holes around the turn.

That biggest lead since 1955 didn’t last long. But the Hoff got one back at 13 and was rock steady on the way in. He can’t win, though. Can he?


Phil Mickelson

God, it’s exhausting watching Phil work. His back nine scorecard looked like some crazy game of bingo.


Lee Westwood

Why? Why do I do it to myself? Time and time again? Westwood’s the ultimate tease. He gets your hopes up. You get all excited and then he ruins it all with a barrage of back nine bogeys.


Tyrrell Hatton

masters power rankings

There’s a great Simpsons gag where Lenny says of Homer: ‘He’s about to do something stupid…’ That’s what it’s like waiting for Hatton to blow.

He held it together for the outward nine but, always liable to go off at the hint of an off-centre strike, any hope he had of making the cut went – along with his bag into the lush Augusta turf – when he found the water at 13.

Danny Willett

Only four champions have fallen before the weekend on their defence and Danny has joined an ignominious club.

His eight on the first might have been a surprise but his form since slipping on the green jacket a year ago hasn’t been.

Freed from the responsibility of showing off the fabric round the world, maybe he can finally concentrate on golf.


Sandy Lyle

He’s like a punch-drunk prize fighter that can’t resist another bout – even though it’s probably going to leave him brain damaged.

Just because you can compete, Sandy, doesn’t mean you should. Followed four bogeys in a row on his outward half with a nine on the 11th. It’s past embarrassing now.