It’s that time of the year, the Masters is almost here! Will Scottie Scheffler continue his winning ways? Will a rookie take centre stage or maybe, just maybe, will the Tiger roar one more time? The 2023 Masters tournament kickstarts in Augusta this week and of course, it wouldn’t be a major tournament without everyone throwing their predictions in the ring. We spoke to the golf team at Kilnwick Percy to see who they think is going to be putting on the green jacket come Sunday.
Yorkshire lad and current U.S. Open champion Matthew Fitzpatrick is Head of Golf Ashley Pheasant’s chosen favourite. The Sheffield born major champion has had a fairly quiet start to 2023 however, with Billy Foster on the bag and now already having a major championship title in his trophy cabinet, Augusta could be an environment perfect for another Yorkshire triumph, following Danny Willet’s win in 2016. It is worth mentioning that across some betting market’s Fitzpatrick is priced at a whopping 40/1, of which is great value for someone who is currently holding one of the majors.
Golf Manager Toby Gowthorpe has tipped seven-time PGA Tour winner Xander Schauffele to be this year’s champion in Augusta. Schauffele has a strong all-round game and has regularly featured high up the leaderboard in numerous major competitions. He is now widely considered one of the best players to be without a major championship. Although we have heard this story before, with him being tipped many times in recent years, you can’t argue with Schauffele’s major record, nor his Masters record. He has two top-three finishes in hist last four appearances, one of which included sharing the lead on the back nine on Sunday before being ousted by a certain Tiger Woods, it wouldn’t be a shock to see him on the leaderboard again.
Head PGA Professional Ben McAllister has gone with two-time major champion Colin Morikawa. It has been said by many that Morikawa is possibly the best iron player in the game and with the test of Augusta National demanding accuracy and distance control with approach shots it has to play to his strengths. Morikawa earned a solid fifth place finish last year and shows decent form going into the first major event of the year. With odds of up to 22/1 across many betting sites, Morikawa has probably the best value of the favourites at the head of the market.
Our Assistant PGA Professional Ben Ratcliffe’s choice is the first to pick from the pool of LIV players. His choice is also a current major champion holder as he’s gone for the Australian Cameron Smith. The current Open champion is expected to be fresh after transferring to LIV following his past win. Smith has had a fairly good record around Augusta previously and with a major championship now already under his belt, it might give him a little bit extra over the majority of the field. His putting was a big factor for him winning The Open at St Andrews in the summer and it could be another crucial factor for his finishing position on the glass-like greens of Augusta. If Smith was to win, it would be interesting to see what happens on the 18th green with the current relationships between LIV and PGA TOUR players somewhat strained!
The writer’s pick is one that would be the greatest comeback ever, I think you know who we’re going to say and that is Tiger Woods. The reason why is simple…it’s Tiger! Form, world rankings or anything like that goes out of the window when it comes to Woods. The 15-time major champion has won five green jackets and will believe he can add another this year in Georgia. Never ever write one of the greatest golfers of all time, if not the best!