Tuesday, 29 March 2016

The Masters 2016 - Making the Shortlist, Part 2

My second cull in a process to arrive at a shortlist of potential bets for this years Masters will include eight Major Champions who have won thirteen Majors between them, of which, six were Masters ! Berhard Langer winner of two green jackets, Freddie Couples and Vijay Singh make up the over 50 years of age brigade in this culling and history has shown that this age group won't win (Nicklaus being the eldest at 46). But history has also repeatedly shown that past winners do tend to surprise, especially in the opening round, and Singh in particular could be a surprise packet early rounds following some decent form of late.(T 6th at the Honda Classic). Angel Cabrera at 46 years of age this time round could also put in a bold showing but with the quality of young guns in the line-up this year, it's hard to see him contending for TOP10. Trevor Immelman will enjoy his visit here again as past champion and he can continue to build on his game as he makes an effort to return to winning ways but it won't be anytime soon. As for the other Major winners to be culled from my shortlist, Martin Kaymer has never got to grips with Augusta and is out of form for almost twelve months now, whilst Webb Simpson and Keegan Bradley have yet to show that they can contend here also (Simpson best 28th; Bradley 22nd). Thongchai Jaidee has found Augusta to be a tough track in his four visits since 2006 with a best finish of 37th two years ago.

Recent winner at Pebble Beach, Vaughan Taylor who also turned 40 years of age in March produced a TOP10 back in 2007 sandwiched between two missed cuts should be treating this years participation as a bonus and could be relaxed enough to make the cut and perhaps make a run at TOP20 but it is a big ask. Billy Horschel, Robert Streb, Harris English and Scott Piercy have little course form to fall back on here and had they been challenging of late maybe I would consider them, especially Streb but they too face the chop early. Kevin Streelman was T12th in 2015 but for an expectant wife due any minute he may have survived the cull at this point but it is hard to see him donning the green jacket this year. The English boys, Chris Wood and Matt Fitzpatrick are scratched too, the latter will have plenty of time over the years to get the experience of Augusta National before contending. Some players that will be backed by some punters that are on this culling include Danny Lee, Bernd Wiesberger, Soren Kjeldsen, Anirban Lahiri, Victor Dubuisson, Shane Lowry and Byeong-Hun An. Lahiri may go best of these.

In a field that may be the shortest ever , around 88, I have now eliminated a further 24 players in addition to the 26 from Part1. The 24 culled as I narrow down towards a final shortlist are:

1. Byeong-Hun An
2. Bernd Wiesberger
3. Shane Lowry
4. Billy Horschel
5. Danny Lee
6. Scott Piercy
7. Soren Kjeldsen
8. Robert Streb
9. Thongchai Jaidee
10. Chris Wood
11. Matt Fitzpatrick
12. Anirban Lahiri
13. Victor Dubuisson
14. Martin Kaymer
15. Harris English
16. Webb Simpson
17.  Keegan Bradley
18. Kevin Streelman
19. Vaughan Taylor
20. Vijay Singh
21. Angel Cabrera
22. Berhard Langer
23. Freddie Couples
24. Trevor Immelman