2017 Masters Predictions

Guide to The Masters

2.-Hideki-MatsuyamaLocal golf pros share their picks for Masters glory – or heartache.

As the first major of the year, the Masters Tournament is always the most anticipated major of the golf season. And we can’t wait to see who’s going to win the green jacket. Last year darkhorse winner Danny Willett galloped off with the prize. Will a past champion win the tournament this year, or will another new winner become part of Masters lore? We asked some area golf pros to share their expertise and give us their predictions for this year’s tournament. 

Kirk Hice
Director of Golf, West Lake Country Club
(Kirk’s correct 2016 predictions: Toughest Hole, Highest Score on One Hole)

 2017 Masters Champion: Hideki Matsuyama

Dark Horse: Let’s say Gary Woodland. He’s a long player, and he can take advantage of some of the birdie opportunities there.

Low Newcomer: I’m going to say Hudson Swafford. He’s a Georgia boy, so hopefully he’ll make the most of his first opportunity there.

Low Senior: Fred Couples

Highest-Ranked Player to Miss the Cut: That’s always a tough one. I’m going to say Patrick Reed.

Toughest Hole: No. 11

Pivotal Hole: No. 13

Highest 18-Hole Score: 82 

Highest Score on One Hole: 9

 

4.-Justin-ThomasTommy Brannen
Head Golf Professional, Augusta Country Club
(Tommy’s correct 2016 predictions: Toughest Hole, Highest Score on One Hole)

2017 Masters Champion: Justin Thomas 

Dark Horse: Tiger Woods. Just for fun.

Low Newcomer: I’ll go with Hudson Swafford. He’s a good player, and he’s a Georgia boy.

Low Senior: I’ll go with Fred Couples.

Highest-Ranked Player to Miss the Cut: I’ll say Jason Day.

Toughest Hole: No. 12

Pivotal Hole: No. 15

Highest 18-Hole Score: 84

Highest Score on One Hole: 9

 

8.-Phil-MIckelsonGreg Hemann
Director of Operations, Jones Creek Golf Club
(Greg’s correct 2016 predictions: Toughest Hole, Highest Score on One Hole)

2017 Masters Champion: Jordan Spieth

Dark Horse: J.B. Holmes. He’s got a great game for the course. He hits it long; he’s got good nerves; and he played well last year.

Low Newcomer: Let’s go with Jon Rahm.

Low Senior: Let’s go with Steve Stricker. He’s a great putter.

Highest-Ranked Player to Miss the Cut: Phil Mickelson

Toughest Hole: No. 11

Pivotal Hole: No. 13

Highest 18-Hole Score: 86

Highest Score on One Hole: 9

 

5.-Sergio-GarciaDan Elliott
PGA General Manager/Director of Golf, Forest Hills Golf Club
(Dan needs a mulligan on his 2016 picks.) 

2017 Masters Champion: It’s a tough one. I’m going to say Hideki Matsuyama.

Dark Horse: Since nobody is really expecting him to win a major, I’m going to say Sergio Garcia.

Low Newcomer: Thomas Pieters. He came into his own last year in the Ryder Cup for Europe. He’s playing well this year, and he hits it long.

Low Senior: I like Bernhard Langer.

Highest-Ranked Player to Miss the Cut: I don’t know. There are so many good players that you don’t imagine that they would miss the cut. I’m going to go out on a limb and say Alex Noren.

Toughest Hole: No. 5

Pivotal Hole: No. 15

Highest 18-Hole Score: 82

Highest Score on One Hole: 8

 

6.-Bernhard-LangerSpike Kelley
General Manager and Golf Professional, Goshen Plantation
(Spike’s correct 2016 predictions: Biggest Name to Miss the Cut, Pivotal Hole) 

2017 Masters Champion: Rory McIlroy

Dark Horse: Branden Grace. He almost won the U.S. Open one time, and I can’t think of anyone else.

Low Newcomer: Jon Rahm. He’s really, really good.

Low Senior: Bernhard Langer

Highest-Ranked Player to Miss the Cut: Justin Thomas

Toughest Hole: No. 2

Pivotal Hole: No. 13

Highest 18-Hole Score: 86

Highest Score on One Hole: 8

 

1.-Dustin-JohnsonScott Penland
Director of Golf, Hickory Knob State Park Golf Course
(This is the first year that Scott has participated in our poll.) 

2017 Masters Champion: I’ll go with Dustin Johnson since he’s playing pretty well right now.

Dark Horse: Sergio Garcia. If he can start putting well, he will do great.

Low Newcomer: I’m going to go with Thomas Pieters.

Low Senior: I have to go with Fred Couples.

Highest-Ranked Player to Miss the Cut: That’s a tough one. I hate to jinx anyone. I’ll say Jason Day.

Toughest Hole: No. 7

Pivotal Hole: No. 16

Highest 18-Hole Score: 83

Highest Score on One Hole: 8

 

7.-Kevin-KisnerChris Verdery
Director of Golf, The River Golf Club
(Chris’ correct 2016 predictions: Biggest Name to Miss the Cut, Pivotal Hole, Highest Score on One Hole) 

2017 Masters Champion: I’m going to say Dustin Johnson.

Dark Horse: Kevin Kisner. He’s a local favorite.

Low Newcomer: Jon Rahm. I don’t think the pressure will get to him.

Low Senior: Bernhard Langer. He’s in great shape, and he’s played well the last few years.

Highest-Ranked Player to Miss the Cut: I’ll say Bubba Watson. Don’t ask me why, please.

Toughest Hole: No. 1

Pivotal Hole: No. 12

Highest 18-Hole Score: 83

Highest Score on One Hole: 9