2021 Masters Predictions

Masters Guide

Photo credit-Augusta National Golf Club

Local golf pros share their picks for Masters glory – or heartache.
We’ll have to cut our panel a little slack on last year’s predictions. After all, they didn’t foresee the postponement of the Masters Tournament because of the coronavirus pandemic, so they ended up making their predictions nine months before the tournament was played in November.

This year, however, the Masters is back on schedule, and most of the faces in the field will look familiar. At press time, only four first-time players (one professional and three amateurs) had qualified for the tournament.

With a mere five months between tournaments, our favorite experts are ready. They tell us who will be wearing green, who will be headed home early and which holes will have the most influence on the outcome.

Chris Bates
Director of Golf, West Lake Country Club
(This is Chris’ first year taking our poll.)

2021 Masters Champion: DJ will win again. It’s only been a few months.

Dark Horse: Louis Oosthhuizen. He plays well in the Masters, and he hasn’t won one.

Low Newcomer: Let’s go with the U.S. Am winner, Tyler Strafaci.

Low Senior: I’m going to have go with Berhard Langer again.

Highest-Ranked Player to Miss the Cut: Patrick Reed

Toughest Hole: I think No. 11 is still going to be the one. I would like No. 4, also. It’s a tough par 3.

Pivotal Hole: I would have to say it’s going to be 11.

Highest 18-Hole Score: 83

Highest Score on One Hole: 11

Tommy Brannen
Head Golf Professional, Augusta Country Club
(Tommy’s correct 2020 prediction: Toughest Hole)

2021 Masters Champion: Let’s say Tony Finau just for fun. He always plays well there, and he’s been playing well, too.

Dark Horse: Collin Morikawa would a good one.

Low Newcomer: I’ll take the pro, Carlos Ortiz.

Low Senior: Let’s take Phil. He knows the course pretty well.

Highest-Ranked Player to Miss the Cut: Xander Schauffele

Toughest Hole: Let’s go with No. 5 again.

Pivotal Hole: Probably No. 13

Highest 18-Hole Score: 84

Highest Score on One Hole: 9

Spike Kelley
General Manager and Golf Professional, Goshen Plantation
(Spike needs a mulligan on his 2020 predictions.)

2021 Masters Champion: Rory McIlroy. He’s the best player. I pick him almost every year, and eventually I’m going to get it right.

Dark Horse: Tony Finau. He’s playing so darn well. You can’t keep finishing in the top 10 so many times without winning.

Low Newcomer: I’ll go with Charles Osborne.

Low Senior: Phil Mickelson

Highest-Ranked Player to Miss the Cut: Dustin Johnson

Toughest Hole: No. 11

Pivotal Hole: No. 14

Highest 18-Hole Score: 84

Highest Score on One Hole: 8

Dan Elliott
PGA General Manager/Director of Golf, Forest Hills Golf Club
(Dan’s correct 2020 prediction: Low Senior)

2021 Masters Champion: I like Patrick Cantlay. He’s steady from green to tee, and if his putter is on, he’ll do well.

Dark Horse: Paul Casey. He has a good record at Augusta.

Low Newcomer: It will be the professional, Carlos Ortiz.

Low Senior: Bernhard Langer

Highest-Ranked Player to Miss the Cut: Justin Thomas

Toughest Hole: No. 11

Pivotal Hole: It’s always a tossup between 13 and 15. I’ll go with No. 13.

Highest 18-Hole Score: 81

Highest Score on One Hole: 9

Burt Minick
Golf Shop Manager, Hickory Knob State Park Golf Course
(Burt’s correct 2020 prediction: Highest 18-Hole Score)

2021 Masters Champion: Let’s go with Brooks Koepka. He’s playing well right now, and I think he gears up for that.

Dark Horse: Max Homa. He’s playing well right now. He has broken through again, and I think his confidence is high.

Low Newcomer: Let’s say Joe Long. Why not?

Low Senior: Fred Couples

Highest-Ranked Player to Miss the Cut: Webb Simpson

Toughest Hole: No. 11

Pivotal Hole: No. 15

Highest 18-Hole Score: 78

Highest Score on One Hole: 8

Chris Verdery
Director of Golf, The River Golf Club
(Chris’ correct 2020 prediction: Highest 18-Hole Score)

2021 Masters Champion: Xander Schauffele. Short game and putting.

Dark Horse: I’m going to say Cameron Smith. He played well last time. He’s an excellent putter.

Low Newcomer: Just one pro? I’ll pick him. Carlos Ortiz.

Low Senior: I’m going to go with Bernhard Langer again. He’s like a machine.

Highest-Ranked Player to Miss the Cut: Bryson DeChambeau

Toughest Hole: I’ll say No. 5.

Pivotal Hole: Gotta go with No. 12, I guess.

Highest 18-Hole Score: 79

Highest Score on One Hole: 8