The 2023 US Masters is almost here and we see the PGA Tour And LIV Golf crew meet at Augusta for the 1st time, lets not forget Tiger Woods will be back too!
It feels like we all know this course like the back of our hand with its many iconic landmarks, Magnolia Lane, Amen Corner, The Eisenhower Tree, Rae’s Creek, Ike’s Pond, The Hogan, Nelson and Sarazen Bridges and of course the Butler's Cabin where the winner is escorted immediately after signing their card to be presented with the most famous jacket in world sport.
Augusta National is a true test of all facets of a players game. To be in contention players will require accuracy off the tee to give them a chance to get the ball to the right level on the green to help minimise 3 putts, given the severity of the undulation greens. There are quite a few risk-reward holes none more than the 2 back 9 par fives (13 & 15), mishit the approach and you’re swimming! Just ask Sergio who spun 5 off the green into the water to take a 13 back in 2018!
This year the par 5 13th has been lengthened by about 30 meters which now means players may not need to draw the ball around the tree line to set up their approach, it will mean that more players opt to lay up this year.
Date: 6-9 April, 2023
Course: Augusta National, Augusta, Georgia
Length: 6,899 meters
Defending Champion: Scottie Scheffler
Key Course Stats
- Par 4 Birdie or Better
- Strokes Gained: Approach
- Strokes Gained: Tee To Green
- Driving Distance
- Putting Average
- Strokes Gained: Putting
- Par 5 Performance
- Bogey Avoidance
Key Correlation Tournaments
- Genesis Invitational
Jon Rahm: Jon Rahm really could not profile much better for The Masters. He clearly loves the course with four Top 9 finishes in six starts. That last number is notable too as most golfers need at least five looks at Augusta before winning. The only key tournament guide worth following is the Genesis and Rahm won that in February. A strong approach game, a sound putter and an ability to take advantage of the Par 5s is the key to success and Rahm ticks every box. He ranks Top 5 on Tour in Putting Average, Par 4 Birdie or Better, Par 5 Scoring, GIR, Strokes Gained: Approach, Strokes Gained: Tee To Green and Driving Distance. He is the right age and has elite form. Only worry is that form tailed off a little in March. He is the clear top pick though.
Max Homa: Beloved rising star who looks primed to be competing in a major. Now No.6 in the world, Homa has won on Tour this year and won the Genesis in 2021. He was runner-up this year at Riviera too. Homa ranks Top 10 in Scrambling, Strokes Gained: Approach, Strokes Gained: Tee To Green, Par 4 Birdie or Better, Putting Average, Strokes Gained: Putting and Bogey Avoidance. Form is good. Only query is his lack of experience and form at Augusta with just three prior trips.
Sungjae Im: Sungjae Im has played The Masters three times and has finished Top 8 twice. He loves it here. Few perform better on Par 5s than Im, who ranks third on Tour in scoring on long holes. He also ranks Top 20 in Bogey Avoidance, Strokes Gained: Tee To Green and Scrambling.
Tom Hoge: Excellent iron player who looks the pick of the triple-figure shots. Hoge leads the Tour in Strokes Gained: Approach while he ranks 3rd in Proximity and 13th in GIR. He also ranks 6th in Putting Average, 7th in Par 4 Birdie or Better and 19th nin Bogey Avoidance. Finished 14th at the Genesis this year. Little experience the knock but he has the game for Augusta.