Tee times for the 79th playing of the Masters Tournament have been announced, and 21-year-old Jordan Spieth will be teeing off with Henrik Stenson and Billy Horschel at 1:15p ET on Thursday. I think Speith can and will win his 1st career major championship this week at Augusta (and so do four of my classmates). Here’s why I like his chances:
Hot, Hot, Hot
Spieth is already off to the best start of his career. In eight PGA Tour events so far this year, Spieth has made eight cuts, has six Top 10s (1st on Tour), and seven Top 25s. He has one win and two runner-ups in his last three starts! Spieth almost won three weeks in-a-row too, but after winning the Valspar Championship, finished 2nd at the Valero Texas Open and then lost the Shell Houston Open in a playoff. No one on Tour is on more of a hot streak than Jordan Spieth. He’s also ranked No. 4 in the world.
Drive for Show, Putt for… Well, You Know
Perhaps the biggest reason I like Spieth at this week’s Masters is his putting. Spieth is No. 1 on Tour in Putting Average at 1.684 putts per green. He’s also No. 1 in Putts Per Round at 27.53 and ranks 5th in Putting from 10-15′. Spieth is making over 30% of his putts from inside that distance, something that will come in real handy at Augusta. He’s also making birdie or better on Par 4s with greater regularity than anyone else on Tour at 22.74%.
Spieth is young. At just 21 years of age, his brain isn’t full of the minutia that typically accompanies the life experience of some of the older players on Tour. That’s a real advantage. The disadvantage is that he doesn’t have the experience playing on Augusta’s greens that some of the veterans do. It didn’t matter last year when he finished tied for 2nd in his first Masters appearance. I believe the less you have to think about while you’re standing over the ball, the better.
Always Be Closing
The one thing Spieth still has to master (no pun intended) is closing. Spieth keeps putting himself in position to win, but needs to find a way to suffocate the rest of the field on Sundays. To be fair, J.B. Holmes went out and snatched the Shell Houston Open from the clutches of Spieth with an eight-under Par round of 64 on Sunday. Not much you can do when a guy’s playing like that. Spieth is still young. I think he’ll figure it out. And I think he’ll be putting on a green jacket on Sunday night.