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Next week the most famous golf tournament, at the world’s most famous course gets underway. Of course, I am talking about the Masters. For golf fans, this is it. This is the Super Bowl of golf. For casual sports fans, this is likely the one tournament you watch every year. Either way, you will likely tune in next week as a way to avoid work on Thursday or Friday afternoon. Whatever the reason for watching, the Masters could be a good opportunity to make some cash if you are the betting type and there are several guys outside the top 10 in the World Rankings that could make a run. Here are the top 10:
Rickie Fowler (12th in World Golf Rankings): This one seems like a slam dunk. Fowler, often recognized more for his clothing choices than his actual play on the course had a phenomenal 2014. He is one of only three players to finish in the top five of every major championship in one season. The other guys are Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus. Not bad company. In 2015, Fowler seems poised for a breakout. Why not at the Masters?
Patrick Reed (15th)
This guy should be a bro-hero. He loves to taunt foreign crowds, thinks very highly of himself, and can flat out ball. All this before his 26th birthday. He also played golf at nearby Augusta State. He knows the course and has proven he can compete with the big boys. Look out for Reed.
Brooks Koepka (19th)
Koepka burst onto the scene a few months ago when we won at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. At age 24, Koepka is another young American that should be a fixture on leaderboards for years to come. He has the temperament to compete on the biggest stages. The only concern is a rib injury he suffered a few weeks back.
Phil Mickelson (21st)
Never count out FIGJAM at Augusta. For some reason, he can be playing like absolute shit and still contend at the Masters. It is his happy place. This year he hasn’t been terrible and at last year’s final major, he damn near won the thing.
Brandt Snedeker (35th)
This is another guy that LOVES Augusta. In 2008, he broke down and cried when he was beaten down the stretch by Trevor Immelman. This year, he finally appears healthy for the first time in a while and he already has one W on the 2015 season. That came at another iconic course, Pebble Beach. Sneds might finally break through at Augusta.
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Jason Dufner (52nd)
I just want to include Duf Daddy because he is in the process of getting dumped by his impossibly hot wife. Truth is, he hasn’t played well this year, but the guy needs to catch a break.
Jonas Blixt (79th)
Many people may forget that Blixt finished tied for second last year with boy-wonder Jordan Spieth. Every year someone like Blixt contends, it could definitely happen two years in a row.
Padraig Harrington (83rd)
Paddy Harrington, three time major champ, is experiencing a career rebirth this year. He won the highly competitive Honda Classic after going several years without even sniffing a victory. He has the experience and major championship pedigree to contend. It may be a pipe dream, but every year, older players seem to pop up on the leaderboard at Augusta.
Angel Cabrera (98th)
The old guy theme continues. Two years ago, when Adam Scott took home the Green Jacket, he beat Cabrera in a playoff. For some inexplicable reason, Cabrera could be completely non-competitive for very long stretches, but he always brings it at Augusta. He could chain smoke and curse his way into contention come next Sunday night.
Tiger Woods (104th)
Holy shit, I can’t believe I am writing any of this, but Woods is the ONE HUNDRED AND FOURTH ranked player in the world. If he plays (crazy thought again), he can’t be counted out. In 2010, fresh off of his Hooker-Perkins Waitress-Pornstar Scandal, he nearly won the thing. He finished fourth without having played golf in months. He appears healthy and if he can chip the ball better than a 20 handicap, he could shock the world (another absolutely batshit crazy thought.)
Let me know if you have any other guys to watch out for. Someone unexpected pops up every year. And if you are slaving away in an office somewhere, follow me on Twitter and I will keep you posted on all the goings on at Augusta.