10 steps to picking a 2019 Masters winner

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What recent trends at Augusta National say about who could win the 2019 Masters

There’s a field of 88 players in the field at the Masters, so we’ve broken down the most recent trends to give you a look at who could possibly win this week.

2019 Masters: The Field

The Categories

● No amateur has ever won the Masters
● Only three rookies have ever won the Masters
● Nine out of the last 10 winners were ranked inside the World's top 30 when they won
● Eight of the 10 previous winners had wins in the 12 months before the Masters
● All 10 of the previous winners were under 40 years old
● Eight of the last 10 winners had recorded a top-20 at Augusta before they won
● Eight of the last 10 winners won their first major at Augusta National
● Nine of the last 10 winners had been a pro for at least 7 years (exception was Jordan Spieth)
● Nine of the last 10 had a top 15 in a strokeplay event in March/April
● All 10 of the last winners were ranked inside the top half for driving distance across the season

We've eliminated players through each of these categories and come up with two players who you should consider backing this week. 

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#1: No amateur has ever won the Masters

Ruling out Victor Hovland, Devon Bling, Jovan Rebula, Takumi Kanaya, Alvaro Ortiz and Kevin O’Connell (7) 

#2: Only three rookies have ever won the Masters

That means Lucas Bjerregaard, Michael Kim, Justin Harding, Andrew Landry, Adam Long, Keith Mitchell, Eddie Pepperell, Kevin Tway, Matt Wallace, Aaron Wise, Corey Conners and Shugo Imahira likely won’t be wearing a green jacket on Sunday. (11) 

#3: Nine out of the last 10 winners were ranked inside the World’s top 30 when they won

As the rankings currently stand, this category would eliminate: Rafa Cabrera Bello, Jordan Spieth, Ian Poulter, Matt Fitzpatrick, Keegan Bradley, Tyrrell Hatton, Haotong Li, Henrik Stenson, Billy Horschel, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Emiliano Grillo, Branden Grace, J.B. Holmes, Charles Howell III, Kyle Stanley, Shane Lowry, Brandt Snedeker, Patton Kizzire, Thorbjorn Olesen, Si Woo Kim, Satoshi Kodaira, Charley Hoffman, Jimmy Walker, Martin Kaymer, Mike Weir, Vijay Singh, Jose Maria Olazabal, Mark O’Meara, Charl Schwartzel, Stewart Cink, Larry Mize, Bernhard Langer, Zach Johnson, Danny Willet, Sandy Lyle, Trevor Immelman, Ian Woosnam, Fred Couples and Angel Cabrera. (39) 

#4: Eight of the 10 previous winners had wins in the 12 months before the Masters

Say goodbye to Tommy Fleetwood, Hideki Matsuyama, Adam Scott, Alex Noren, Patrick Cantlay, Patrick Reed and Tony Finau (7)

#5: All 10 of the previous winners were under 40 years old

Hard to discount them, but Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Paul Casey, Matt Kuchar and Bubba Watson bow out at this stage (5) 

#6: Eight of the last 10 winners had recorded a top-20 at Augusta before they won

This rules out Xander Schauffele, Kevin Kisner, Bryson DeChambeau and Gary Woodland (4) 

#7: Eight of the last 10 winners won their first major at Augusta National

With majors already under their belts and not at Augusta, Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose, Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day, Brooks Koepka, Francesco Molinari, Louis Oosthuizen and Webb Simpson all fail the test on this one. Don’t blame me, blame the trends that say previous major success doesn’t mean success here. (9)

#8: Nine of the last 10 winners had been a pro for at least 7 years (exception was Jordan Spieth)

This category rules out Jon Rahm and Cameron Smith (2).

#9: Nine of the last 10 had a top 15 in a strokeplay event in March/April before the Masters

This rules out Marc Leishman, who had a T9 at the match-play but his last strokeplay top 10 came in February at the Genesis Open.

#10: All 10 of the last winners were ranked inside the top half for driving distance across the season 

Rickie Fowler and Sergio Garcia both fall in to this category, and we can’t separate them with any other trends… so here’s a breakdown of why they could do well here. 

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Rickie Fowler: 18/1

Age: 30
World Ranking:
 #8
Previous Masters results: 2- T11-T69-T12-T5-T38-T27-T38
Top 10s this season: 4 | Wins: 1 (Honda Classic)

Reasons to pick him: Fowler is still searching for his maiden major title, and came close at last year's Masters – falling one shot short of Patrick Reed. He has a victory at the Waste Management Phoenix Open and runner-up finish at the Honda Classic under his belt in 2019 already, and recovered a bit of form last week with a T17 at the Valero Texas Open after a T40 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and T47 at the Players. 
Ranks: Inside the top 12 on Tour this season for SG: Putting, Scoring average and birdie average.

Sergio Garcia: 45/1

Age: 39
World Ranking: #27
Previous Masters Results: T82-1-T34-T17-T52-T8-T12-T35-T45-T48-T46-T66-46-T51-T4-T28-8-T48-T40-T38
Top 10s this season: 6

The 2017 Masters champion had a disaster on the 15th last year, but he’s still had four top 10s here and despite hitting headlines for the wrong reasons this season, six worldwide top 10s is hard to ignore. Ranks 5th for scoring average on the PGA Tour this season, and 8th for SG: Approach the green.

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