Your guide to The Masters



The 2016 Masters begins today, and it will run through April 10.

By Danny Payne
[email protected]

Friends, we’ve made it. This week — one of, if not the, best on the 2016 sports calendar — we’ve experienced perhaps the best finish to an NCAA Championship game ever. We’ve watched the playoff picture become clearer with single-digit games remaining in the the NHL and NBA regular seasons. Baseball is back.

Exhausting, right? Fear not, the most relaxing weekend in sports is here — The Masters.

Over the next few days, those few piano notes will bring you out of the limited commercial breaks. Maybe the song in the video above is still playing while you’re reading this. A toned-down Jim Nantz will narrate the action, toeing the line between leisure and excitement masterfully.

The vibrant azaleas pop against the backdrop of lush green grass and pine trees, creating the most aesthetically pleasing landscape you’ll see all spring.

It’s beautiful alone, and when all the world’s best golfers are in one gorgeous place, it’s a work of art.

As far as the actual play goes, we’ve put together a list of  who we think will be the biggest winners, losers, and dark horses as your guide to the weekend you’re about to enjoy. If you’re interested, the Official World Golf rankings are here, and Bovada odds here. The full Masters field is here.

See the leaderboard here.



Adam Scott (No. 7,+1200): While some (see: Keegan Bradley, etc.) have lost any and all ability on the green sans the now-banned belly putter, Scott has kept up. The 2013 champion has been awesome this season, finishing in the top 10 in four of eight matches.

Jason Day (No. 1,+650): Yes, it’s sort of a cop-out to put the favorite in the winner’s circle, but Day finished strong last season and carried that into 2016 — and he’s no stranger to the top (cut us some slack, c’mon). On to our third and final Southern Hemispherian…

Louis Oosthuizen (No. 11,+3000): Maybe it’s El Niño, but I’m bullish on guys south of the equator this year. That’s science, by the way. Anyway, like Day and Scott, the South African knows what it takes to be in the mix April 10. Not saying younger players won’t be, but this seems like the year of the savvy vet.


Dustin Johnson (No. 8,+1600): To be totally frank, I don’t think it’s possible for a human to bounce back from an all-time botch job like the one Johnson had on 18 of the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay. It might be hyperbolizing a tad, but, I mean, that was BRUTAL.

Bubba Watson (No. 4,+1000): Yes, this is right in Georgia graduate Bubba’s backyard, and yes, he’s had a good enough start to the season and has won before, but Bubba’s been an all-or-nothing guy at Augusta. His two championship years are the only time he’s finished under par in seven tries. Consistency in majors and upward trends are key — not necessarily his strong suits.

Ian Poulter (No. 62,+20000): OK, I know this is obvious, because Poulter stinks, but Tuesday, in the most perfect baby-boomer manner, my dad said, “I follow him on Twitter. It seems like all he’s interested in is selling clothes.” That’s all. I just really wanted to tell that story. Padre clearly doesn’t understand #brands.

Dark Horses

Matt Kuchar (No. 28,+6600): If you’re picking up on patterns here, guys that have hung around in years past are big in my book this year. Kuchar finished top-10 for three-consecutive years before a tied for 46th last year. He’s older, so a quieter year could have been necessary to rejuvenate.

Charl Schwartzel (No. 20,+3500): Schwartzel gives perhaps a better value than Kuchar if you’re looking for some action (if not solely for the fact he’s a past champion) to spice things up over the weekend. Hey, for some, that’s all the explanation necessary.

Angel Cabrera (No. 328,+15000): Cabrera has been up and down at Augusta since 2011, finishing odd years under par and even years over par. Going under in 2016 would break that streak, and at 46, if there’s a time for the 2009 champ to get another jacket, it’s now.

There you have it — the DI‘s picks for the 2016 Masters. TV and streaming info is below.

• Round One: Thursday, 8:15 a.m. ESPN coverage 2-6:30 p.m.
• Round Two: Friday, 8:15 a.m. ESPN coverage 2-6:30 p.m.
• Round Three: Saturday, 9:15 a.m. CBS coverage 2-6:30 p.m.
• Round Four: April 10, 9:15 a.m. CBS coverage 1-6 p.m.
CBS stream

Find a nice spot on the couch, a good pillow for your inevitable mid-afternoon golf snooze. As always, have plenty of food and drink — we’ve earned it.

It’s The Masters, friends, it only happens once a year. Let’s enjoy it while we can.

Follow @dannyapayne on Twitter for Masters fun all weekend.

Facebook Comments