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Masters 2019: McIlroy, Rose, Johnson... Woods? Who will win the unpredictable major?

Masters 2019: McIlroy, Rose, Johnson... Woods? Who will win the unpredictable major?

Logic suggests it should be the easiest to foretell, but of the four majors the Masters is often the most unpredictable.

This is despite it having the smallest field and being played at the same course every year. But heading into the 83rd edition of golf's most glamorous tournament, none of the world's top 11 players have won at the Augusta National.

Indeed, the highest-ranked Masters champion is the 43-year-old Tiger Woods. Currently the world's 12th-ranked golfer, the most recent of his four Augusta titles came 14 years ago.

Remarkably, Bubba Watson and defending champion Patrick Reed are the only other men in the top 20 who own a Green Jacket. Alister MacKenzie's masterpiece is a course that can confound when identifying Masters winners. 

But we still feel compelled to favour the chances of the biggest names. Woods will carry the usual hype and expectation and will exude that familiar and persuasive quiet confidence throughout the build-up. 

There is reason to like his chances of a victory that would reignite the sport like no other. His last major round was a 64 that brought a runner-up finish at the 2018 US PGA Championship.

But those Bellerive heroics were eight months ago. Since then Woods has won his 80th PGA Tour title at the Tour Championship but not done much else, other than beating Rory McIlroy to reach the recent WGC Matchplay quarter-finals.

Woods' putting has been inconsistent and that needs rectifying this week, but he remains a brilliant iron player, which is a key component at a course where simply finding the putting surface is not quite enough.

More often than not the correct portion of a green needs to be located to have a chance with putter in hand.

A common thread through recent champions has been impressive statistics from tee to green. Watson and Adam Scott led this category in strokes gained in their wins in 2012 and 2013 respectively. 

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