It’s been five years since Thomas won his first and only major title at the PGA Championship, but the 28-year-old arrives at Augusta in strong form and looks to have a huge chance this week.
Thomas has four top-10 finishes from six strokeplay starts this year and was T3 at the Valspar Championship just over a fortnight ago. He ranks inside the top five in strokes gained: approach-the-green on the PGA Tour this season, which is a big plus at Augusta where iron play is so crucial.
The American has a decent record at the Masters and finished fourth in 2020. He was T21 last year but will almost certainly improve upon that result this time around given his form and ability.
Alongside new full-time caddy Jim ‘Bones’ Mackay, who was on the bag for all three of Phil Mickelson’s Masters wins, he’s got to be considered among the favourites this week and looks to be the best bet to take home Green Jacket.
Lowry comes into the Masters on a run of four straight top-15s in strokeplay events, including a runner-up finish at the Honda Classic at the end of February.
The Irishman broke his major duck at The Open in 2019 and performed well in the biggest events last year, with a T4 at the PGA Championship and a T12 at Royal St George’s.
Lowry also finished a career-best T21 at Augusta last year and will fancy his chances at a course that suits his game better than his previous results suggest.
With an improving record at Augusta and a strong run of form in recent weeks, he’s a great each-way candidate in a tournament that is wide open.
Koepka goes out in the final group at Augusta on Thursday, teeing off alongside Matthew Fitzpatrick and Rory McIlroy at 2:03pm.
It’s safe to say that if any of those players is going to suffer a first-round implosion, it won’t be Koepka, and the late tee time bodes well for his chances of making a fast start.
Four of the last seven first-round leaders at the Masters have teed off after 1pm, including Koepka himself, who carded a 66 to share the lead after a 2pm tee time in 2019.
The American routinely gets up for the big events and is coming into form just at the right time. He ranks inside the top 30 in first-round scoring average on the PGA Tour this season, and was second after the first round at the Waste Management Phoenix Open in February.
TO MISS THE CUT
DeChambeau claims he has ignored medical advice to return to compete at Augusta, and it’s very hard to imagine him being in contention this week given his recent injury problems.
The American withdrew from the Saudi International in February and then missed six weeks with hand and hip injuries. He returned for the WGC Match Play but took just half a point from three matches in that event, and then missed the cut at last week’s Valero Texas Open.
DeChambeau has never missed the cut at the Masters before, but he’s also never finished inside the top 20 and was T46 last year.
He’s clearly nowhere near his best at the moment, so another missed cut looks a very good bet.