Majors Value Meter: The Masters
Majors Value Meter: The Masters

This article is part of our Majors Value Meter series.

Below are our 2019 Masters rankings. This list is geared toward winner-take-all leagues and leagues that reward the lowest aggregate score, but it can serve other leagues and DFS as well, no matter the nuances. Check the comments section for any updates, including changes to the field.

(a) = Amateur

FAVORITES

1. Dustin Johnson

The missed chance in 2017, when Johnson was playing at perhaps the highest level he's ever been, still haunts. Otherwise, he has finished top-10 at Augusta in three of the last four years.

2. Rory McIlroy

Trying to complete the career grand slam – again. McIlroy has finished top-10 at the Masters the past five years, yet hasn't been able to close the deal. His mind-set seems better this year. Stay tuned.

3. Justin Rose

With five career top-10s, three more top-15s and two more top-25s, Rose has done everything but win at Augusta. Still seems almost unbelievable that it was Sergio Garcia who won the playoff two years ago and not Rose.

4. Rickie Fowler

Fowler is playing perhaps the best golf of his career in 2019, with a win and a second in the past 2-plus months. He was runner-up at Augusta last year, has fourth top-12s at the Masters in the past five years. Ranked in the top-10 in strokes gained: putting.

5. Justin Thomas

We feel there's a bit of a drop-off after the top-4. That said, Thomas has improved in each of his three Masters starts, from 39th in 2016 to 22nd to 17th last year. As you see, he really hasn't come close to contending. Yet.

6. Matt Kuchar

Kuchar for years has been the poster boy of the backdoor top-10, but there's no denying he has four of them at the Masters in the past seven years. He even tied for 28th a year ago when his game was sub-standard. Has missed only one Masters cut – 17 years ago. And of course he has two wins, a runner-up and a T4 so far in 2019.

7. Francesco Molinari

Molinari has extended his great play from last year into 2019, having won at Bay Hill last month. But he's never done much at Augusta, with a best of T19 in 2012. He tied for 20th last year.

8. Paul Casey

Casey is near the top of his game so far in 2019, with a win last month at Innisbrook. He's showing no signs of slowing down at age 41. He strung together three straight top-6s at Augusta from 2015-17 and was T15 last year in an "off-year."

9. Tiger Woods

Even before Woods started missing Masters in 2014, it had been almost a decade since his last win there in 2005. He kept coming close with seven top-6s in that nine-year stretch. Woods tied for 32nd last year.

10. Jon Rahm

Sometimes it's easy to forget that Rahm is still only 24. His record in majors has been mixed, though last year he broke through with fourth-place finishes at both the Masters and PGA. But it's a large leap from fourth to victory, and we're not sure Rahm is ready to bridge that gap.

CONTENDERS

11. Jason Day

With perhaps the top short game in golf, it's almost a surprise Day hasn't won a Masters. But he was runner-up in 2011 and third in 2013, and has never missed a cut (he withdrew in 2012). His long iron play has been spotty all season and remains a concern.

12. Tommy Fleetwood

Fleetwood has played Augusta only twice, missing the cut in 2017 before tying for 17th last year. His elite tee-to-green game should pretty much ensure a top-20 or top-25. The Englishman has a pair of recent top-5s at Bay Hill and Sawgrass, but his putting may prevent a similar finish this week.

13. Hideki Matsuyama

Matsuyama has regained a good chunk of the game that fell apart last year. Even as his game was going south, he finished 19th at the Masters a year ago. He's nowhere close to being back to a top-5 OWGR golfer, when he finished T11-T7-5 from 2015-2017. But he can certainly be in the mix this week. Like Fleetwood, putting will be a problem.

14. Louis Oosthuizen

Oosthuizen has not come close to repeating his playoff loss to Bubba Watson in 2012. But there's no mistaking he knows how to play Augusta, having made five straight cuts with top-20s in three of the past four years. Perhaps more importantly, he's on a roll coming in, with a recent win in South Africa and a runner-up at the Valspar among other top-five finishes.

15. Brooks Koepka

Koepka missed the tournament with his wrist injury a year ago. Before that, he had gotten progressively better, from an impressive debut of 33rd in 2015 to 21st to 11th in his three career visits. His recent play has been spotty.

16. Adam Scott

The 2013 champion and 2011 runner-up has three other top-10s through the years, including a tie for ninth just two years ago. Another top-10 would not be out of the question. Scott has missed only two cuts in 17 visits, lastly in 2009.

17. Marc Leishman

Leishman has been the epitome of hot and cold at the Masters. The big Aussie has registered two top-10s – T4 in 2013 and T9 last year – but also has three missed cuts and a T43. Even though he's never had a result in between, that's where we're pegging Leishman to finish this year.

18. Sergio Garcia

This will be Garcia's 21st Masters! He had been on the cusp of contention only a few times before his surreal win in 2017. We can't envision a second win ever, but Garcia still has one of the premier tee-to-green games in golf.

19. Xander Schauffele

Schauffele has played seven majors and finished in the top-6 in three of them. The Masters isn't one of them, however. He tied for 50th last year in his one trip to Augusta. He's finished top-25 in nine of his past 10 worldwide starts, with two wins.

20. Bryson DeChambeau

The 25-year-old tied for 21st as an amateur in 2016 and for 38th last year. At his best, DeChambeau has the game – and the mind – to tackle Augusta. But of late he has fallen off from his four-wins-in-nine-events run late last year. That was bound to happen, of course, but he doesn't seem ready to win this week.

21. Phil Mickelson

The three-time champion with so many other close calls is back for a 27th Masters. The last three years have not been great – T36-T22-MC. Mickelson has a win and a runner-up so far in 2019, though his results since the Pebble Beach win have been pretty bad.

22. Henrik Stenson

Last year was the Swede's 13th Masters – and by far his best. He tied for fifth. Stenson's game started going sideways earlier this year, but in the past few weeks his elite tee-to-green game has been straightening out.

23. Tony Finau

Finau had a tremendous Masters debut last year when he tied for 10th – and that was after gruesomely dislocating his ankle during the Par 3 Contest. Finau's short game – putting and scrambling – is still a concern this week.

24. Bubba Watson

Watson of course is a two-time champion. But aside from 2012 and '14, he had never come close – until last year, when he tied for fifth. Watson has been up and down in 2019, though he does have two T4s already. ... It goes without saying, his game and Augusta are a perfect match.

25. Ian Poulter

Poulter has had snippets of success through the years at Augusta, with three top-10s in 13 starts, along with only one missed cut. He hasn't managed to break the top-40 in his past two visits, but has been playing well so far in 2019.

MAKING THE CUT

26. Patrick Cantlay

Cantlay has yet to record a top-10 in a major, playing the last five following his extended absence from the game. He missed the cut last year at the Masters (and tied for 47th as an amateur in 2012). He's played only six times in 2019, with a best of T6 in another elite field at the WGC-Mexico.

27. Patrick Reed

Reed had never had a sniff of contention in four visits, missing the cut twice, until winning the green jacket a year ago. His game has been off of late, necessitating a 911 call to David Leadbetter, and Augusta is rarely the place to find it.

28. Brandt Snedeker

Snedeker certainly has had his moments at Augusta, with a tie for third in 2008, two other top-10s and two other top-25s through the years. And while he has shown flashes of success over the past couple of years, including a win at the Wyndham, a top-25 this week would be about as good as could be expected.

29. Rafa Cabrera Bello

The Spaniard has never won on the PGA Tour despite being a member for a few years now. But he's playing well, with six top-25s in nine worldwide starts in 2019. He has played three Masters, with a best of T17 in his 2016 debut.

30. Kevin Kisner

We realize that Kisner is the current flavor of the month after his Match Play win. But he's never done better than T28 in three visits – that's right, only three career Masters at age 35. We all know his putting is elite, but he's ranked a stunning 196th in strokes gained: around the green, and that is problematic at Augusta.

31. Haotong Li

The 23-year-old Chinese star tied for 32nd in his Masters debut a year ago. He has five top-10s on the European Tour in roughly the last half-year, including two runners-up. His best result in the States was a T16 last year at the U.S. Open (unless you want to include what officially goes down as a T9 at last week's Match Play).

32. Jordan Spieth

And now we've come to most vexing moment of the Value Meter. On one hand, we have a golfer who in the past five years has won, finished second twice and third last year. On the other hand, we have a golfer who is no certainty to even finish in the top-125 on the PGA Tour. We rank Spieth this high much more on deference than actual play.

33. Charley Hoffman

This may come back to bite us, but Hoffman is a bit of a Masters specialist. He's never finished worse than T29 in five trips. He tied for 12th last year. His game has certainly slipped at age 42, but Hoffman also has a pair of top-20s in the past 2-plus months, including his last time out at the Valspar.

34. Webb Simpson

Simpson continues to play this season at a high level, even though his putting has fallen off its elite level. That won't help him this week at Augusta, where he's never enjoyed much success. Last year's T20 was his best in seven starts, three of them ending with missed cuts.

35. Cameron Smith

The young Aussie broke into the top-25 in the world for the first time in 2019, thanks to a win at the Australian PGA and a pair of top-10s in the States, including at the WGC-Mexico. Smith also tied for fifth last year in his second visit to Augusta, so we know he can play this track.

36. Matthew Fitzpatrick

Fitzpatrick is now a member of the PGA Tour, albeit a special temporary membership. The Englishman has shown he can master Augusta, tying for seventh in 2016. He hasn't been able to follow it up, however, finishing in the 30s the past two years. He was runner-up last month at Bay Hill, another tough track.

37. Billy Horschel

After coming dangerously close to falling outside the top-100 in the world last year, Horschel has gotten back up to No. 41. But he's never made a big dent in four visits to the Masters, with a best of T17 in 2016 but also a T37 and two missed cuts.

38. Eddie Pepperell

Pepperell is a hard to guy to peg this week. He's been playing great, now inside the top-40 in the world and coming off a tie for third at THE PLAYERS. But he's never played the Masters. He's played the other majors twice each, with a tie for sixth at last year's Open Championship and a T16 at the 2017 U.S. Open.

39. Si Woo Kim

Still only 23, Kim is set for third Masters. He missed the cut in 2017 but tied for 24th last year. He has been putting far better in 2019 than he ever had, and that will go a long way in determining his final standing on the leaderboard.

40. Matt Wallace

Wallace is another Euro who has been climbing the world rankings over the past year. He missed the cut in his first three majors before tying for 19th at the PGA last summer. He had a top-20 at the Honda before tying for sixth at Bay Hill.

41. Lucas Bjerregaard

It would be easy to over-value Bjerregaard after his terrific week at the Match Play. And we might even be doing that by putting him here. The 27-year-old Dane has never played the Masters before – in fact, he's played in only three majors, none since a missed cut at the U.S. Open four years ago – so we'll temper our expectations.

42. Charles Howell III

Just a couple of months shy of turning 40, the Augusta native is back for the first time since 2012, when he tied for 19th. Howell has enjoyed a bit of success at the Masters, with six top-30s in eight visits. Since winning the RSM Classic in the fall, he's followed up with six more six more top-20s.

43. Branden Grace

Grace has missed the cut in half of his six Masters, but he also has a pair of top-25s, including T24 last year. The South African has had one great result in 2019, finishing runner-up to Rickie Fowler at Phoenix, but otherwise has been so-so. He has fallen to No. 43 in the world from a one-time high of 10th.

44. Keegan Bradley

Bradley is back at Augusta after a two-year absence. He has a recent win, is again inside the top-50 in the world and is finally getting some semblance of a game after being derailed by the anchored-putting ban. That said, he never did much at Augusta prior to that, with only one top-25 in five visits.

45. Gary Woodland

This seems way low, right? Well, Woodland has played six Masters, and he's missed the cut in his last three. His best was T24 in 2011. So even though he's ranked 23rd in the world with three top-10s already in 2019, it's hard to envision a high finish.

46. Jimmy Walker

Now 40, Walker has negotiated how to play on Tour with Lyme disease. He's teed it up eight times already in 2019. His results have not been great. however. On the other hand, he's never missed a cut in five Masters, with three top-20 finishes, including T20 last year.

47. Tyrrell Hatton

The Englishman has seen his world ranking slip from 23rd to 37th so far in 2019. Safe to say, he's not been at his best. Hatton missed the Masters cut in 2017 before tying for 44th last year.

48. Kiradech Aphibarnrat

The Thai star certainly has the ability for a much higher finish – after all, he tied for 15th in his Masters debut in 2016. After missing the tournament 2017, Aphibarnrat tied for 44th last year. He tied for third at the WGC-Mexico, but he's also missed the cut in half of his 10 worldwide starts in 2019.

49. J.B. Holmes

Homes has played in only four Masters, and only three of them recently. But one of them was a tie for fourth in 2016. He has the length to compete this week, and won a couple of months back at Riviera.

50. Keith Mitchell

This is the youngster's first major, so this may be aggressive. But it's been a season of firsts for Mitchell. He won for the first time on the PGA Tour at the Honda. And in his first PLAYERS, he tied for 47th.

THE LONG SHOTS

51. Fred Couples
52. Bernhard Langer
53. Thorbjorn Olesen
54. Kevin Na
55. Zach Johnson
56. Charl Schwartzel
57. Emiliano Grillo
58. Martin Kaymer
59. Shane Lowry
60. Justin Harding
61. Kyle Stanley
62. Alex Noren
63. Danny Willett
64. Vijay Singh
65. Stewart Cink
66. Aaron Wise
67. Patton Kizzire
68. Andrew Landry
69. Michael Kim
70. Adam Long
71. Satoshi Kodaira
72. Kevin Tway
73. Shugo Imahira
74. Trevor Immelman
75. Angel Cabrera
76. Larry Mize
77. Viktor Hovland (a)
78. Takumi Kanaya (a)
79. Mike Weir
80. Jovan Rebula (a)
81. Kevin O'Connell (a)
82. Jose Maria Olazabal
83. Alvaro Ortiz (a)
84. Devon Bling (a)
85. Sandy Lyle
86. Ian Woosnam

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Len Hochberg
Hochberg covers golf for RotoWire. A veteran sports journalist, he contributes to Sports on Earth and was an editor and reporter at The Washington Post for many years.
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