Every year, there is someone who decides that they want to join the big boys on the final day at the Masters. Last year, Rory McIlroy had a pretty tragic collapse, which allowed Charl Schwartzel to take the green jacket. So I’m going to list a few guys that could, like Schwartzel, unexpectedly take home the green jacket.
Bo Van Pelt made a pretty good splash last year at the Masters. He finished eight under par and did not seem to be in awe of Augusta.
Van Pelt has started the 2012 season off pretty well, as evidenced by his statistics. He is leading the tour in strokes gained and birdie conversion. Indeed, he ranks second on the PGA Tour in total putting. Not only is Van Pelt putting really well, he is ranked sixth in total driving and fourth in all round ranking.
If Van Pelt can play a simple game off the tee box and on the fairways, and his putts are on, Van Pelt can make a real push in this year’s Masters.
Bill Haas isn't exactly the kind of player that belongs on my list. This is because my analysis is based on statistics and past performances. Statistically, he has been anything but flashy this year, and he has only played in the Masters' twice, with his best finish in 2010 when finished tied for 26th.
However, I do like the way Haas finished last year. He won the TOUR championship and had seven top-ten finishes. This year, Haas has a couple top-five finishes and a win at the Northern Trust Open where he beat Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley in a playoff. He is not afraid of the spotlight and doesn’t flinch under pressure.
Haas has some momentum heading into the Masters and in golf, momentum can be a huge advantage.
Jim Furyk is going to be the old guy of this group who could surprise people. Furyk has never won the Masters, but has had some success at Augusta, including four top-ten finishes.
Augusta is the type of course that rewards past experience, and Furyk has spent a lot of time on the course, some of which he was in contention.
There are two things that Jim Furyk has to do if he wants to make a real push this weekend. He is currently second on tour in driving accuracy, and that could be vital. Furyk doesn’t drive it long, but if he can keep on the fairways, he could have a chance to score low, early and often.
The other factor is his conditioning. Furyk isn’t ancient. He is actually the same age as Phil Mickelson, but Furyk has a history of fading on the back nine. If Furyk can pace himself to be in contention on Sunday, then he could make his move when it matters.
Geoff Ogilvy is a guy that could surprise people at the Masters. He has seven PGA Tour wins, which is two more than Luke Donald. In the betting world, Donald is selling at plus-1400, while Ogilvy is selling at plus-6000. Donald has never won a major while Ogilvy won the U.S. Open in 2006.
Ogilvy has had some success at Augusta, finishing tied for fourth last year, which is a big factor in my opinion. Ogilvy has started slow this year, but mix his past experience at the Masters and his consistent golf swing, and Ogilvy could win the green jacket.