Masters 2013: Will Justin Rose Finally Capture His First Major?
Let's rattle off a few reasons why Justin Rose might have a chance to capture the 2013 Masters, shall we?
He has seven career top-10 finishes in majors, including two top-10 finishes at Augusta (he placed eighth last year).
He had eight top-10 finishes, including a win at the WGC-Cadillac Championship, on the PGA Tour last year (tied for sixth on tour).
And he has three top-10 finishes in his only three stroke-play PGA Tour events this year, including a second-place finish at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in late March.
On the other hand, Rose has never won at Augusta, nor has he ever won a major. Close, but no cigar. It's the same thing that has plagued Lee Westwood and Luke Donald throughout their careers.
There is no singular thing you must do at Augusta. Rather, you have to do just about everything right. You can occasionally get away with driving the ball off the fairway, but it all depends on which hole you do so and where it lands. There are some spots that are forgiving at Augusta, but not many.
Putting well is obviously one of the keys to winning. Even Bubba Watson—the 2012 champion—putted well at Augusta, despite ranking 158th on tour in 2012 (strokes gained), per PGATour.com.
How will Justin Rose place at the 2013 Masters?
Rose hasn't been a particularly great putter throughout his career, but that hasn't stopped him from notching two top-10 finishes at Augusta. He ranked 128th in putting last year, but still finished eighth at the Masters. He ranks 115th in that category this year.
The 32-year-old putted well at his last tournament, the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He averaged a respectable 28 putts per round (tied for ninth in the tournament), via CBSSports.com. If he keeps that up, he has a much better chance of shocking the world.
Rose does have the best scoring average on tour this season, via PGATour.com. And while driving distance isn't everything at Augusta, he does rank eighth in that category. He also ranks first in sand-save percentage.
Rose is an intriguing name given the way he played last year at the Masters and his most recent play, but—while he should contend down the stretch at Augusta—I ultimately don't believe he'll actually be able to capture his first green jacket. His drop in greens-in-regulation percentage concerns me the most.
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