Masters Leaderboard 2013: Projecting Full Top 10 Following Today's Final Round

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistApril 14, 2013

The problem with predictions is that they often go up in smoke. The 2013 Masters is no different.

Augusta is often a fickle beast, and that has clearly been true over the first three rounds. First came the poor weather on Friday. On Saturday, the weather was perfect, but the enormity of the occasion seemed to affect some of those golfers near the top of the leaderboard, opening the door for those who had been back a stroke or two.

If you're going to watch only one round of golf this year, it should be the final 18 holes at Augusta. The fourth and final round will provide viewers with captivating television from start to finish.

Plus, with a lot of players separated at the top by only a few strokes, continued movement is assured in the final round.

Here's a possible leaderboard you could be looking at to end the 2013 Masters.


Leaderboard Projection

1. Brandt Snedeker

Few were as consistent on Saturday as Snedeker. He didn't record anything lower than par and posted three birdies on the back nine.

Snedeker has been like clockwork over the first three rounds, finishing with two-under 70s in the first two and a three-under 69 in the third.

He just needs to stay consistent and avoid any big mistakes. That will be the difference in the final round as Snedeker will conquer his first ever major.


2. Adam Scott

Adam Scott has already felt what it's like to finish as a runner-up at Augusta, so this feeling will be all to familiar for him. Back in 2011, he watched as Charl Schwartzel took home the green jacket.

That one-stroke difference between Scott and Snedeker will prove pivotal. If Scott can get up a stroke early, he could well be on his way to a win. Should he let Snedeker maintain or even increase the gap at all, Scott will be in major trouble.


3. Angel Cabrera

Angel Cabrera has already reached the summit at Augusta, winning the 2009 Masters. He and Tiger Woods are the only golfers left in contention who have won the Masters before. That experience will be a major advantage for him.

However, there's a reason Cabrera has fallen from prominence despite winning two majors. Cabrera was a bit too up and down in the third round, especially on the back nine. In the end, he'll have a hard time overtaking Snedeker and holding off a hard-charging Scott.


4. Matt Kuchar

Matt Kuchar recovered from a poor second round. He really struggled with the weather as the wind gusts wreaked havoc on his shots. As a result, Kuchar posted a score of 75. Luckily, he's done well in the surrounding rounds, putting up a 68 in the first round and a 69 in the third.

Kuchar should be able to continue that strong run into the final round. He's struck the ball very well. His play on the back nine will be the key. Bogeys have been the problem as Kuchar finished up the round, so he needs to avoid giving up careless strokes at such a critical juncture.


5. Tiger Woods

Now for the biggest X-factor remaining. Had it not been for the two-stroke penalty (h/t Rachel Nichols and Steve Almasy of CNN), Woods would be a major threat to win this tournament. Instead, he's stuck four strokes back from the leaders.

Woods' play on the final day of major tournaments is the stuff of legend. With this kind of deficit, the outcome is completely out of Woods' hands. He needs to play a great round and have all the guys around him fall. Woods will make up some ground, but it won't be enough.


6. Jason Day

Jason Day is no stranger to success at Augusta. He finished in a tie with Scott for second back in 2011. Being near the top on the final day is not unknown territory for Day, so he should be able to handle the pressure just fine.

The biggest question is whether his end to the third round will doom his chances of a title. Day recorded bogeys on both the 17th and 18th holes. Making up the two shots will be a difficult task, and Day will fade once again on the later holes.


7. Rickie Fowler

Aside from the second round, Rickie Fowler has been very good at the Masters. Finishing four over on Friday has been a major hindrance for him, but Fowler managed to dig himself out of the hole very well.

If he can play like he did on Thursday and Saturday, Fowler should be able to move up the leaderboard. A win is out of the question, but there's still plenty of motivation to increase his individual purse.


8. Marc Leishman

Marc Leishman has failed to recreate the magic he had in the first round. He shot a six-under 66 on Thursday but followed that up by going one over in the second round and even par in the third.

This is where his lack of experience will kick in. Never before had he found himself atop the leaderboard at such a prestigious tournament with the spotlight shining brightly.

There's no shame for Leishman if he finishes in the top 10. He just might not be satisfied should he fail to make the most of this opportunity.


9. Tim Clark

Few were able to match the Saturday Tim Clark had. He finished the third round at five under to run his total to three under for the tournament. His fantastic third round followed a 76 he posted on Friday.

Clark should be able to stay in the top 10, but he'll likely return to earth a bit. No one can really expect him to post a total like he did on Saturday. A final round near or just under par is in the cards for Clark.


10. Jim Furyk

After what were two very good rounds to open the tournament, Jim Furyk had a hard time on Saturday. He finished the round with a two-over 74 to run his total to two under for the tournament. Losing those two strokes eliminated any chance of Furyk winning a green jacket.

He's done pretty well on the front nine, for the most part, the entire tournament. Furyk just needs to carry that over onto the back nine. His experience will be a huge asset as he tries not to falter too much.


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