Masters Predictions 2014: Final Day 1 Projections for the Augusta Field

Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IApril 10, 2014

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 08:  Adam Scott of Australia looks over a green during a practice round prior to the start of the 2014 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 8, 2014 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

They say it's not how you start, but how you finish that counts. Nonetheless, the 97 players in this year's 2014 Masters field will be looking for a strong start this week.

The year's first major tournament, the 2014 Masters is set to tee off on Thursday morning and continue through Sunday evening at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga. With weather conditions expected to be near perfect throughout the event, there's a buzz in the air.

Still, it'll be the first Masters since 1994 that won't include Tiger Woods. With the four-time winner set to sit out for the first time in his career following back surgery, defending champion Adam Scott enters as the favorite to claim the green jacket for a second time.

But three-time champion Phil Mickelson and young guns Rory McIlroy and Jason Day are each threats to win as well. 

With Round 1 set to get underway, let's take a look at my Day 1 projections for the entire field at Augusta as well as a breakdown of the tournament favorites.

2014 Masters Day 1 Projections
Pos.PlayerTotalScore
1Dustin Johnson-765
T2Matt Kuchar-666
T2Sergio Garcia-666
T4Adam Scott-567
T4Luke Donald-567
T4K.J. Choi-567
T4Brandt Snedeker-567
T8Jason Day-468
T8Henrik Stenson-468
T8Peter Hanson-468
T8Justin Rose-468
T8Lee Westwood-468
T13Rory McIlroy-369
T13Keegan Bradley-369
T13Zach Johnson-369
T16Phil Mickelson-270
T16Hunter Mahan-270
T16Francesco Molinari-270
T16Jamie Donaldson-270
T16Nick Watney-270
T16Martin Kaymer-270
T16Trevor Immelman-270
T16Angel Cabrera-270
T16Graeme McDowell-270
T16Rickie Fowler-270
T16Harris English-270
T16Bill Haas-270
T16Jordan Spieth-270
T16Ian Poulter-270
T30Steve Stricker-171
T30Louis Oosthuizen-171
T30Marc Leishman-171
T30Hideki Matsuyama-171
T30Webb Simpson-171
T30Charl Schwartzel-171
T30Jimmy Walker-171
T30Jason Dufner-171
T30Patrick Reed-171
T30Jim Furyk-171
T40Billy HorschelE72
T40Matt EveryE72
T40Branden GraceE72
T40John SendenE72
T40Thomas BjornE72
T40Miguel Angel JimenezE72
T40Brendon De JongeE72
T47Stewart Cink+173
T47Vijay Singh+173
T47Boo Weekley+173
T47D.A. Points+173
T47Darren Clarke+173
T47Mike Weir+173
T47Steven Bowditch+173
T54Kevin Streelman+274
T54Fred Couples+274
T54Matt Jones+274
T54Ernie Els+274
T54Ryan Moore+274
T54Gary Woodland+274
T60Thorbjorn Olesen+375
T60Victor Dubuisson+375
T60Lucas Glover+375
T60Bubba Watson+375
T64Yong-Eun Yang+476
T64Tim Clark+476
T64Ben Crenshaw+476
T64Scott Stallings+476
T68Bernhard Langer+577
T68Joost Luiten+577
T68Roberto Castro+577
T68Sandy Lyle+577
T72Matthew Fitzpatrick+678
T72Sang-Moon Bae+678
T72Thongchai Jaidee+678
T72Jonas Blixt +678
T72Matteo Manassero+678
T72Chris Kirk+678
T72Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano+678
T72Mark O'Meara+678
T80Oliver Goss+779
T80Stephen Gallacher+779
T80Derek Ernst+779
T80David Lynn+779
T80Jordan Niebrugge+779
T80Russell Henley+779
T86Michael McCoy+880
T86Ken Duke+880
T86Ian Woosnam+880
T86John Huh+880
T86Chang Woo Lee+880
T86Garrick Porteous+880
T86Jose Maria Olazabal+881
T93Graham Delaet+981
T93Tom Watson+981
T93Kevin Stadler+981
96Craig Stadler+1082
97Larry Mize+1284
Past champions are highlighted.

*Below scores are projections only.

 

Adam Scott (-5)

Up until recently, Scott had struggled at the Masters, going eight years without a single top-10 finish from 2003 through 2010. But after tying for second in 2011 and tying for eighth in 2012, Scott took the final step in 2013, defeating Angel Cabrera in a playoff to secure his first major win.

Therefore, you can expect Scott to be in the mix come Sunday's final round. 

On Thursday, Scott will be grouped with Jason Dufner and Matthew Fitzpatrick and is scheduled to tee off shortly after 10:40 a.m. ET. With excellent conditions on tap for Round 1, expect Scott to work his way up the leaderboard on Day 1. 

The Australian star shot a three-under 69 to begin play in 2013 and has clearly figured out this course over the past three years. 

 

Rory McIlroy (-3)

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 08:  Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland watches a shot during a practice round prior to the start of the 2014 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 8, 2014 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Despite boasting two major titles and seven top-10 finishes at majors since 2009, McIlroy has always struggled to play his best golf at Augusta National, where he's never finished better than 15th. 

McIlroy missed the cut in 2010 and is coming off a 25th-place finish in 2013. Although many consider him a favorite to win his first green jacket, recent history tells a different story. 

McIlroy talked about his struggles at the Masters leading up to this year's tournament, expressing his desire to turn things around, per The Guardian's Ewan Murray:

I'd be disappointed if I ended my career and wasn't able to go up and have breakfast in the champions' locker room. The way I play golf, the way my game is, Augusta does set up well for me. And for me not to have a top-10 coming into my sixth Masters …

The 24-year-old will tee off with Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed on Thursday morning immediately following Scott's group. But even if McIlroy starts fast on Day 1, he'll have to exorcise some serious demons through Sunday in order to achieve his goal.

 

Phil Mickelson (-2)

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 08:  Phil Mickelson of the United States hits a shot during a practice round prior to the start of the 2014 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 8, 2014 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Three-time Masters champion Phil Mickelson loves Augusta National, or at least his game does.

After all, Lefty has a dozen top-10 finishes at this tournament over the past 15 years, including three victories since 2004. However, following a 54th-place finish a year agohis worst since he missed the cut in 1997there's no guarantee the 43-year-old will be in the mix come Sunday. 

Plus, with a strained oblique muscle forcing him to withdraw from the Texas Open last month, it remains to be seen just how healthy Mickelson will be from start to finish this week. 

But with Monday's rain saturating the course, the experienced Mickelson, who will tee off shortly before 2 p.m. ET with Ernie Els and Justin Rose, should turn in a decent first-round score on Thursday. 

 

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