April 07, 2014
- FedExCup leader Jimmy Walker is making his first Masters start. (Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- In the ramp-up to Thursday's first round of the Masters, various PGATOUR.COM staffers will tackle a question of the day -- and we hope you, our faithful readers, will weigh in with your own responses (after all, you tell us what you think of everything else!).
Monday's question: Which first-time Masters player will fare the best at Augusta National this week?
And the answers are ...
PATRICK REED. He has a little familiarity with the course from playing it in college and he showed at the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship that he can compete with the world's best on a tough track. Those soft hands should work well around Augusta, as well. -- Sean Martin, PGATOUR.COM
JIMMY WALKER. There are four prime candidates among the rookies -- Walker, Patrick Reed, Harris English and Jordan Spieth. I just like Walker's maturity and resiliency -- not to mention., he ranks second in strokes gained putting and first in birdies on TOUR this year. - Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
PATRICK REED. He won't quite become a top-5 player in the world if he were to win, but Reed brings something a lot of first-timers at the Masters don't: Experience. He played the course three times prior to this week, and Augusta National suits his high-draw ball flight. Confidence isn't much of an issue, either. - Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
HARRIS ENGLISH. If you had a factory to build the perfect Masters player, English would be the prototype you'd come up with. He's long, he hits it right to left and he has a fantastic short game. He's even a Georgia guy. - D.J. Piehowski, PGATOUR.COM
GRAHAM DeLAET. He hits it long (sixth on the PGA TOUR in driving distance) and high, and he hits lots of greens (10th in GIR). Plus, he visited the course in March, so he got, as he called it, the "wow" factor out of the way. DeLaet told the Canadian Press, "If I feel like I can hit it as good as I can and have one of those weeks with my putter, I feel like it may be a real special week." -- Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
Now it's your turn. Which first-timer do you like?
Here's the list of Masters rookies: Jonas Blixt, Steven Bowditch, Roberto Castro, Brendon de Jonge, Graham DeLaet, Victor Dubuisson, Harris English, Derek Ernst, Matt Every, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Stephen Gallacher, Oliver Goss, Billy Horschel, Matt Jones, Chris Kirk, Chang-woo Lee, Joost Luiten, Michael McCoy, Jordan Niebrugge, Garrick Porteous, Patrick Reed, Jordan Spieth, Kevin Stadler, Jimmy Walker.