The Professional Golf Association (PGA) tour is often all about streaks. When a player can’t seem to get out of the rough or keep his ball in the fairway during one tournament, that poor play often spirals into a three or four tournament stretch where he cannot do anything right. Fortunately for the hot PGA pro, the opposite can also be the case. One good tournament builds confidence, and suddenly that players drivers, irons and putter seem to have laser-guided accuracy. That having been said, there are a few players heading into this year’s Masters at Augusta who are definitely riding a hot hand.
It would be hard to argue against Tiger Woods reclaiming his former glory and capturing green jacket number five. Yes, Woods has not won a PGA Major since the U.S. Open in 2008, but recent play shows that the Tiger Woods of old may be back. Tiger is coming off of two wins in four starts already in this early season, and that certainly bodes well for his chances. He most recently posted a Cadillac Championship victory over Steve Stricker by just two strokes. That was the seventh time Woods has won that particular tournament, duplicating his seventh win in the Farmers Insurance Open earlier this year, which he earned by four strokes over Brandt Snedeker.
Speaking of Snedeker, he definitely has some good momentum on his side even though he has not played in over a month. The 32-year-old Nashville, Tennessee native was without a doubt the hottest player on planet Earth to start 2013 before his injury. In four starts he has corralled a first ,a second, a tie for second and a third already this year. He understands just how a Masters win can dramatically change their lives, and now that Snedeker’s putting skills have caught up to the rest of his game, he is definitely going to be a hot pick at Augusta National.
The above-mentioned Stricker is also striking the ball well, And his semi-retired approach to the game seems to be agreeing with him. In the three tournaments he has entered this year he has three top-five finishes, and is putting the ball just about as well as anyone in the game. So far this year he is second best when putting from 5 to 15 feet, and third on the PGA Tour from 10 to 15 feet. And obviously, no mention of great all-around players is complete without Rory McIlroy. The 23-year-old youngster may seem out of place on this list of currently hot golfers, but after hitting the Blue Monster at Doral, he definitely woke up.
McIlroy went 10 under par over last 27 holes, and that included a 65 on Sunday that saw him fire an eagle and five birdies. The youngster has already won the U.S. Open in 2011 and the PGA Championship in 2012, and it would be wise to take a look at his play in Houston the week before the Masters. Snedeker currently holds the top spot in the FedEx Cup standings, with Tiger Woods in second. Matt Kuchar has already had one win and three top tens so far in 2013, and holds firm at number three. Phil Mickelson has one win and two top tens this year, but has been up and down in 2013. However, ‘Lefty’ has donned the green jacket three times out of the last eight years, and would love to tie Tiger with his fourth Augusta win. All of these players stand a great chance in April, and the Vegas odds on Masters 2013 are sure to see some movement over the next few weeks. Check back frequently for updated odds and tournament info headed into the most important Major of the PGA season.