2017 Masters: Five Past Winners to Keep an Eye On

Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /
1 of 6
Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports /

Danny Willett is the defending champion at this year’s Masters, but he’s not the only former Masters champion in the field. Which under-the-radar names have a chance to make a run at another green jacket?

The Masters is more than just a golf tournament — it’s a fantastic amalgamation of various traditions that make it stand out from the rest. One of these is the tournament’s practice of offering a tee time to all past winners, regardless of age. It’s the only major to do so, and it’s always fun to see a forgotten victor make a surprise run at another green jacket.

There are 18 former Masters winners in this week’s field, ranging from 1987 champ Larry Mize to last year’s green jacket recipient, Danny Willett. Many were qualified regardless of their past exploits at Augusta, but it will still be fun to see some true throwback names like Ian Woosnam and Mike Weir try to make something happen.

Ultimately, it’s fitting that a tournament so steeped in tradition chooses to pay homage to its former winners. Winning the Masters is a life-changing event, and it’s a nice gesture to ensure that the players who have created so many iconic moments over the years will always be welcome.

But which of the 18 past winners are shaping up to be the most intriguing at this year’s Masters? Without further ado, here are five names that you should keep an eye on this week. Some are playing better than others at the moment, but all have the requisite experience at Augusta to claim another green jacket.