2017 Masters: Five Past Winners to Keep an Eye On

Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /

Bubba Watson — 2012, 2014

One of just four players with multiple green jackets in the field this week, Watson definitely has enough experience at Augusta to make a run at a third Masters title. But will those winning memories be enough to overcome his relatively flat form?

Five years ago, Watson hit the shot of his life to escape the woods and set himself up for the winning putt in a sudden death playoff against Louis Oosthuizen. Two years later, he looked unshakeable on Sunday, finishing with an even par back nine to beat a then-20-year-old Jordan Spieth by three. Watson is now 38, and if he’s going to join the pantheon of three-time Masters winners, he’s got to do it soon.

Unfortunately, the 2017 season hasn’t been kind to the Georgia product thus far — he’s yet to find the top 25 in a full-field stroke play event, instead peaking with a tie for ninth in his last start at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. As a result, he’s slipped to the 19th spot in the world ranking, his lowest position in more than three years.

But even so, Watson still has his length — the veteran ranks fourth on the PGA Tour in strokes gained: off-the-tee. As you might expect, the rest of his game has been in the gutter, but perhaps a return to friendlier pastures can revitalize him. He’s struggling, but we know better than to count him out completely.