By Paul Myers
The run up to The Masters just gets better and better. The event that doesn’t need any additional excitement keeps getting exactly that, thanks to the impressive play of some of the top golfers in the world. This week it was Jason Day’s turn to position himself as one of the Augusta favorites, thanks to an impressive win at Bay Hill in the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard.
When the golf world arrives in Augusta in early April, Jordan Spieth will be the defending champion – but it will be Jason Day who carries the title of the last man to win a major (the 2015 PGA Championship). Whether his success at the PGA Championship carries over to The Masters is yet to be seen, but this most-recent victory seems to be a great sign that his game is in fine form. Of course, Day has the kind of game that should perform nicely at Augusta, and he has posted solid finishes in the event previously.
Other Contenders Playing Well
While Jason Day was the one to walk away with the title, there were plenty of other players performing nicely at Bay Hill who should be in the conversation when The Masters rolls around. Previous Masters winners Zach Johnson and Adam Scott both played well, with Johnson finishing 5th and Scott coming in 12th. Of course, the 12th place finish was actually a step back for Scott, who had won his previous two events. Other top players who were in excellent form at Bay Hill included Henrik Stenson finishing T3, Hideki Matsuyama finishing T6, and Justin Rose at T9.
Another Impressive Amateur
Last week, it was amateur Lee McCoy who stole the show with his amazing weekend performance – including outplaying the best player in the world, Jordan Spieth, on Sunday. This week didn’t quite have a repeat of that performance, but it did see another great effort from an amateur. This time it was Bryson DeChambeau, one of the top ranked amateur players in the world. DeChambeau finishes T27 for the event, with a six-under-par total score.
Off to Texas
For the players of the PGA Tour, the trip from Florida up to Augusta, Georgia is going to take a two-week detour to Texas. Most of the best players in the world will be gathered in Austin, Texas for the World Golf Championships – Dell Match Play event, which is followed by the Shell Houston Open. Some of the players entered in The Masters will play both events, while some will play only the Dell Match Play before heading off to get ready for the year’s first major championship.