With Masters Win, Is Jordan Spieth the Best U.S. Golfer?

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One of the more interesting and newer debates in golf just to add to the long list of arguments has been “Who is the best American golfer right now?”. Now, we clearly already know who the best European player is and that would obviously be Rory Mcilroy.

 

But for at least the past year or two, the big question was always “Who’s the best American golfer?”. After winning two Masters tournaments in three years, there was talks of Bubba Watson being that guy to rep the “Red, White and Blue” but inconsistency hasn’t been too kind to the long hitter.

 

So how about the dude who just won the Masters? Is Jordan Spieth the best American golfer on Tour right now?

 

Now, some of you might say “DUH! Of course he is! He’s the number two ranked player in the world!” and that he is. However, it’s still fun to debate and I think consistency plays a big role in this argument.

 

Jordan has been very consistent the last couple of years and it’s great to see a young player like that grab his first major. That said, there have still been some others who have also been quite consistent as well, the only difference is that Jordan has a major now.

 

Matt Kuchar, Patrick Reed, Jimmy Walker and Dustin Johnson have played very well. Specifically Walker and Johnson who seem like they’re towards the top of the leaderboard each week.

 

J.B. Holmes has even come out and looked like his old self on the course which is always nice to see. He’s put together a nice season so far and is now in the top 12 in the World Golf Rankings.

 

With all this said, I still think Jordan is the best American golfer. He’s a unique one as well, using recovery and streaky putting skills to win tournaments.

 

He’s also an excellent closer. Like, he’s a guy I would have out there on the 18th hole to close things out if the Ryder Cup or President’s Cup allowed last-minute substitutions.

 

These are things that make great golfers what they are. If you can sink putts even under the heat of battle, close things out in the final few holes, and get yourself out of trouble in key moments, then you’re a truly great player.

 

It’s not always about bombing it off the tee and Jordan showed us this time and time again. He’s currently the best American golfer on Tour.

 

HOWEVER, this could change quickly if guys like Jimmy Walker or Dustin Johnson win a major this year. The Players Championship, as amazing as a tournament it is and as terrific a course TPC Sawgrass is, doesn’t really count.

 

If guys like Jimmy or DJ win at Sawgrass, then I still think Jordan would be the best American. But those two guys specifically are the closest ones right now to being as good or topping Jordan.

 

And I’m someone who really thinks The Players Championship should be a major.

 

Bubba, as nice of a Masters run he’s had, still just isn’t up to par with the likes of Jordan, Jimmy or DJ, at least THIS year. As good as Patrick Reed has been playing, I’d still take Jimmy and DJ over him any day of the week and that’s not a knock on Patrick, it’s just that Jimmy and DJ are just that good.

 

Sure, Jimmy was quiet in the Masters but you’d be surprised how things can change once the next majors come around. You’ll look at the leaderboard for the U.S. Open and be like “Huh? I don’t remember seeing him at the Masters!”.

 

Plus, Jimmy seems like he enjoys playing on links courses and the U.S. Open as you know will be at the beautiful Chambers Bay (Yes, there is a tree on it called “Lone Fir”, yes, so much “FIR”!). DJ also plays well on these types of courses it seems, like he did at Whistling Straits in the 2010 PGA Championship.

 

He ultimately got disqualified however after the infamous “lies rule” controversy where he hit a shot that he wasn’t supposed to hit. With the PGA Championship back at Whistling Straits yet again, he will definitely look to get revenge on the Pete Dye designed layout.

 

So the best American conversation can really change in a hurry if guys like a Dustin Johnson, or a Jimmy Walker, or a Patrick Reed, or a Bubba Watson win either one of the next three majors this year. The chances of that? Extremely high, especially how well these guys have played.

 

Bubba just needs to be more consistent and put emotions aside. If he does that, he’s one of the most dangerous players in the world, and one of the most exciting.

 

Now, if Jordan wins another major this year, then the title of “Best American Golfer” will remain his for at least a couple more years. Not only that, he’ll be a threat to Rory’s top spot if he does so which can lead to some unbelievable golf down the road.

 

So, at the moment, Jordan Spieth is the “Golf King of America” but it will be so exciting to see how he and the others do at tournaments like The Players, U.S. Open, etc.

 

Here are the current top five American golfers according to the Official World Golf Rankings:

1. Jordan Spieth

2. Bubba Watson

3. Dustin Johnson

4. Jim Furyk

5. Jimmy Walker

Oh, and just for good measure, there are 12 Americans in the top 20. That’s over 50% of the top 20.

 

Sorry Tiger, Phil and Ernie fans but if you don’t love seeing what’s going on in golf right now, then I’ll give you the phone number to the nearest doctor’s office. The golf doctor would like to have a talk with you!

 

Follow me on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio because I’m weird and like golf and video games and stuff!


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Matt Kuchar nails chip-in on 13, Ben Crane chunks on 12

OK, this is good example of two instructional videos of what and what not to do in the biggest golf tournament of your life. In the first video, we’ll see Matt Kuchar nail a chip shot on Augusta National’s toughest strategic hole, the famed and gorgeous 13th.

Here’s the video of “Kuch’s” beautiful chip in:

Very nice right? Well, Ben Crane, who’s always a fan favorite like Matt is, hit probably the worst shot you’ll ever see at the Masters. What hole did he do it on?

Well, only like, the most famous hole on the course and one of, if not, arguably the most famous hole on the planet. Yup, number 12 AKA “Golden Bell”.

Check out the unfortunate shot by our buddy Benny below:

Both of these golfers are wonderful gentlemen. It’s one of those cringing type of moments seeing a likable guy like Ben hit a nasty shot like that.

Let alone doing on one of the most watched holes on the course. Maybe the stunning beauty blinded his eyes?

It’s pretty easy to do when you see hole 12. It’s like when you’re talking just fine and all of sudden you see a gorgeous girl and become speechless. Unless you’re one of those creeps who are a little “too confident”.

Anyway, these are some great video examples of what and what to NOT do at the Masters!

Let’s see what the weekend brings us shall we? Welcome to Augusta!

Be sure to follow my weirdness on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio!


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WATCH: Tiger calls himself a “dumbass” after bad tee shot

Oh, I think we’ve all been there Mr. Woods. Tiger Woods hit a tee shot at the Masters that went way right on Augusta National’s enticing 15th hole, “Firethorn”.

Tiger has always been known for barking at himself after bad shots, and this was no exception. Only difference is that it’s at the biggest golf tournament of the year.

Check out the Vine below!

While Tiger and Rory are both off to kinda slow starts, Jordan Spieth played like a man on fire, finishing the Thursday round with an impressive -8 and a three stroke lead. Ernie Els (YES, that Ernie Els!) and Charley Hoffman also turned in some good scorecards, with both finishing -5.

Jason Day, who’s come so close to winning a major several times, is also -5 along with 2013 U.S. Open champion Justin Rose.

My pick, Jimmy Walker is +1 so far. *Sigh*. Hey, I’m sure you’ve been there too!

Be sure to follow me on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio!

Source: SB Nation


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Masters Preview: Players to look out for, who will rock green?

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Well, golf’s Spring time tradition is once again upon us as it should be another exciting Masters tournament. With probably one of the deepest fields we’ll ever see at the Masters, who will take home the Green Jacket?

 

This year’s Masters is full of stories to keep up with. This is one of those years where almost anyone can come out victorious.

 

Here are some key players to watch for (And no, I am not a fantasy golf expert. Sorry if I lose you any cash. Also, keep in mind that this list is NOT in order).

 

Tiger Woods – is back and from what I’ve heard, has had a couple of solid practice rounds. In order for Tiger to have a good shot this year, he’ll have to make sure his sort game is at its best.

 

Although Augusta National is known as a course for the power hitters, it’s an under rated track for the short game players.Tiger needs to have his short game going, especially on Amen Corner where the 11th hole usually has some tough green speeds and hole 12 where a lot of times, you might miss the green.

 

Have a solid short game and you can get out of hole 12 with a par. This will be one the most interesting Masters Tiger will have played in a looong time.

 

Bubba Watson – comes in as the defending Masters champion and winning two out of the last three. He’s quickly started to make a name for himself as a Masters legend and if he could repeat as champion, that would make three Masters victories in four years.

 

Although he was just voted as the most disliked player on Tour by his peers, Bubba looks to gain some more fans by once again dominating Augusta.

 

Key thing for Bubba is that he needs to make his putts. He’s proven that he can bomb it off the tee and get out of even Augusta National’s toughest lies, but can he handle the greens?

 

He should play pretty well if he can get GURs (Greens Under Regulation) on Augusta’s par 5s. Otherwise, he may have to pull some magic with the flatstick.

 

Jordan Spieth – looks to seek revenge as it looked like the Green Jacket was his until Bubba defeated him and showed why he won the Masters two years prior. Like Bubba, Jordan has proven he has terrific recovery ability, especially around the greens.

 

Another thing about Jordan is that he tends to sink putts at the right time. It didn’t pan out well for him last year at Augusta but Amen Corner can attack anyone on any given Sunday.

 

If he can get hot at the right time, which he does oh so often, he has an excellent shot to wear green this year. He’s also terrific even out of Augusta’s tricky bunkers which could do him well if he gets into trouble.

 

Only player who might be better at bunker recovery is Matt Kuchar, who’s been the best on the planet at doing so for the last couple of years.

 

Matt Kuchar – Speaking of Matt, I can see him making some noise this year. He was playing well at last year’s Masters but in the end it ended up being a duel between Bubba and Jordan until Bubba finally started to pull away.

 

Matt, to me, is one, if not the most unique “top player” on the PGA Tour. He’s not a guy who’ll overpower a golf course with his driver or split fairways.

 

He’s sneaky. He attacks courses with no real strength. As mentioned, Matt is an outstanding recovery player, especially out of the bunker (He’s no.1 in the world in Sand Save Percentage).

 

Other than that, Matt has nothing that makes himself standout like Phil with his short game, Tiger with his putter or Bubba with the driver. That’s what I love about him.

 

He finds ways to beat you that other players wouldn’t know about. He’s a classic course management type of golfer and that’s going to do him extremely well at Augusta where the course design challenges your mind arguably better than any other course in the world.

 

A classic strategic golfer who’s also really good with the putter as well. He’s 17th in the world in Strokes Gained.

 

With the unique combination of course strategy, bunker recovery and putting, Matt could be a serious threat at this year’s Masters. Only thing missing is if he had just enough power to get by.

 

He’s 147th in the world in driving distance. If he was at least in the top 100, he would have probably been my lock to win it this year.

 

Rory Mcilroy – Ahh, yes, the world’s number one player hailing from Holywood, Ireland. Many wonder if the ghost of Augusta past is behind him and if he could get the career grand slam.

 

What better place to get the career grand slam then at Augusta National? This is going to be a major test for Rory and he needs to be ready if he wants to make it happen.

 

See, he could’ve already had the career slam had he not collapsed at Augusta a few years ago. With his Open Championship win last year, we could have already been talking about his career slam and his booked ticket to the hall of fame but his famous collapse may haunt him.

 

What Rory needs to do is get his mind ready. He already has the talent to overpower Augusta and is good at well, pretty much everything else.

 

It’s just a mental thing for Rory. If he can handle Augusta’s course design and all of its tricks, Rory may have a great shot at completing the career slam.

 

Dustin Johnson – Like several players this year, DJ’s been on fire ever since returning from his recovery of “cccrrraacckk” addiction. He already won once again and could’ve easily won a couple of times if he didn’t lose in the playoff at Riviera.

 

Dustin’s back and better than ever. Plus, he’s obviously got the power to conquer Augusta.

 

He doesn’t have the recovery skills like his power counterpart Bubba Watson, but he splits fairways. He’s also quite consistent which is crucial to winning a major.

 

The thing is with Dustin, like Rory, his famous penalty at the PGA Championship a few years ago may haunt him. Although that was the PGA and this is the Masters, as good as DJ’s been since coming on Tour, many wonder if he’ll ever win the “big one”.

 

Probably playing some of the best golf of his career, this is the perfect time for Dustin to get hot. If he drives well and putts well, he’ll be towards the top of the leaderboard.

 

J.B. Holmes – Who?! Remember J.B.? He was quite a popular player some years ago. I laugh when I sometimes hear that J.B. is this “no name player”.

 

J.B. was pretty darn popular a good five or six years ago. He was the true Bubba Watson before Bubba became this mainstream success (While Bubba still had a clothing line at Steve & Barry’s. Oh how I miss you S & B!). He was the guy who had this unbelievable amount of power off the tee.

 

He’s been having a remarkable comeback season after having not one, but two heart surgeries. It would be a truly amazing story if J.B. were to walk out of Augusta with a win.

 

He has the skill to do it too. He’s still a major threat off the tee but he also has developed impressive touch around the greens, something that wasn’t a strong suit in the past.

 

The 12th ranked player in the world needs to rely on both his driver and his putter (AKA the “Two most important clubs in the bag”) if he wants a shot on the weekend. His recovery skills is good enough to get him out of tough situations so there’s not much worry there.

 

It’s all a matter of being consistent off the tee and around the greens for J.B.

 

 

Brooks Koepka – Brooks has honestly started to become one of my favorite players on Tour. He’s powerful off the tee, he’s accurate with his irons and doesn’t let pressure faze him.

 

The Waste Management Phoneix Open champion is on his way to possibly winning Rookie of the Year. This after he had just won Rookie of the Year on the European Tour.

 

Huh?! An American winning European Tour Rookie of the Year? Yessir, and it was the second time in a row and only the second time ever an American has done so (Peter Uihlein was the other player).

 

So, he’d become the first American player ever to win European Tour and PGA Tour Rookie of the Year if he can do it. He has proven that he can win, but can he tackle Augusta?

 

I really doubt he’ll even have a shot, but it’ll be so fun to see how he performs. Augusta is a course that’s perfect for Brooks to play well on.

 

In the end, the pressure of Green Jackets, pretty flowers, and towering pine trees will spin around his head, causing him to fall to the ground in a daze.

 

Then we’ll probably see floating flowers around his head. But it’ll be a treat to see him play hole 13.

 

Jimmy Walker – This man right here is on a mission. He’s by far the hottest golfer on the planet right now.

 

He already has two wins and the season hasn’t even fully started to take shape yet. Heck, he would’ve had three wins is he didn’t lose the Hyundai Tournament of Champions to Patrick Reed in a playoff.

 

It’s hard to stop a man that’s on a golf course rampage like J-Walk is. At this rate, I doubt Augusta even fazes the guy.

 

Plus, he’s extremely dangerous. He’s one of the few all-around players on Tour and could give guys like Rory or Tiger and run for their money.

 

He can crush the ball a long way, he’s accurate with his irons and he’s a monster on the greens. He’s the third best putter in the entire world.

 

His only weakness is his driving accuracy as he ranks 176th in the world in that category. He’s hit 303 out 563 fairways this year.

 

His recovery however, is just good enough to save him from those crooked drives. He’s ranks 84th in scrambling.

 

The key for Jimmy is staying in the fairway. If he’s hitting straight drives, then the Masters could be over in a hurry.

 

He’s just that good right now. I think he’s hungry for that major win and there’s arguably no major better to win than the Masters.

 

The pick to rock green – Although all of the players mentioned are great players and I know I left out some guys, but only one can win the Masters. I’m going with Jimmy Walker.

 

He’s just too consistent, too much all-around talent and doesn’t have a target on his back. He’s relaxed with no pressure on him and he can overpower Augusta.

 

A Masters win would also, in my opinion solidify him as the best American player on the PGA Tour. Although Bubba Watson has two Masters in three years, Jimmy Walker has been very consistent.

 

It’s a major championship missing that’s stopping him from reigning supreme as “Golf King of America”. Please give me an American player better than Jimmy Walker if he does win the Masters.

 

Bubba Watson, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed are really the only guys that come to mind. Again, I don’t think he’s THE best American yet but my gosh he’s oh so close.

 

I tell you what, if he doesn’t win the Masters, he’ll definitely win a major this year. He’s just playing too well not to win a major.

 

He and Rory Mcilroy were the only two players las year two win three times. Jimmy is on the prowl again but this time, looking to get that first major title.

 

If he doesn’t win the Masters, he’ll likely be right towards the top of the leaderboard. Again, it’s all a matter of him hitting enough fairways.

 

That’s the huge key for him. If he can do that, then he’ll get his solid approach shots and he will make his putts.

 

Using his power off the tee will play a major factor as well.

 

My close second pick to win it was Jordan Spieth and my 3rd choice was Rory Mcilroy.

 

So, there you have it! Your 2015 GP Golf Report Masters champion is Jimmy Walker!

 

By the way, you’re likely reading this story on Thursday or Friday since I wrote so close to the first round. But, that’s OK! Because everyone knows the weekend is where all the juice starts flowing!

 

Follow me on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio! I’m likely keeping up with the Masters all weekend or tweeting to EA Sports for not having Augusta in their new golf game!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Tiger Woods to Play in Masters Next Week

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Tiga Tiga Woods y'alll

Well how about this? With some of the short game woes that plagued Tiger Woods, he took a little time off to work on his game. 

His plane was spotted at an Augusta airport which left many wondering if he was indeed going to playing the Masters. Turns out, he was there practicing,  playing the full 18 hole course.

Now, after several days of speculation, the Tiger has spoken and will indeed play at next week’s Masters. He missed last year’s Masters and is back at it again.

Here’s the tweet from Tiger that nearly broke Twitter (Sorry, I’m on mobile so I can only take a screenshot. Don’t judge me!):

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And here’s a link to his announcement on his website:

http://www.tigerwoods.com/news/2015/04/03/116152982/tiger-to-play-the-masters-next-week/

So with Tiger in the field, Rory going for the career grand slam, Bubba trying to go back to back and Jimmy Walker and Dustin Johnson playing like men on fire, this is likely going to be one of the greatest Masters we’ll ever see.

As for Tiger, will he blossom amongst the flowers of Augusta? Or will the Green Jacket float away from him, flapping its sleeves yet again?

Buckle up your servers y’all! Whe’really in for a heck of ride!

Follow me on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio! I’m tweeting about golf, Chicago sports or some place called Augusta National!


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