Tour Confidential Daily: Who wins the Masters on Sunday?
Check in each day of this week’s Masters for the unfiltered opinions of our writers and editors as they break down the hottest topic in the tournament, and join the conversation by tweeting us @golf_com.
Hideki Matsuyama shot 65 on Saturday and took a commanding lead at this 85th Masters, now at 11 under overall. He’ll enter Sunday’s final round with a four-shot lead and eyeing his first major title, but will he get it done? Xander Schauffele, Marc Leishman, Justin Rose and Will Zalatoris are all four back, Corey Conners is five back and Jordan Spieth — one of two major champs in the top 10 — is six off the lead. Who wins come Sunday?
Jessica Marksbury, multimedia editor (@Jess_Marksbury): A four-shot lead is a pretty significant advantage, and Hideki has been playing great — all three of his rounds thus far have been under par. But even if he just gets around in even on Sunday, the guys behind him will have to post a seriously good number to beat him. And, okay, he doesn’t have a major on his resume, but it’s not like Hideki is inexperienced. He’s a seasoned player, with five career Tour wins. A major has been a long time coming, and I think Sunday will be his day.
Josh Sens, senior writer (@JoshSens): No disrespect to Hideki, but backing up one red-hot round with another is a long ask, especially on Sunday at Augusta. Xander has had enough brushes with glory to have paid his dues. It just feels like it’s his time.
Dylan Dethier, senior writer (@dylan_dethier): Schauffele (my pre-tournament pick, a rare success!!) gets it done. He’s built for this.
Alan Bastable, executive editor (@alan_bastable): The pessimistic take is that Hideki has yet to prove he can close the deal on a major Sunday. The optimistic take is that neither have four of the five players who are within five shots of his lead. Much, it seems, could depend on the speed of the greens. Matsuyama is a near-peerless ball-striker; his bugaboo, especially under pressure, has been his putter. If the green coats find a way to crisp up the surfaces, Matsuyama’s six- and seven-footers could start to feel like 16- and 17-footers. I’d love to see him do it. If he doesn’t, Xander feels like a real threat. He’s quietly improved as the tournament has progressed: 72-69-68.
Michael Bamberger, senior writer: Hideki can shoot 73 and probably get in a playoff at worse at 10 under. He doesn’t have to do THAT much. If he watches Tiger-on-Sunday tapes tonight and can follow that lead — try not to do too much — he should be fine. He should win.
Zephyr Melton, assistant editor (@zephyrmelton): Alexander Victor Schauffele — it just feels like it’s his time. Schauffele is seemingly always in the mix at majors (he’s got seven top 10s in 14 starts) and this seems like the time he finally gets it done. Yes, Hideki Matsuyama has built a sizable lead, but if he can’t replicate his unreal finish he had today, the door will be open for one of his pursuers to catch him. I think Schauffele is that guy.
Josh Berhow, managing editor (@Josh_Berhow): Jordan Spieth has won here before. He’s finished second here before (twice). And he won last week. Sure, he’s six back, but he’s in the fourth-to-last pairing, where he’s in a perfect spot to get hot and make everyone else get tight. Don’t forget, he shot 64 on Sunday in 2018. You need a little magic to win majors. Jordan has that. And to be clear, I never actually said Jordan is going to win this thing — looking at you, Justin Rose! — but I just wanted you to think about it.
James Colgan, assistant editor (@jamescolgan26): It’s Sunday at the Masters, there will be chaos. There’s a greater chance of Fred Ridley wearing a pink blazer tomorrow than of Hideki taking a stroll down easy street to win. I was struck by Xander’s confidence after the round today — I don’t think the moment is too big for him. If not those two, Rose seems like the logical choice.
Nick Piastowski, senior editor (@nickpia): Spieth. Let’s get crazy. The comeback reaches its zenith. He goes nuclear, shoots nine-under 63 and wins on a 15-footer on the 18th green. Sunday funday. Why not?