Rookie backed for Masters win

2014-04-07 17:04
Graeme McDowell

Augusta - Former US Open champion Graeme McDowell believes a rookie could burst from the pack and win this week's Masters for the first time since Fuzzy Zoeller's shock victory on his Augusta debut in 1979.

With Tiger Woods absent injured, the tournament is expected to be one of the most open for years and Northern Ireland's McDowell would not be surprised to see some of the game's lesser lights stealing the limelight.

"Some of the rookies today have a great chance," McDowell said in his BBC column.

"I played with Harris English a few weeks ago at Bay Hill. There's a kid making his Augusta debut and if he was on the leader board come the weekend I would not be shocked.

"He's long, hits his irons very high, very cool, and has a good short game and putter.

"You know he's got the tools to win around Augusta. These young players are just so well equipped nowadays.

"They are better athletes and they're fearless. They're growing up in an era where they've watched Tiger Woods do things with a golf ball that seemed impossible."

First-timer Zoeller famously won the 1979 Masters but it has not happened since at a tournament which usually ends with a big-name champion.

"The belief level globally now for a young professional is so much better than it used to be," McDowell said.

"The Zoeller-type first-time, rookie champion could happen in any of the majors now - this one included.

"It could be an amazing week for the game, with one of the new breed making a name for himself and coming out of the shadow of Tiger.

"He has taken the game to new heights but with him absent there's a real chance for someone else to take the headlines."

Read more on:    pga tour  |  us masters  |  graeme mcdowell  |  golf

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk


Which of the FIVE South Africans competing at this year's Masters has the best chance of winning?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.