It is still the first full week in April, so it is still Masters Week. Today we turn our attention to a little history on the University of Georgia alumni who received and accepted an invitation to play Augusta National in the season’s first major.
Brian Harman. The other lefty from the University of Georgia, Harman had a very illustrious amateur career before leaving his home in Savannah for the Classic City. Since turning pro in 2009, Harman has won 3 times on the PGA Tour including the 2017 Wells Fargo Championship. He’s also #23 in the world golf rankings (OWGR) so he qualified for The Masters via multiple routes. Harman has only played in the Masters once before, 2015, and missed the cut. I like to think he’s a much better golfer these days and I look for him to be around this weekend.
Russell Henley. The Macon native snuck into last year’s Masters field by winning the preceeding Shell Houston Open - literally the last possible way to get an invitation. After that clutch performance, he followed it up with a T11 in Augusta, thus he returns this year (top 15 and ties get a return invitation). Henley has played 4 times in The Masters since turning pro in 2013: he missed the cut his first outing, but now has a 31st place, 21st place, and T11. Henley is a streaky player, and just finished this past week’s Houston Open with 4 straight rounds under par including a final round 65. Combined with the fact he knows the grounds well (visited often as a youngster, played several times on the course as a Bulldog), I see another top 25 finish.
Kevin Kisner. A bit of a late bloomer, Kisner was a teammate of Brian Harman for the 2005 NCAA Championship Georgia Bulldog Men’s Golf team, but did not have much success in the pro ranks until the last 3 years. Growing up (and currently residing) in nearby Aiken, Kisner has put all the pieces together and captured 2 PGA Tour titles while racking up 8 runner-up finishes. He’s played The Masters the last two years, and while he’s made the cut both times, he has yet to break par. That streak ends, and we will hear Jim Nantz and Nick Faldo bandying his name about frequently on Sunday.
Bubba Watson. We’ve given Bubba plenty of free press here at Dawg Sports, and well-deserved, though he will be getting plenty more this week. Not only has he experienced a golf game resurgence, but he’s made news off the course as well. And with two wins in the last 6 weeks, he is one of this week’s favorite from the boys in Vegas. Oh, and he has a pretty good track record around the grounds of Augusta National. He’s played 9 times, only missing the cut last year. Before that, he played in every year from 2008 on other than 2010, never finishing out of the top 50. AND he won twice, in 2012 and 2014. Because, and I’m not speaking out of school here, Bubba’s biggest weakness is his head, I have no idea how to predict his finish. He likes the course, he’s successful here, and he’s found his game. You gotta believe he’ll be challenging the leaderboard from the get go.
So that’s who to root for. Tell us who you think will be the low ‘Dawg in the poll, and then tell us who else should bring their Green Jacket measurements to Augusta.
And as always...
Which Georgia Bulldog will have the best finish at The Masters this year?
This poll is closed