We are less than a month away from the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club, and there's already plenty of storylines leading up to the first major of the season. At this point, who is your pick to win? [Editor's Note: These picks were made on March 12, after the Valspar Championship. Picks will be updated as the tournament gets closer.]
Jeff Ritter, digital development editor, Sports Illustrated Golf Group (@Jeff_Ritter): Dustin Johnson deserves to be the favorite, for both his current form and the fact he's coming off his first two career top-10s in the event. But I locked into Hideki Matsuyama a month ago, and I'm not swaying from it yet. Matsuyama also has a couple of sneaky top 10s in his last two trips to Augusta, and he's of course reached a new level this year. If he putts well, he'll make history as Asia's first Masters champ.
Josh Sens, contributing writer, GOLF (@JoshSens): DJ. Spieth. Matsuyama. Rory. Day. I can't argue with any of them as the top contenders. But to venture a bit farther down the board, I'll go with Jon Rahm, who I say will play in the final group on Sunday with Justin Rose.
Michael Bamberger, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: Sergio. Just when you didn't think it was possible. I've been watching some Ballesteros and Olazabal Augusta highlights recently. There is a Spanish style of golf that is all its own, and Sergio has it in spades, despite the lack of art with the putter. But with his driving game and iron play, coupled with his low expectations, he could surprise himself and the rest of us, too (present company excluded).
Joe Passov, senior editor, GOLF (@joepassov): I've been on the Matsuyama bandwagon since 2014...but DJ is my pick to win. Nothing bothers the guy, he seems to have a new-found maturity and the major monkey is off his back. He really is the best player in the game right now, and his surprising lack of success at Augusta will be forgotten after 2017.