Golf Australia - - MASTERS 2018 -

The World No.1 has been a Masters reg­u­lar since 2009, and has been play­ing the Au­gusta Na­tional course even longer hav­ing grown up down the road in Co­lum­bia, South Carolina.

Ev­ery year he’s among the favourites to win based on the in­cred­i­ble power hit­ting that could po­ten­tially re­duce Au­gusta Na­tional to a drive and pitch lay­out for him. But ev­ery year his form seem­ingly dips a lit­tle when he heads down Mag­no­lia Lane.

Last year, it ap­peared the stars had aligned for John­son as he ar­rived in Au­gusta with three vic­to­ries in the pre­ced­ing six weeks. But he in­fa­mously fell down a small flight of stairs in his Au­gusta rental home and had to with­draw from the tour­na­ment just min­utes be­fore his first round tee time.

But, as was the case last year, he is find­ing form just at the right time. He opened the year with a vic­tory at the Sen­try Tour­na­ment of Cham­pi­ons and, at the time of writ­ing, had two fur­ther top-10 fin­ishes in­clud­ing a run­ner-up plac­ing at Peb­ble Beach.

On cur­rent form he is cer­tainly one of the play­ers to watch at Au­gusta, de­spite his Masters record be­ing less than im­pres­sive for a player of his cal­i­bre. That said, his past two Masters starts have yielded top-10 fin­ishes.

“This year, I feel like I’m com­ing in with a pretty solid game. I feel like ev­ery part of my game is im­prov­ing. I felt like I’ve got a lot of con­fi­dence in ev­ery part of my game right now, es­pe­cially with my wedges,” John­son said. “I think that’s some­thing that’s go­ing to help me around Au­gusta.

WHY HE CAN WIN: John­son’s big-hit­ting game is tai­lor-made for Au­gusta, where there is enough width for him to re­ally at­tack the course from the tee and leave short irons into most greens. But, ul­ti­mately, it will be his much-im­proved wedge play and short game that will win him a green jacket, not his driver.

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