4. Jason Day vs. Rickie Fowler
Typically roller coasters are saved for amusement parks and carnivals. In the case of Jason Day and Rickie Fowler, their respective golf games have been eerily reminiscent of a wild theme park ride. Both competitors have all the tools necessary to put together a winning weekend, the only question now is, can they get it together in time for the Masters?
For 19 months, from the latter half of 2016 through the entire calendar year of 2017, the seemingly unstoppable Day hit a myriad of walls. From family illnesses, personal injuries and a string of bad luck the Australian went winless for nearly a full year and a half. This past January Day turned his fortunes around with a first place performance at the 2018 Farmers Insurance Open.
Day’s most recent victory wasn’t without its own struggles as it took defeating both Alexander Noren and Ryan Palmer in a sudden death playoff. After Palmer was eliminated after two holes, Noren and Day went on to play four additional holes before the tournament came to a close. With 11 career victories on the PGA Tour, Day’s best performance at Augusta was a second place finish in his Masters debut in 2011.
Along with his runner-up finish, Day has placed third in 2013and tied for tenth in 2016. Apart from his top-ten finishes, Day has fluctuated from 20th through 28th as well as one withdrawal in 2012. Fowler hasn’t fared any better, carding one top-five finish, one missed cut and five other underwhelming weekends at the most prestigious tournament in golf.
It’s officially been over a year since Fowler’s last tour victory. At the Honda Classic in February 2017, the Oklahoma State stand-out ran away with the four-stroke victory (-12) over Morgan Hoffman and Gary Woodland. Since then Fowler has had a few close calls shadowed by four missed cuts.
Despite it being considered an unofficial event, Fowler did find success in late December coming out on top at the Hero World Challenge. With so many ups and downs over the past year, a Sunday showdown advancing around Amen Corner between Day and Fowler could be just what one another need to capture the elusive green jacket.