He won’t be my pick this time, though. I can’t go against history. Only three golfers have repeated as Masters champion: Jack Nicklaus (1965 and ’66), Nick Faldo (’89 and ’90) and Tiger Woods (2001 and ’02). That’s the two best golfers of all-time and Faldo, who’s probably the best from Europe.
All three men went back-to-back in the Masters during dominate periods of their careers. Johnson’s Masters victory was his second in a major championship. He had three top five finishes in majors before winning at Augusta, so maybe that was the start his own dominant run. I’m betting against it.
I’m also fading DeChambeau, though I would love it if he won. He’s a jolt of energy for a sport that can be sleepy. DeChambeau dares to take big chances in a game that harshly punishes risky plays that go wrong. He’s constantly innovating as the rest of the golf world moves incrementally forward.
Last year, DeChambeau shook up the sport with the total transformation of his body and game. He put on 40-plus pounds and started pounded balls as far as he could off the tee. It worked at Winged Foot, where DeChambeau won the U.S. Open in November. It didn’t work at Augusta, where DeChambeau was favored to win but finished 18 shots behind Johnson.
This year, DeChambeau’s changes include a mysterious new club design and a different approach to breathing. The latter was prompted by…