Our guide to the seven Australians at the 2014 Masters

Seven Australians are in the field for the 2014 Masters this week, with Adam Scott at short odds to go back-to-back.

It all feels very different this year.

No longer are we forlornly hoping that an Australian would break the curse and win The Masters. No longer are we scared to even see an Australian in contention on Masters Sunday for fear of our hearts being broken.

In fact we’re not only expecting an Australian to get himself in with a chance to win the 2014 Masters, but we believe we’re a half decent chance of winning it again. And for this we have Adam Scott to thank.

For it was Adam Scott who broke the curse, Adam Scott who always seems to get himself in a position to win, and Adam Scott who has installed the confidence not just in Australian golf fans, but in the other six Aussies teeing it up at Augusta National this week.

Let’s not kid ourselves, any golf tournament is a tough one to win, but along with Scotty these guys are chomping at the bit to score a green jacket of their own.

Oliver Goss
Oliver Goss burst on the scene when he won the 2012 WA Open  and has 
earned himself a spot in The Masters field when he finished runner-up to Englishman Matthew Fitzpatrick at last year’s U.S. Amateur.

Goss has already played a few practice rounds at Augusta,including one with Jason Day and one with Adam Scott. Fair playing partners to learn a thing or two about Augusta from. Goss turns 20 on Saturday. If he can make the cut it’d be one of the best birthday presents he’s ever received. A good chance to not only make the cut, but take out the prestigious leading amateur honours.

World Ranking: 963
Masters appearances: n/a
Best Masters finish: n/a
Previous Masters results: n/a

John Senden
Many golfers need a few tries at Augusta to know where to miss how to navigate the awkward breaks on the greens. John Senden is a classic example of this – missing three cuts before posting two solid first up rounds in 2013 to make his first-ever cut and sit just four shots behind the leader going into the weekend.

Senden’s victory at the Valspar Championship earned himself a spot in the Masters field and a huge confidence boost ahead of tackle Augusta again. Senden has the experience to get himself into a decent position this week. A top-25 beckons.

World Ranking: 58
Masters appearances: 4
Best Masters finish: T35 (2013)
Previous Masters results: CUT (2008), CUT (2010), CUT (2012), T35

Steven Bowditch
And speaking of confidence, here is a guy that also has it courtesy of a recent victory. Bowditch secured his first-ever PGA Tour victory two weeks ago and will arrive at Augusta with an extra spring in his step.

By his own admission he doesn’t know a lot about Augusta “…the only time I have played Augusta has been on PlayStation” and it might be too much to ask Bowditch to come off the victory high and expect to master the nuances at The Masters so quickly. Bowditch has a short game made for Augusta, but he quickly needs to correct a leaky driver to play on the weekend.

World Ranking: 134
Masters appearances: 0
Best Masters finish: n/a
Previous Masters results: n/a

Jason Day
Most Australian experts foresee Jason Day winning a green jacket before his career his out, but it may be tough for him to win this year without much golf under his belt.

Day sustained a thumb injury during his dramatic WGC Accenture Match Play win in late February and he has barely played any golf since. Day is a big-time event golfer and he says the thumb is fine but questions must remain over his lack of match practice ahead of Augusta.

World Ranking: 4
Masters appearances: 3
Best Masters finish: T2 (2011)
Previous Masters results: T2 (2011), WD (2012), 3 (2013)

Matt Jones
Jones became the third Australian to make the Masters field courtesy of a PGA Tour victory. Jones holed his chip shot on the first playoff hole against Matt Kucher to win the Houston Open this morning and will arrive in Georgia on a high.

It’s really difficult to tell how Jones will go this week. He’s been playing some good golf without any result but this victory could change everything. Augusta isn’t usually very kind to rookies but if Jones can keep his temper in check and remain patient, his career may just be turning the corner.

World Ranking: 41
Masters appearances: 0
Best Masters finish: n/a
Previous Masters results: n/a

Marc LeishmanLeishman surprised everyone when he shot out of the blocks at last years Masters to lead with Sergio Garcia after the opening round. Most expected the big hitting Victorian to fade out of the tournament as quickly as he appeared but it didn’t happen.

Leishman’s enduring image at the 2013 Masters was his fist pump when Adam Scott drained the birdie putt on the 72nd hole, but he was right in the mix to win himself and only faded over the closing holes. Leishman will have had The Masters as his main focus this year and he is slowly building up some form. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see him featuring over the closing holes on Sunday.

World Ranking: 68
Masters appearances: 2
Best Masters finish: T4 (2013)
Previous Masters results: CUT (2010), T4 (2013)

Adam Scott
Forget all the talk about Scotty’s putting and not being able to close out golf tournaments, he’s striping the ball as usual and overall his putting has been pretty good. If Scott hits the ball as well as he usually does, he only needs to putt ‘ok’ to have a shot at back-to-back Masters victories, something only three players have done before; Tiger Woods, Nick Faldo and jack Nicklaus.

Scott will be thereabouts again on Sunday but a lot of luck is needed to win at Augusta National. Back-to-back? Yes, of course.

World Ranking: 2
Masters appearances: 12
Best Masters finish: 1 (2013)
Previous Masters results: T9 (2002), T23, CUT, T33, T27, T27, T25, CUT, T18, T2, T8, 1

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