The Masters: Expert Picks

Danny Willett of England walks on the 11th hole during the final round of the 2016 Masters Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club on April 10, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia.

Photo Credit: Scott Halleran/Getty Images for Golfweek

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The Experts
Picks Overview
  Brandon Tierney Dave Shedloski Matt Abbatacola Kyle Porter
The Masters
April 6-9, 2017
Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Hideki Matsuyama Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler, Paul Casey
Picks Analysis
The Masters
April 6-9, 2017
Brandon Tierney, Tiki and Tierney Show, CBS Sports Radio
Brandon Tierney, CBS Sports Radio
Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Hideki Matsuyama
While many story lines exist, one under-the-radar nugget permeating the pristine track is whether or not Dustin Johnson could become the first player since Tiger Woods in '05 to win the Masters while carrying the mantle as the world's # 1 ranked player. Watch Johnson on a weekly basis, and it's easy to deduce that his game and mind are fully in sync and that he's poised to shatter that streak. Johnson has always crushed the ball off the tee, but what's really created the space he currently enjoys from the rest of the field should strike fear into everyone as the '17 majors season commences. DJ's learned how to putt, and he fully trusts his wedge game, to the point where he is actively pursuing distances that allow him to play to a certain yardage. Couple that with his ability to obliterate par 5s and right now, Johnson is playing a different game. He remains the odds-on favorite to secure his first green jacket. Jordan Spieth brings an electric putter to the event, and his propensity to nail key birdie putts and sink clutch par putts will continue to serve him well at a venue he flourishes in. A pair of T2s and a win enable Spieth to step to the first tee box on Thursday with a true conviction of how to navigate this unique piece of property. It just seems to fit his mind's eye. I fully expect him to be in the hunt come Sunday's back nine. Hideki Matsuyama has the entire package skill-wise. He’s played well at Augusta previously and is currently  red-hot. With two worldwide wins on his resume already in '17, he enters the field knowing he can score well in this event, with a pair of previous top 10s.
Dave Shedloski CBS Local Sports Golf Digest
Dave Shedloski, CBS Local Sports | Golf Digest
Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson
The weather forecast for Augusta is perpetually damp, which should help the Ulsterman Rory McIlroy complete his career grand slam. He has prospered in soft conditions in his previous four major victories. Dustin Johnson is the hottest player in golf and has been on a roll with three straight wins leading to claiming the world No. 1 ranking. It would seem reasonable that the reigning U.S. Open champion would bring the same high level to the year's first major. Phil Mickelson, the three-time Masters champion, is at that magic age: 46. He hasn't won for more than three years, since he captured the 2013 British Open at Muirfield. A fourth green jacket would be a grand way to break the drought and pass, by a few months, Jack Nicklaus as the oldest winner.
Matt Abbatacola, 670 The Score | CBS Chicago
Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas
No one is playing better right now than Dustin Johnson. And the scary part is he still has room to improve. Will the greens at Augusta get to DJ? I'll still take him as my favorite. You could argue that Jordan Spieth’s collapse last year will take its toll this year. But I think just the opposite will happen. Spieth wants redemption, and he wants it badly. Justin Thomas is a long shot, but I like the way this kid plays. He has three wins in 2017, so why not add a major to the season? He may lack the experience that some critics mention, but that could be an advantage this year. 
Kyle Porter CBS Sports Golf Writer
Kyle Porter, CBS Sports
Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler, Paul Casey
Dustin Johnson is trying to become the first golfer not named Tiger Woods to win four PGA Tour events in a row since the 1950s. He has had a ton of success at this course recently and could not have put more distance between himself and the field over the last two months with wins at the Genesis Open, WGC-Mexico Championship and WGC-Dell Match Play. Rickie Fowler has top-12 finishes in two of the last three years and is coming in off a Honda Classic win, good finish at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and good start at the Houston Open. I still think his major will come at The Open Championship, but I can at least envision him winning this one. Let's talk about Paul Casey because nobody else does. The No. 16 golfer in the world has top 10s in each of the last two Masters and absolutely has the game to get it done. The only concerning thing to me is that he has one PGA Tour win in 2017 starts. But far less talented golfers than Casey have won this event.