Why Rickie Fowler is a good bet for The Masters
 Rickie Fowler

Rickie Fowler

We all know there are lies, damned lies and statistics but a chance meeting with Paul McGinley in the Press Building at the Masters had me scurrying for the PGA Tour numbers.

Who, we wondered, could win a windy Masters given that it's a given that Rory McIlroy, Bubba Watson, Jordan Spieth and many other are being tipped to win.

There are many talents required so the 2014 Ryder Cup winning captain ran through them. He has to be able to drive the ball long and straight (Total Driving), hit greens (GIR), hole putts like a demon (Strokes Gained Putting), get up and down when he misses greens in the wind (Scrambling) and simp;y know how to put a score together (Scoring average). 

Picking out the top 20 or so players in the World Rankings with PGA Tour statistics - sorry Danny Willett and Andy Sullivan — and the numbers show that on average, Rickie Fowler (average position across all categories 17.2) has a clear lead over everyone with Phil Mickelson (31.6), Adam Scott (32.6) and Kevin Kisner (34) his nearest rivals. Rory McIlroy (39.4) would be sixth on 2016 form in the US.

Add in a stiff west wind, fast greens and Masters experience and you can draw your own conclusions. Of course, if your Bubba Watson, no rules apply. Good luck with your bets.

Masters form — Breaking down the numbers

PlayerSG PuttingTotal drivingGIRScramblingScoring avgAvg position
Louis Oosthuizen1244340208113105.6
Shane Lowry7116141189104104.2
Branden Grace164110181643197.4
Graeme McDowell1546898333076.6
Brooks Koepka4744571653669.8
Sergio Garcia199485571665
Patrick Reed151467734564.4
Dustin Johnson1975751421164.4
Bubba Watson144251111857.8
Hideki Matsuyama151511461756.8
Jordan Spieth1724164471052.4
Henrik Stenson86561431551
Brandt Snedeker2411168152548.6
Jason Day36565693547.4
Paul Casey5712101102342.4
Rory McIlroy94323333539.4
Justin Rose87133137434.4
Kevin Kisner38926851234
Adam Scott4235777232.6
Phil Mickelson647986131.6
Rickie Fowler2715239317.2