Masters Predictions 2013: Players Guaranteed to Stay in the Hunt

Chris ImperialeCorrespondent IApril 9, 2013

Graeme McDowell
Graeme McDowellHarry How/Getty Images

The 2013 Masters begins Thursday as the anticipation between both players and fans grow. 

Many are predicting the return of Tiger Woods back to golf immortality with another green jacket this weekend. 

Others see defending champion Bubba Watson or one of the young guns like Rickie Fowler to be a real threat to the leaderboard.

Despite all the discussions about certain star golfers, here are the players that are guaranteed to stay in the hunt through Sunday.


Jason Dufner

 Jason Dufner has become a household name in golf over the last few years.  His quiet personality and skilled play has made him one of the more appreciated guys on tour.

Although he’s gotten off to a slow start in 2013, I definitely see him competing for what would be his first Masters and Major Championship.

Dufner made the cut in all four majors last year, finishing fourth in the U.S. Open and 24th  in the Masters. 

He finished at Augusta National shooting a final-round 75 which equated to +1 for the tournament overall.  Dufner was most likely disappointed with his weekend play as he shot under-par in the first two rounds, putting him in great position for the weekend.

Despite his age, I see the 36-year-old Dufner as being on the cusp of golf greatness.  He is an immense competitor that will look to improve on his eight top-10 finishes in 22 events last season.

If Dufner can be consistent, look for him to be near the top five.


Graeme McDowell

Graeme McDowell is another name people have become very familiar with recently. 

The 2010 U.S. Open Champion is off to a fantastic start thus far in 2013 as he has three top-ten finishes in his last four events.

Despite only being ranked 17th in the Official World Golf Rankings, McDowell had an impressive year in 2012 regarding all of the majors.  Twice he finished in the top-10, along with 11th in the PGA Championship and 12th in the Masters.

Experience goes a long way in Major Championships, and McDowell has shown that he is a force to be reckoned with in all of them.

If he can avoid having one bad round, McDowell will be in contention for his first green jacket.