After 18 holes, we already know who will win the 2014 Masters

Mike Ehrmann

They've only played 18 holes at Augusta, but with the help of some Masters history and the process of elimination, we can already pick the winner.

The green jacket won't be awarded until Sunday, but we don't need to wait that long to figure out who will claim it. Even with 54 holes to play, we can use Masters history, recent trends and the process of elimination to narrow the field down to one. A lot of things have happened over the years at Augusta National and while there are firsts and rarities, things ultimately tend to repeat themselves. So let's use that information to start cutting down the field.

No players withdrew following the first round and the cut won't be made until after the second round, so right now we are still left with the full field of 97 players.

Players remaining

Bill Haas

Matteo Manassero

Russell Henley

Sergio Garcia

Martin Kaymer

Dustin Johnson

Jason Dufner

Louis Oosthuizen

Rory McIlroy

Thongchai Jaidee

Matt Jones

Chris Kirk

Ryan Moore

Chang-Woo Lee

Adam Scott

Francesco Molinari

Matt Kuchar

Hunter Mahan

Joost Luiten

Ian Woosnam

Hideki Matsuyama

Bubba Watson

Jordan Spieth

Patrick Reed

Larry Mize

Mark O'Meara

Y.E. Yang

Jordan Niebrugge

Jonas Blixt

Sang-Moon Bae

Charl Schwartzel

Jose Maria Olazabal

Vijay Singh

Angel Cabrera

Craig Stadler

K.J. Choi

Bernhard Langer

Henrik Stenson

Thorbjorn Olesen

Scott Stallings

Peter Hanson

Ben Crenshaw

Marc Leishman

Graeme McDowell

Boo Weekley

Webb Simpson

Derek Ernst

Zach Johnson

Branden Grace

Brandt Snedeker

John Senden

Mike Weir

Keegan Bradley

Matthew Fitzpatrick

David Lynn

Kevin Stadler

Kevin Streelman

Lee Westwood

Jason Day

Oliver Goss

Michael McCoy

Jimmy Walker

Steve Stricker

Steven Bowditch

Ken Duke

Sandy Lyle

D.A. Points

Gary Woodland

Nick Watney

Darren Clarke

Ernie Els

Phil Mickelson

Tom Watson

Fred Couples

Thomas Bjorn

Brandon de Jonge

Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano

Garrick Porteous

Tim Clark

Rickie Fowler

Roberto Castro

Victor Dubuisson

Lucas Glover

Ian Poulter

Luke Donald

Stephen Gallacher

Stewart Cink

Harris English

Billy Horschel

Justin Rose

Trevor Immelman

Miguel Angel Jimenez

Jamie Donaldson

Jim Furyk

John Huh

Matt Every

Graham DeLaet

We can eliminate nearly half the field right off the bat because in the 77-year history of the Masters, only one player has shot a 75 or worse in the first round and gone on to win. Assuming no one pulls a Craig Stadler circa 1982, we are probably safe to cut the bottom 45 players on the leaderboard. That means goodbye to Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose, Keegan Bradley, Zach Johnson, Dustin Johnson, Jason Dufner and others.

Players remaining

Bill Haas

Matteo Manassero

Russell Henley

Sergio Garcia

Louis Oosthuizen

Rory McIlroy

Thongchai Jaidee

Matt Jones

Adam Scott

Francesco Molinari

Matt Kuchar

Hunter Mahan

Bubba Watson

Jordan Spieth

Patrick Reed

Larry Mize

Jonas Blixt

Sang-Moon Bae

Charl Schwartzel

Jose Maria Olazabal

K.J. Choi

Bernhard Langer

Henrik Stenson

Thorbjorn Olesen

Marc Leishman

Graeme McDowell

Boo Weekley

Webb Simpson

Brandt Snedeker

John Senden

Mike Weir

Kevin Stadler

Kevin Streelman

Lee Westwood

Jimmy Walker

Steve Stricker

Steven Bowditch

Gary Woodland

Nick Watney

Darren Clarke

Fred Couples

Thomas Bjorn

Brandon de Jonge

Rickie Fowler

Roberto Castro

Victor Dubuisson

Stephen Gallacher

Stewart Cink

Harris English

Miguel Angel Jimenez

Jamie Donaldson

Jim Furyk

That leaves us with 52 players, but we can drop a few more based on their first-round scores. No player in the history of the Masters has ever won after being lower than a tie for 33rd following the first round. That means the likes of Jim Furyk, Webb Simpson, Sergio Garcia and Hunter Mahan are out.

Players remaining

Bill Haas

Matteo Manassero

Russell Henley

Louis Oosthuizen

Rory McIlroy

Thongchai Jaidee

Adam Scott

Francesco Molinari

Matt Kuchar

Bubba Watson

Jordan Spieth

Patrick Reed

Jonas Blixt

Sang-Moon Bae

Charl Schwartzel

K.J. Choi

Bernhard Langer

Henrik Stenson

Marc Leishman

Graeme McDowell

Boo Weekley

Brandt Snedeker

John Senden

Mike Weir

Kevin Stadler

Kevin Streelman

Lee Westwood

Jimmy Walker

Steve Stricker

Gary Woodland

Nick Watney

Fred Couples

Thomas Bjorn

Rickie Fowler

Roberto Castro

Stephen Gallacher

Stewart Cink

Miguel Angel Jimenez

Jamie Donaldson

Now down to 39, we can trim a few more players thanks to an over par score. Seven players have been over par after 18 holes and gone on to win, but only one — Tiger Woods in 2005 — has pulled off that feat in the last 15 years. For this purpose, were going to assume that trend stays true. Sorry, Matt Kuchar, Lee Westwood and Charl Schwartzel.

Players remaining

Bill Haas

Matteo Manassero

Louis Oosthuizen

Rory McIlroy

Adam Scott

Francesco Molinari

Bubba Watson

Jordan Spieth

Jonas Blixt

Sang-Moon Bae

K.J. Choi

Bernhard Langer

Marc Leishman

Graeme McDowell

Brandt Snedeker

John Senden

Kevin Stadler

Kevin Streelman

Jimmy Walker

Steve Stricker

Gary Woodland

Nick Watney

Fred Couples

Rickie Fowler

Stephen Gallacher

Miguel Angel Jimenez

Just like that, we're down to 26 contenders. Of those, six are 40 years or older, which is bad news for their chances. Six players have won a green jacket after turning 40, but none have done so in the last 15 years. Mark O'Meara was the last to do it when he won in 1998. Experience can be a virtue, but not at Augusta. See ya, Fred Couples, Steve Stricker and others.

Players remaining

Bill Haas

Rickie Fowler

Louis Oosthuizen

Stephen Gallacher

Adam Scott

Matteo Manassero

Bubba Watson

Rory McIlroy

Jonas Blixt

Francesco Molinari

Marc Leishman

Jordan Spieth

Brandt Snedeker

Sang-Moon Bae

Kevin Stadler

Graeme McDowell

Jimmy Walker

Kevin Streelman

Gary Woodland

Nick Watney

Youth hasn't exactly fared well either, with only three players winning the Masters before their 25th birthday. Maybe in a few years, Rory McIlroy, Matteo Manassero and Jordan Spieth.

Players remaining

Bill Haas

Gary Woodland

Louis Oosthuizen

Rickie Fowler

Adam Scott

Stephen Gallacher

Bubba Watson

Francesco Molinari

Jonas Blixt

Sang-Moon Bae

Marc Leishman

Graeme McDowell

Brandt Snedeker

Kevin Streelman

Kevin Stadler

Nick Watney

Jimmy Walker

That leaves us with just 17 players remaining. Augusta isn't kind to first-timers with just three players with only Fuzzy Zoeller, in 1979, taking it in his rookie appearance. That eliminates Jonas Blixt, Kevin Stadler, Jimmy Walker and Stephen Gallacher.

Players remaining

Bill Haas

Rickie Fowler

Louis Oosthuizen

Francesco Molinari

Adam Scott

Sang-Moon Bae

Bubba Watson

Graeme McDowell

Marc Leishman

Kevin Streelman

Brandt Snedeker

Nick Watney

Gary Woodland

In the last 20 years, only Tiger Woods in 1997 won the Masters after either missing the cut, or not appearing in the event the year before. That doesn't bode well for Louis Oosthuizen, Gary Woodland, Francesco Molinari, Sang-Moon Bae, Graeme McDowell and Kevin Streelman.

Players remaining

Bill Haas

Adam Scott

Bubba Watson

Marc Leishman

Brandt Snedeker

Rickie Fowler

Nick Watney

And then there were seven. Previous success has played a role at the Masters, with just one of the last 15 winners taking home the green jacket despite never logging a top 25 finish at Augusta before. That eliminates Rickie Fowler.

Players remaining

Bill Haas

Adam Scott

Bubba Watson

Marc Leishman

Brandt Snedeker

Nick Watney

Only twice in the last 20 years has a player been in first or second place following the first round and gone on to win. So while Adam Scott, Bill Haas and Bubba Watson are off to great starts, it doesn't bode well.

Players remaining

Marc Leishman

Brandt Snedeker

Nick Watney

And then there were three. In the 77-year history of the Masters, no player named Brandt has ever won a green jacket. The same can be said for golfers named Marc. Sorry Brandt Snedeker and Marc Leishman, blame your parents.

Players remaining

Nick Watney

And there you have it, highly sophisticated science tells us Nick Watney will be your 2014 Masters champion. Seems legit. No pressure, Nick.

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