This article is part of our Golf Barometer series.
Regardless of your taste buds' affinity for Pimento Cheese or Georgia Peach Ice Cream Sandwiches, golf aficionados everywhere can agree that Masters Week is truly unlike any other tradition in sports. Stepping onto the grounds at Augusta National is a stroll through time as concession prices drop drastically and cell phones disappear, but the level of golf is at its best with the entirety of the Official World Golf Ranking's top-50 in attendance. The par-3 contest has concluded with Matt Wallace taking home the crystal trophy over Sandy Lyle in a playoff, so we'll now take a look at several fantasy trends around the PGA Tour heading into Thursday's first round.
Hoffman's short game was horrendous during a stretch of three consecutive missed cuts from the Genesis Open through the PLAYERS Championship, but he gained a collective 9.3 strokes putting en route to top-20s at the Valero Texas Open and Valspar Championship. Improvements with the flat stick led to runner-up honors at TPC San Antonio last week, though he also gained 9.6 strokes tee-to-green. The 42-year-old is beginning to round into form just in time for the Masters, where he's always a candidate to at least cash a first-round leader bet.
Conners had missed the cut in five of six starts leading up to his win at the Valero Texas Open, but ball striking was never his issue during the recent slump. The last two events that Conners managed to gain strokes putting, he