W2W4 at the Masters: Sunday predictions

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Defending champion Danny Willett missed the cut at the 81st Masters, but he still has to hang around to help the champion into his green jacket.

So who will that be? We did a quick poll of our ESPN.com scribes here in the media center at Augusta National.

Michael Collins: Sergio Garcia. Instead of getting grief from my friends for not picking them, I'll pick a winning score. Let's play first to 10 under wins and 9 under is in a playoff. Garcia having his ball not roll into the water on the 13th hole on Saturday is an omen of his major curse coming to an end.

Bob Harig: Jordan Spieth. Since his 9 at the 15th hole on Thursday, Spieth is 8 under par and would be tied for the lead if he had even managed a double-bogey on the hole. He has gained nothing but momentum since and runs his record to 2-1-2-1 at Augusta with a win on Sunday.

Kevin Maguire: Rickie Fowler. He didn't play his best golf on Saturday but still hung in there and posted a 1-under-par 71. He has played the 12 par-5 holes through three rounds at 9 under. If he goes 4-for-4 with birdies on the par-5s on Sunday, a green jacket might be awaiting him.

Ian O'Connor: Rickie Fowler. Augusta is all about karma, and Fowler's close relationship with Arnold Palmer has a little bit of a Ben Crenshaw-Harvey Penick feel to it (see: the Masters, Carl Jackson, 1995). Rickie's been playing well. It's his time to join Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day and Dustin Johnson as young gun major winners.

Jason Sobel: Rickie Fowler. I picked him before the tournament started, and I won't abandon him now. Fowler turned what could've been a 76 on Saturday into a 71. He'll now enter the final round just 1 shot back. After a few minor swing fixes, I expect him to post a sub-70 number and still believe he'll pick up his first major title.

Kevin Van Valkenburg: Jordan Spieth. It benefits Spieth to be chasing instead of leading this year. He has nothing to lose, so the narrative about blowing last year's Masters won't even register in his head. He's the best putter and has the best brain for this place. He's going to have a closet full of green jackets before he's done.

Ty Wenger: Jordan Spieth. Let's play "Fun With Hypotheticals." Replace the two quadruple-bogeys Spieth carded in the past two Masters with pars and he would now be in possession of a 2-shot lead, heading into the final round, in search of his third straight Masters. Which, need I remind you, no one has ever done. Oh, and it's only his fourth Masters ever. This course and this golfer are made for each other. He wears a size 44 jacket -- just sayin'.

Will Spieth make Masters history?

Some might say Spieth got his quadruple-bogey out of the way early this year, posting a nine on the par-5 15th hole in Round 1. If he were to go on to win, Spieth would become the first Masters champion to record a triple-bogey or worse in tournament history that dates to 1934.

According to ESPN's research department, since 1983, only Tiger Woods at the 2000 U.S. Open and Keegan Bradley at the 2011 PGA Championship have won a major championship with even a triple-bogey on their scorecard.

Not only that, but no one has rallied from 10 shots back after 18 holes -- Spieth was 10 behind Charley Hoffman after Thursday -- to win a major since the '96 Open Championship. That would be the 1896 Open Championship, and it was done by none other than the venerable Harry Vardon.

Did Sergio Garcia dodge a bullet?

In his Masters career coming into Saturday, Garcia was a combined 38 over par in the third round. On Saturday, he exorcised some of those demons, firing a 2-under-par 70.

Garcia has never shot in the 60s in the third round, and he has done it only once in the fourth round (a 66 in 2004 when he finished T-4, his best Masters result to date). Not only has he played poorly in his third rounds over the years at Augusta National, he has been well north of par much of the time. In the 13 times he has played a third round, Garcia has shot 75 or worse nine times, including an 81 in Round 3 a year ago.

If the Spaniard wants to win his first major championship in 74 starts on Sunday, he'll likely need to get into the 60s to add a green jacket to his wardrobe.

O'Connor: Masters leader Garcia more grown up -- and wiser

Will we get a first-time major winner on Sunday?

The past five major winners (Jimmy Walker/2016 PGA Championship; Henrik Stenson/2016 Open Championship; Dustin Johnson/2016 U.S. Open; Willett/2016 Masters; and Jason Day/2015 PGA Championship) all earned their first Grand Slam victory in those tournaments.

Heading into Masters Sunday, four of the top six golfers on the leaderboard have never won a major, with 54-hole co-leader Justin Rose, as well as Spieth (T-4), having accomplished the feat in their careers.

A couple of other tidbits:

-- If we use history as our guide, only six players have a legitimate chance to win on Sunday. That's because in the past 25 Masters, the eventual champion was inside the top 5 heading into the final round. Not since Nick Faldo in 1989 did the winner come from outside the top 5. And there are only eight golfers within 4 shots of the lead.

-- The 11th hole at Augusta National is typically one of the hardest. On the 505-yard par-4, Spain's Jon Rahm has two birdies there this week, which is even more amazing considering (A) he is a Masters rookie and (B) there have been only nine birdies on that hole through 54 holes.