Why not? This is usually the post every year where I condemn Retief Goosen to rounds of 73-72-70-74, but I am letting the Goose off the hook this time. Seriously, how did he never win the Masters? But, I’m thinking the window is closed. I need some new blood. I can’t take Phil, it’s too obvious. I’d like to take Watney, but he shot approximately my waistline (not 34) on the front and back nine of the PGA Championship on Sunday last year. I’d show up at church buck naked before I picked a European, so I’m going to take Bubba. Hits it a mile, can move it both ways, won earlier this year, what else do you need?
Player Most Likely to Shoot 80-something: Mike Weir. Sorry, Canada. The Little Lefty is in total disarray. Poor Weirsy. Honorable Mention: Ben Crenshaw on Friday.
Low Forgotten Phenom: Sergio over Adam Scott. Do you want to roll into Augusta with a broomstick putter? Didn’t think so. Sergio’s hitting it better, almost appears to be trying again. He top 20s, while Scott struggles.
Low “That Guy”: K.J. Choi over Mike Angel Jimenez. No one can linger on a leaderboard like these two guys, but Augusta is K.J.’s turf. I almost think he could win, but no chance.
Low Short Hitter: Luke Donald over Tim Clark. Clark has been carrying the bunter’s flag for a while at Augusta, but he’s been on the shelf for a good part of this year. Donald has a legit chance if he can just be short, and not short and crooked.
Low Overrated Fan Favorite: Dustin Johnson over Rory McIlroy. There are two gushing, love letter style articles about Dustin Johnson in the latest SI and Golf World. For someone that’s won 4 times (once against a great field), it turned my stomach. Guys that win only when they get hot with the putter don’t have a great track record here. Of course, Rory can’t putt either.
Low Former Amateur Champion: Matt Kuchar over Ricky Barnes and Ryan Moore. Ricky Barnes is making a habit of popping up in Majors. He has 0 wins, however. Moore plays well here, but also rarely puts 4 rounds together. Matt Kuchar has been the most consistent American player for over a year now and could sneak up on some people this week.
Low South African: Charl Schwartzel over Els, Goosen, Oosthuizen, etc. Ernie probably has 5 more good chances, but he’s not on good enough form this year. Schwartzel has the game to sneak a T-6 without anyone noticing.
Low Euro: Paul Casey over Lee Westwood. Westwood could very well be on his way to becoming the 2nd Colin Montgomerie. The window will close faster than he realizes. Casey is a lot like Dustin Johnson, but don’t try to tell that to the Dustin-tards (Casey can’t dunk a basketball barefoot). Casey’s game suits any course, he just rarely closes the deal.
Low Big Cat: Tiger Woods over Lion Kim. Don’t know much about Kim. Tiger is a mystery in some ways too. I’d be surprised if he won this week, but expect him to be in contention just because he can get it around. He won’t win again until he makes putts and this doesn’t seem like the place that will happen. I’d say Tiger finishes in the 8th-15th range.
Low Chalk: Mickelson over Kaymer. Kaymer looks deadly in big events, but he hasn’t played a Masters as a favorite yet, I’m anxious to see how that goes. Mickelson is the most confident, arrogant, SOB on the grounds (except for noted self-tugger Ian Poulter). In Philly Mick’s case, that’s a good thing. He’ll be there on Sunday.
Most Likely To Rinse One on 12, 13 or 15 While In Contention:
- Hunter Mahan
- Nick Watney
- K.J. Choi
- Phil Mickelson
- Paul Casey
The Dust Settles Top-10:
- Bubba Watson
- Paul Casey
- Phil Mickelson
- Luke Donald
- Anthony Kim
- Charl Schwartzel
- Martin Kaymer
- Tiger Woods
- Eduardo Molinari
- Matt Kuchar