There’s a pretty good chance by the time the dozen of your read this, the first round will be well underway and much of the following insight will look foolish. I meant to get this up much earlier in the day, but LIFE INTERVENED, as they say…but just in case some of this stuff actually happens–I wanted it on the record. The Masters, in fits and starts.
Worst Decision: Phil Mickelson’s “Phrankenwood”
Classic Mickelson. He’s an over-thinker. This year he teased a special club and then debuted the 12-degree driver/FW combo item this week and Callaway has dubbed it “The Phrankenwood.” Essentially, they are just re-releasing “The Deuce” with their new technology. I had a Deuce. Phenomenal club. I probably was the best user of that club in southeastern PA. The thing about this type of club, though? It’s really for people who can’t hit drivers. You basic head case chop. That was me in 1996. And, I guess that’s Phil now. He’s got a complex, launch specs reason for putting this thing in the bag, but it feels like the classic Mickelson buckle.
Best Decision: Rory McIlroy’s Trip to Valero.
McIlroy intended to skip last week’s Texas Open to attend a UNICEF function in Haiti, but decided he didn’t want to show up to Augusta spraying the ball all over good god’s creation. By Sunday in Texas he appeared to know what he was doing again. I’m not saying he’s going to win, but he should at least keep his penalty shots in the single digits.
Does Bubba Have a Chance to Repeat: No.
This isn’t necessarily a matter of form, though Bubba hasn’t quite hit on all gears this year, I just think the process of being defending champion is going to have him wore down before we get to Sunday. He’s an emotional guy. He already cried in his press conference. I think he runs out of steam sometime before the weekend.
Does a Non-Major Winner Have A Chance: Yes.
When Tiger won 14 Majors in nine years, or whatever it was, it seemed like there were fewer 1st time major winners, because Tiger was constantly raising trophies. Throw in a few other repeat champs like Paddy, Phil and Vijay and the Majors felt like an exclusive club. I think we could be headed back toward that type of era, but there is still a long list of major-less talent out there. My top 3 Non-Major Candidates: Kuchar, Scott and Rose.
Will Jim Nantz enter the Pun Hall of Fame: Someday.
This is Nantz’s biggest time of the year. He just dry humped the microphone for the NCAA Final and now he’s at his home away from home–Augusta National. An interesting thing to monitor is Nantz’s unabashed rooting for Fred Couples. The guy loves his college roommate. I think Fred missed his chance, but if something crazy happened and Fred won again, Nantz would be a wreck. He’d look like one of those dogs welcoming home a soldier.
Highest Score: Craig Stadler, 86 on Friday.
Lowest Score: Lee Westwood, 66 on Thursday (he’ll buckle)
Low Head Case (Sergio or Adam Scott): Adam Scott–I give him an outside chance at contending for 68 holes.
Low Fashion Icon (Poulter or Fowler): Fowler–I’m just glad I don’t have a 10-year old who wants to wear dipsh*t Puma hats.
Worst Score on 12 by Someone in Contention Sunday: 6, Phil Mickelson. Feels right.
Will There be a Hole-In-One on 16: YES
Will Jack Nickalus Hit a Butterball Turkey Fade out there 238 yds tmmrw morning: YES
Low Ryder Cup Hero (McDowell or Westwood): Westwood
Low Ryder Cup Goat (Stricker or Mahan): Mahan–eventually this “semi-retired” thing is going to catch up with Stricks
Low Lookalike (Bill Haas or Nick Watney): Watney–I’m rooting for Watney to get a major, not sure about his demeanor.
Low BFF (Keegan or Phil): Keegan. He’s been on pretty good form, plus he needs one of these before they take his putter away.
Low Champions Tour Player: Fred Couples. This isn’t even a homer pick, guy finished 12th last year.
Five People I wish Were Playing (you figure out the reasons): Jack, David Duval, Tommy Two Gloves, Ian Baker Finch and Stacey Lewis.
And now, what you’ve all been waiting for…
The Definitive, Yet Arbitrary Masters Top-10:
- Matt Kuchar
- Tiger Woods
- Adam Scott
- Keegan Bradley
- Louis Oosthuizen
- Jason Day
- Freddy Jacobsen
- Rory McIlory
- Phil Mickelson
- Rickie Fowler
The great thing about the Masters is, the field is so small, it feels like this type of leaderboard is actually possible. Everyone enjoy the coverage.