Wednesday, April 06, 2011

The First Sign of Spring.

The Masters is here, and who can argue that this is the first true sign of spring. There are some differences between this Masters and the last 12 Masters. 
1. Tiger Woods is not a favorite, and in some cases is being totally written off.
2. There are a slew of young players that people are predicting will contend or even win (Nick Watney, Rory McIlroy, Martin Kaymer, Jason Day, and Ricky Fowler to name a few).

Without boring you about golf too much, here are my predictions for this weekend.

Who is the darkhorse?
Ross Fisher: This guy has had some really close calls in Majors. Wouldn't be surprised to see his name on the leaderboard this weekend.

Who will be the biggest disappointment?
Sergio Garcia: This guy has been getting his game somewhat back into shape. However, his putting is horrible. This could be a week where he is around near the end and then finds a way to mess up with his putter. 

What would be an awesome story to root for this weekend?
1) Ernie Els in contention. I am stealing this from The Golf Channel. But I liked it. Ernie Els has begun working hard to raise awareness of Autism since the birth of his son. While Jim Nance would beat this story to a pulp, it would be great to see the Big Easy finally get his Green Jacket. He deserves one.

2) Ryo Ishikawa. This guy pledged his 2011 winnings to his homeland of Japan. Awesome story. I hope he gets some wins this year. 

What will Ian Poulter be wearing this week at Augusta?

Who will be the winner?
This space was usually filled with the name "Tiger Woods." It was a lock that he was the guy I would choose. However, this year I cannot narrow it down to one name. In his stead I am going to give you four names of guys I think have a good chance.

1) Phil. He is playing well, and is now becoming comfortable with his legacy and is trying to cement it even further.
2) Rory McIlroy. Really like this guy. My favorite thing about him is his calm demeanor. He never seems to get rattled.
3) Hunter Mahan. This is another pupil of Sean Foley, Tiger's coach. He is playing better than Tiger, maybe his Ryder Cup choke in September will cripple him, but we forget he hit the biggest putt in 2008's Ryder Cup on Sunday.
4) Tiger. Okay okay. I initially had three names, and I decided I have to put him down. Why? Never count out Tiger. He finished 4th last year after not playing competitive golf in 5 months and being raked through the tabloids.

Enjoy the Masters. If you haven't visited yet, you should.