Thursday, April 06, 2006

Masters Predictions

The Masters golf championship begins this morning in Augusta, GA. The course has been lengthened once again, leading many to believe only the longest hitters will be able to contend, particularly if it rains during the tournament.

I did not have time for my traditional analysis and full-scale predictions, so I will provide some quick hits.

Vijay Singh: Still a threat because of his length. Although his short game is improved, it is not outstanding - top 25 finish.

Sergio Garcia: One of the best drivers in the world and has a solid wedge game. His putting has been erratic, which will keep him from contending - top 25 finish.

Lucas Glover: First appearance at The Masters, but his game is in top form. He has the length and fearlessness to play well at Augusta - top 15 finish.

Jose Maria Olazabal: Two-time champion with a runner up finish last week. If he can keep his driver in the fairway, his pinpoint irons and revived short game will keep him in the hint - top 25 finish.

Adam Scott: His game is made for Augusta - more length than accuracy. Solving the putting riddles at Augusta will be the key - top 25 finish.

Ernie Els: Has contended at Augusta multiple times, but has snake-bitten. I am not sure he is 100% after knee surgery in 2005 - top 40 finish.

Tiger Woods: Defending champ with four titles. Lengthening the course will not affect him, but thoughts of a gravely ill father might. He should have a good chance to win, but I think he settles for a top 5 finish.

Retief Goosen: Unflappable demeanor with two major titles on tough courses. He is sneaky long and putts best on slick greens. He has contended before, and he will again this year - top 10 finish.

David Toms: Straight driver with better length than it appears, good iron player, and great putter. He is a bulldog, especially in pressure situations and big tournaments. I think he surprises experts by getting a top 10 finish.

Chris DiMarco: Has almost won the last two years. Added length puts Augusta just out of reach, and he falls back to a top 40 finish.

Phil Mickelson: Lapped the field by 13 shots last week. His short game talent is world-class, and he is making better decisions around the greens. He has three majors under his belt now, including the most recent PGA Championship. He makes it four this weekend.


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