Masters talk: Weir, Watney, Goydos

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Golfweek.com asked players at the Arnold Palmer Invitational a series of questions about Augusta National and the Masters:

Mike Weir. Weir, the 2003 champion, has finished in the top 20 for four consecutive years.

Paul Goydos. He isn’t in this year’s field, but is one of the best quotes in golf. Goydos missed the cut in his two appearances.

Nick Watney. Watney could be a good sleeper pick this year. He won this year's Buick Invitational and is one of the hottest players on Tour. Watney finished T-11 last year in his Masters debut.

• • •

Who’s favored at Augusta, Tiger or Phil?

Goydos: You always have to give the edge to Tiger until someone beats him. You have to.

Weir: Tiger.

Watney: Tiger, because I think he always has the edge around there.

Who’s the favorite, not named Tiger or Phil?

Goydos: I’d have to say probably Sergio.

Weir: I don’t know. Goosen’s been playing pretty well, so I say Goosen.

Watney: Probably Ernie. I think he plays that place well, and he kind of seems like he’s rounding into form.

What’s your favorite hole out there?

Goydos: Probably 12. It’s the best hole you’ll ever play. It’s the same for everybody. 13 or 15, .... I can’t reach, but 12, everyone’s up there pretty equal.

Weir: 12. It’s just the most intriguing. It could be a low 7-iron, could be a high 9-iron, depending on what the wind’s doing. Within 10 minutes, it could be either-or. It’s just one of the great holes in golf.

Watney: 15. There’s so many different options. I just think it’s a great hole.

What’s your favorite Masters tradition?

Goydos: I’ve only played it twice, so just breaking 80 right now (Goydos shot 79-79 in his last appearance in ‘07).

Weir: Just the dinner, the Champions Dinner.

Are there any stories from there that are printable?

Weir: No, those are secretive (laughs).

Who’s the best storyteller?

Weir: Arnold’s pretty good, but Jackie Burke’s good when he’s there.

What’s the best meal you’ve had at the Champions Dinner?

Weir: Probably the elk that I had. A buddy of mine who’s a chef in Canada came in to cook it, and he did a great job, but they’ve all been good.

What’s one thing you would change about the Masters if you could?

Goydos: I’d bring the fun back in it. The golf course has gotten too long and it’s lost all of it’s fun. I can’t reach any of the par-5s in two, so it’s turned into a battle of attrition. They have to get it back to this battle of wits, but now it’s more like a U.S. Open. Like I said, if you’ve got a two-shot lead going into the back nine and you shoot even par, you’re going to win the tournament. That needs to go away.

What’s your personal favorite Masters memory?

Watney: I think holing out on 14 (for eagle in the final round in 2008). It was 118 yards with a sand wedge, and it found the hole.

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