4 Caddie: 30 things to know for a Masters Pool
Ready to jump into your Masters pool? If you’re not ready, then it’s time to get ready. You can’t go into this thing all Shark-like, expecting big results just by showing up on the first tee knowing Tiger, Phil and Rory are tops on your draftboard. From the highly secretive draft board of Golfweek’s own Forecaddie, the game's intrepid, sleuth-like Man Out Front, here are 30 betting tidbits that surely will help you don the champion's green jacket on your block:
1. Augusta native Charles Howell III has played on the weekend only once at Augusta since ‘04
2. After tying for third in 2008, Stewart Cink has missed 3 consecutive cuts.
3. Since a closing 66 and a T-4 showing in 2004, Sergio Garcia has posted only two rounds in the 60s at Augusta National and has not finished better than 35th in seven starts.
4. Anders Hansen, making his fourth start, never has made a cut at Augusta. If you must go Hansen, then go “Hanson” – Peter Hanson. And never go Manson.
5. Fredrik Jacobson is making his third career Masters start, his first since ‘05. He’s coming back from torn ligaments in his left thumb, does not have a top 10 thus far in 2012, and withdrew from Houston. He’s to be picked only if Doug Ford and Charles Coody are the only other picks still on the board …
6. Believe it or not, long-hitting Dustin Johnson, who hails from just down the road in South Carolina, never has finished better than 30th at the Masters.
7. Since winning his first major in 2007, Zach Johnson has four starts at AGNC, missed two cuts, and not been fared better than T-20. And Cedar Rapids has given way to Sea Island.
8. Don’t expect the Marty and Louie Show. Martin Kaymer is 0-for-4 in getting to the weekend at the Masters; Louis Oosthuizen is 0-3 in cuts made.
9. Matt Kuchar’s best finish in five Masters starts is a T-21, which he did as an amateur in 1998, playing off his U.S. Amateur champion’s invitation.
10. Graeme McDowell would look great in green, but outside of his tie for 17th in 2009, he’s missed the cut in his other three Masters starts.
11. Phil Mickelson’s T-27 at the Masters last April marked only his second time out of the top 10 in 13 years. He has eight top 5s since ‘01, and seven top 3s overall (including three victories) in 19 career starts at Augusta.
12. In those late draft rounds, when you’re looking for an over-50 guy other than Freddie Couples who might make the cut. and a guy who won’t make you pay the high-round penalty, then look at these two gentlemen: Sandy Lyle made three cuts in a row in 2007-09, and Larry Mize had survived two cuts since 2006. Plus, it’s the 25th anniversary of Mize’s victory, which may inspire him.
13. The flying Molinari brothers have five combined starts at the Masters without a top 10 between them. Best finish? Edoardo’s T-11 last spring.
14. From the Solid-And-Ready-to-Break-Through Dept., Geoff Ogilvy has six Masters starts, has never missed a cut, and counts three top-16 finishes, including a T-4 last year.
15. Ian Poulter’s T-27 last spring was his worst showing in the last five years. He tied for 10th in 2010.
16. Justin Rose (six starts) is another player who never has missed the cut at Augusta. He tied for fifth in 2007 and was T-11 a year ago, and rolls in with some confidence having won the WGC-Cadillac at Doral in March. Oh, and the Tavistock Cup, too.
17. After tying for second in 2007, Rory Sabbatini has missed the cut in three of his four starts, the exception being a T-20 in 2009.
18. Adam Scott’s T-2 last spring was his first top 10 at Augusta since a T-9 in 2002. Hard to know what to expect from the Aussie, who played brilliantly at the Masters a year ago. Know this: He’s well rested, having played only nine competitive rounds to date on Tour this season.
19. Vijay Singh had five consecutive finishes of T-8 or better in 2002-06, but he has missed the cut in his last two starts.
20. Henrik Stenson has six career Masters starts, never finishing better than T-17.
21. After not qualifying for four consecutive Masters in the early 2000s, Steve Stricker returned and missed two cuts, but since has gotten the hang of Augusta again, posting finishes of T-6, T-30, and T-11, respectively.
22. After missing three consecutive cuts after the course was lengthened early last decade, David Toms has bounced back with three top-24 finishes in his last four starts. (He didn’t play in 2009.) He was ninth in '07, and the weather and course should be dry, which helps him. A pretty good sleeper.
23. In his first start at Augusta since ‘05, Bo Van Pelt finished T-8 last April, and stayed into the mix deep into the back nine on Sunday, when he made two eagles.
24. Nick Watney’s 46th-place finish a year ago was his worst Masters showing. In three previous starts he’d finished no worse than 19th, and he has one top 10 (seventh in ‘10).
25. Bubba Watson is the perfect fit for Augusta, right? He’s long, Southern and can shape the ball with the best of them. But his best finish in three Masters starts, surprisingly, is a T-20. Maybe he’ll be a little more patient this spring.
26. It appears the length of the National has caught up with one Tom Watson, who has played on the weekend only once in his last nine starts.
27. Left-hander Mike Weir has one top-10 at Augusta since his victory in 2003.
28. Lee Westwood has three top-11 finishes in his last four Masters starts, his best showing being a solo runner-up two years ago.
29. True, Tiger Woods has won but one green jacket since 2002. But it’s not as if he doesn’t show up in the mix. Dating to his last Masters victory in 2005, Woods has not finished worse than T-6.
30. Former PGA Champion Y.E. Yang’s last two Masters results: T-20 (2011), T-8 (2010). Hmmmm.
Parting thought: Here's The Man Out Front’s Masters trifecta: 1. Woods; 2. Westwood; 3. Toms. (I’d throw Phil in there third, but don’t you want a sleeper?)
Good luck in your pool. If you don’t do well, keep it to yourself. And if you do happen to win, well, don’t forget my 10 percent.