2012 Masters: Our staff predictions

Tiger Woods last won the Masters Tournament in 2005.
Tiger Woods last won the Masters Tournament in 2005. ( Associated Press )

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

We have seven reporters and editors on the ground at Augusta National, and each of them has an opinion about what will happen at the Masters come Sunday.

There are plenty of obvious picks - Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson - but there are plenty of wild cards that the staff is keeping a close eye on.

Players such as Keegan Bradley - who quipped that he has won every major he has played on Tuesday - could be a big factor in the Masters, especially with Augusta getting doused with a heavy thunderstorm for the second straight night.

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2012 Masters predictions

Staffer Favorite Wild Card
Babineau Tiger Woods

His victory at Bay Hill provided the renewed confidence he needed to get back to pursuing Jack's record.


Fred Couples

He's playing well, and hey, we can dream a little: Can you imagine the impact on golf if a 52-year-old fan favorite could win at Augusta?

Rude Rory McIlroy

He's in form and showed last year, meltdown aside, that he can do well at Augusta National. If you think he still has a Masters hangover, you didn't see his Secretariat number at the U.S. Open.


Keegan Bradley

Yeah, I know, first-timers don't win the Masters. But Bradley has a game (power and touch) that suits Augusta National.


McCabe Phil Mickelson

Hey, it's an even year, right, and like 2004, 2006, and 2010, why not the lefthander slipping into that green jacket? (Even in 2008, the even year when he didn't win, Mickelson placed T-5.) Say what you want about Augusta National being Tiger's playground, what his his four wins, in recent years no one has been more comfortable here than Mickelson, who also possesses that priceless commodity – he doesn't have an ounce of fear when it comes to a possible battle with Woods.


Rickie Fowler

Strictly a hunch that his long-awaited first PGA Tour win might very well come on the grandest stage in the game. It's just his second Masters start, so maybe he's still too inexperienced, and there's a feeling that he sometimes may lack the patience necessary to seal the deal, but he's got tremendous talent and when he's on, he's a very good putter.


Miceli Phil Mickelson

It seems obvious that someone out of the big five is going to win, so Lefty is my pick.


Padraig Harrington

Has shown signs of golfing life and has won the most majors over the last five years.


Martin Rory McIlroy

Most people will choose between one of three players: Tiger, Phil and Rory. I'm going with the Northern Irishman, who's learned enough in the past 12 months that we don't need to worry about a repeat of 2011's Masters.


Martin Laird

The Scot is coming off a tie for 20th in his Masters debut.


Lavner Tiger Woods

You heard Tiger during Tuesday’s presser. He was relaxed, he was chatty, he was confident, he was ... happy. That means only one thing: This week, he wins No. 15.


Keegan Bradley

First-timers don’t normally fare well at Augusta. Well, first-timers don’t normally fare well at their maiden major either, and Keegan stole the PGA last year in Atlanta. Bradley has been getting tips from Phil Mickelson, a three-time Masters winner. Don’t be shocked if his young protege contends or even slips on the green jacket.

Masuda Tiger Woods

There are two places on this planet where Tiger can putt with his eyes closed - Bay Hill and Augusta National. He romped to a win at the former, and I expect that he will also do so in the latter.


Nick Watney

He has the distance, is a pretty steady personality and fits the same mold as a Charl Schwartzel - good golfer waiting for his big moment. He took down Tiger at Match Play, which had to be good for his confidence.

• • •

A look at the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings vs. the Official World Golf Rankings

OWGR GW/Sags Name
1 4 Luke Donald
2 1 Rory McIlroy
3 3 Lee Westwood
4 12 Hunter Mahan
5 2 Steve Stricker
6 22 Martin Kaymer
7 5 Tiger Woods
8 16 Charl Schwartzel
9 35 Justin Rose
10 6 Webb Simpson
11 8 Jason Day
12 21 Dustin Johnson
13 9 Adam Scott
14 11 Phil Mickelson
15 62 Graeme McDowell
16 13 Bubba Watson
17 23 Bill Haas
18 10 Matt Kuchar
19 30 Keegan Bradley
20 30 Nick Watney
21 7 Sergio Garcia
22 28 Brandt Snedeker
23 20 K.J. Choi
24 59 Ian Poulter
25 33 Peter Hanson
26 70 Mark Wilson
27 81 Louis Oosthuizen
28 19 Bo Van Pelt
29 17 John Senden
30 91 Sang-moon Bae
31 44 Jason Dufner
32 93 Thomas Bjorn
33 116 Alvaro Quiros
34 42 David Toms
35 63 Martin Laird
36 46 Simon Dyson
37 32 Robert Karlsson
38 161 Paul Casey
39 39 Aaron Baddeley
40 78 Anders Hansen
41 27 Rickie Fowler
42 55 Kyung-Tae Kim
43 64 Paul Lawrie
44 15 Zach Johnson
45 18 Fredrik Jacobson
46 66 Francesco Molinari
47 48 Kyle Stanley
48 100 Ben Crane
49 77 Geoff Ogilvy
50 45 Jim Furyk
51 86 Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano
52 127 Miguel Angel Jimenez
53 133 Ryo Ishikawa
55 52 Y.E. Yang
56 144 Jonathan Byrd
59 279 Darren Clarke
60 31 Gary Woodland
61 67 Johnson Wagner
64 96 Kevin Na
67 14 Charles Howell III
71 79 Robert Garrigus
75 105 Chez Reavie
78 124 Sean O'Hair
80 84 Vijay Singh
82 143 Rory Sabbatini
87 113 Lucas Glover
88 60 Ryan Palmer
90 166 Harrison Frazar
91 71 Edoardo Molinari
96 89 Padraig Harrington
125 162 Brendan Steele
127 61 Trevor Immelman
133 125 Ross Fisher
137 153 Scott Verplank
154 267 Scott Stallings
163 118 Stewart Cink
171 196 Henrik Stenson
175 459 Angel Cabrera
176 156 Kevin Chappell
185 N/R Tim Clark
218 N/R a-Hideki Matsuyama
356 478 Jose Maria Olazabal
373 N/R Fred Couples
487 N/R a-Patrick Cantlay
789 N/R Tom Watson
976 N/R a-Kelly Kraft
N/R 876 Mike Weir
N/R N/R a-Bryden Macpherson
N/R N/R Larry Mize
N/R N/R Bernhard Langer
N/R N/R Mark O'Meara
N/R N/R Sandy Lyle
N/R N/R Ian Woosnam
N/R N/R a-Corbin Mills
N/R N/R Ben Crenshaw
N/R N/R Craig Stadler
N/R N/R a-Randal Lewis

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