2012 Masters: Our staff predictions
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
His victory at Bay Hill provided the renewed confidence he needed to get back to pursuing Jack's record.
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?
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.
Yeah, I know, first-timers don't win the Masters. But Bradley has a game (power and touch) that suits Augusta National.
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.
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.
It seems obvious that someone out of the big five is going to win, so Lefty is my pick.
Has shown signs of golfing life and has won the most majors over the last five years.
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.
The Scot is coming off a tie for 20th in his Masters debut.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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A look at the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings vs. the Official World Golf Rankings
|28||19||Bo Van Pelt|
|52||127||Miguel Angel Jimenez|
|67||14||Charles Howell III|
|356||478||Jose Maria Olazabal|