Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Spring is Here...

Ok so since we last saw each other Ogilvy won the match play just as I predicted, Goosen took his new spectacles through the winners circle, Phil won his first WGC event, Sean O’Hair gave Tiger his first win of the year and in between golfers won other tournaments.

This week however everyone sets their sights on Augusta, GA to the year’s first major. College madness is over, three quarters of the NBA and NHL teams are waiting to start the playoffs and the baseball season is just underway so now is the perfect time to focus on one of sports greatest stages. If you find a way to get away from church and hunting for eggs this weekend you are going to be treated to some great golf, no matter who ends up winning there has not been a real blow out since Tiger in 1997 so look for a spot on the couch come Sunday and make sure to tune in by the time the last group gets to 10, because as you may have heard the Masters does not start until the back 9 on Sunday.

You may wonder why things seem different about this golf tournament, well it is because the organizers and the members have a great reverence for the game, that, and they have a shit ton of money. They like to say “patrons” not fans or spectators, they’ve kicked out CBS commentators for life for making comments about the greens being fast, like they had bikini wax on them (McCord is still kicking himself) and once when they were challenged by some women’s lib dyke Martha Burke and it looked like their sponsors could be harmed they came out and said they could support the tournament without sponsors for at least 20 years. Martha went away, sponsors came back and the tournament lost nothing in reputation.

Enough about history and trivia, lets get to the players and who has a chance, who looks like they do and who wont win this weekend.

The Top 5 that Could:

Tiger - Duh, but really if you watched his win at the API he really didn’t win. His timing looks off, his driving was very erratic and until the last hole he didn’t make that many putts. All that said he is still Tiger and this is still Augusta and he is still Tiger; look for him to be there on Sunday.
Phil – He has 2 of the last 5 green jackets, he is coming off a missed cut so he got some extra time at Augusta and he is T9 in putts per GIR so he is converting chances, if he keeps the ball somewhat near the fairway this week he will be there on Sunday.
Harrington – You cannot keep this guy out of the conversation; ummm raise your hand if you have a chance for three majors in a row…OK just Paddy. I think he may be closer to those “that could but wont contend” but I just think he will find a way to push through and make some type of charge. A T5 and T7 the last two years and tack on a T13 in 2004 tells me he knows his way around.
Paul Casey – Wouldn’t say he is coming in hot, since he won with a bogey last week but he is coming off his first PGA tour win and he also has success in the past here T10, T11 and T6 last year, 2007 and 2004 respectively. The key this year however is he has found something in his putting, he doesn’t have enough rounds played on tour to count in the stats but he is leading in putts per round, that will help him this weekend.
Robert Karlsson – This was a tough pick, but I truly think Karlsson is ready to make a splash. He hits a lot greens but it will come down if he can get streaky with the putter, he is not great with the putter week in and week out but if he catches fire watch out.

5 that Could but Wont:

Kim – Pains me to say this but the awesome next Tiger contender from last year has turned into a money chasing country jumper. He has not played two weeks in a row on Tour partly due to injury but mostly due to travel, he will not have enough to contend in his first Masters.
Ogilvy – Again, great player but Aussies don’t win at Augusta, I don’t know why its just a rule.
Sergio – Listen, missed 3 of the last 4 cuts and hasn’t registered a top 10 all year, I cant even remember seeing him play all that often here or abroad.
Rory McIlroy – No not Roy McAvoy the guy that kept hitting 3WD into the drink at the US Open playing with Crockett, Rory is 19 and Europes next white hope. There is a ton of hype around this kid and for good reason but there is no chance he even puts up a top 10 but just remember the name he could win more majors than Faldo by the time he hangs it up.
Villeges – I so hope he plays well because he is fun to watch but it’s his first time here and its just not going to happen. Monday-Wednesday this week weather wise is nothing like it is going to be TH-SUN so he will be looking at a totally different course, its just not going to happen.

No Chance:

Adam Scott – Way too busy banging Kate Hudson and falling off surf boards to care about golf.
Tim Clark – He won the par 3 competition, no winner has ever won the Masters in the same year, sorry Tim, nice ace though.
Anyone from Australia except Norman
Mike Wier – Former champ, great, not coming close ever again.
Ian Poulter – Where have you gone? At least he will look good while playing.

Darkhorses-Couples, Norman, Watney, Singh and Westwood.

I am leaning towards Phil making a run but I would love to see Norman or Couples make a run just one more time, anyway it ends up I will be happy this is the greatest event in sports in my opinion and its not just that the beers are 2 bucks, there is only 4 minutes of commercials for every hour on TV but it’s the history around every corner and it’s the biggest event that comes back to the same course every year. Sit back and enjoy, I think I will be back naxt week to recap then off till the US Open or whenever.
PS--Sorry didnt proof cant imagine any of the readers reading at higher than a third grade level anyway so whatever. I did manage to include some page breaks though.