Last year, the world witnessed one of the greatest shots in the history of golf. Deep in the woods, Bubba Watson miraculously hooked the ball and dropped it 15 feet from the cup. He later went on to win his first green jacket. The Masters is once again upon us and the stage could not be bigger. There is a new world number one in Tiger Woods, going for his fifth jacket, while others look to break out of their lower rankings and win the most honoring golf tournament.
As of late, the Tiger Woods of old appears to be back. The 14-time major champion has endured both physical and, obviously, personal setbacks, but Woods seems to have overcome all negativity. He is back to full health and reclaimed his number one world ranking. Plus, Tiger has learned a couple of putting tips from the great Steve Stricker, making him that much more lethal around the greens. He has 3 to 1 odds of winning at Augusta this year, and I would look for him to win jacket number five.
A majority of the golf world and its amateur golf fans, which includes myself, are already picking Tiger to win without giving it a second thought. Though I know a couple of things about golf and strongly believe Tiger will win, I do acknowledge the rest of the field, and possible players who could pull out an upset. However, Rory McIlroy has been off his game since signing his deal with Nike worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Also, only four players have won the Masters in back-to-back years, and I am doubtful Bubba Watson will become number five. Phil Mickelson even admitted he is nervous for this years Masters, but on Sunday I still see him finishing in the top ten.
Two players I could see possibly winning the Masters are Dustin Johnson and Luke Donald. At 28, Johnson has been close to winning his first major championship twice. I see him making a move that wouldn’t be substantial other than shaking up the scoreboard. I do not necessarily see Luke Donald hanging around the top five leaders, but I definitely want him to. Donald had the number one ranking last year for a period of time and has longed for that elusive first major in his twelve year career. Anything could drive Luke to shock the world and win his first Masters tournament. Oh, and there is a 14 year old in the field this year.
Tianlang Guan is from China, and is only in eighth grade. At 14, he is the youngest player to ever compete in a Masters tournament. I think some people are failing to grasp how incredible this is. I definitely wish him the best of luck on Thursday when he plays in the biggest match of his life.
Full of rich tradition like no other, August Golf Club in Georgia will hold what is hopefully an incredible Masters tournament this weekend. With beautiful scenery and an interesting field, only God knows who will be wearing the green jacket on Sunday. All players will be on full display as the world’s best compete in the greatest golf championship.