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Playing for History at the 2013 Masters

April 10th, 2013 · No Comments

Tomorrow the real golf season begins at the Masters.

“Who is you pick to win” is the most commonly asked question in the days leading up to the first round of play. In the days when Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods were in their prime, you could choose them and feel pretty good about your pick. Now, however, everyone is a big question mark including Woods, who has “not got it done” at so many of the last seven Masters despite being in contention on the back nine on Sunday.

Nevertheless, Woods is the heavy favorite with the folks at Ladbrokes, who have him at 4/1. Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson are next at 12/1, odds that make them look like longshots in comparison. Then comes Justin Rose, of all people at 16/1 making him the one of only four players under 20/1!

I perused the list of players under 100/1 odds using my four main criteria – are the odds acceptable, can I see him winning, has he won at least one major, and is he playing well (last week he was second at the Valero) – and concluded that McIlroy is the best choice for the green jacket. Louis Oosthuizen, at 25/1, also looks good.

Now that we’ve discussed how you can make a bundle this weekend, let’s talk about what winning would mean to a few of the leading contenders.

Tiger Woods – His fifth major would break his tie with Arnold Palmer and enable him to pull within one of Nicklaus’ record. He would extend his longevity (first to last major) to 16 years. He would break out of his 58 month long majors drought. And #15 would enable him to pull to within three of Nicklaus’ record of 18.

Rory McIlroy – His first Masters title would complete the third leg of the Career Grand Slam, give him the second leg of the Rory Slam (similar to the Tiger Slam, and it would keep him on the major a year pace for the Jack’s record. He would also lock up a spot in the Hall of Fame.

Phil Mickelson – His fourth Masters would pull him into a tie with Woods and Palmer. He would pass Ernie Els in career majors and, once again, take the unquestioned lead for second best player of the Woods Era. He would also pass Ray Floyd and move into a tie with Seve Ballesteros for most career majors (in the Modern Era). I do, however, think that Seve’s two Masters and three Opens would trump Phil’s four Masters and one PGA.

Keegan Bradley – It hurts to even type his name, but a W at Augusta would make him the leader in most anchored putter assisted major titles.

Louis Oosthuizen – The man who thrilled with his 19 second double eagle last year would take a sizeable leap into the double major class with a win, something he seems fully capable of given how close he came last year.

Tags: The Majors · Tiger vs. Jack

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