Bubba Looks Good in Green

The talk of the Master’s so far this week has been Phil Mickelson.  All of a sudden the comments about Phil have transformed from “will his game come around this year?” to “How can he not win after coming off a three stroke win in Houston?”  Has everyone forgotten that this is Golf we are talking about?  This is the game that is notorious for humbling even the best players in the world just when they think they have the game figured out.  Just because Phil played out of his mind over the weekend at Houston does not make him my favorite to win this week.  It doesn’t change the fact that he struggled through the beginning of the season.  If he did find something in his game that “clicked” then he is peeking at the right time and I will happily eat my words come Sunday as he puts on a fourth green jacket.

What about Tiger?  He will be a non factor this year.  If his game has showed me anything this year, it has showed me that it doesn’t hold up under pressure like it used to.  Wayward shots have become the norm and his putter is not nearly hot enough to win at Augusta.  A lot of people are expecting him to have an “a-ha!” moment this week, but I don’t expect to see anything of the sort.

What I do expect to see, is a brand new winner this weekend at the Masters.  As I look through the field of players and think about what it takes to win at Augusta there are a few guys that jump off the page at me.  Analysts keep saying length helps at Augusta, but you have to be accurate and a good putter.  While those stregths are important I think players who win Majors realize it is their time and have a gritty desire to make it happen.  My first thought has to be Bubba Watson.  The guy hits the ball stupid long and is ranked 2nd in driving distance and greens in regulation this year.  Accuracy with your approach shots is a must have skill to win at Augusta.  Did I mention that he is third in par 5 scoring (birdie or better) as well?  My one hang up with Bubba is that his putting can get a bit shaky at times, but he has been in contention at a major before and has won this year.  He strikes me as a guy who is focused and ready to win on the big stage.  Look for Bubba to play his massive cut all over Augusta and make a splash on the leader board going into the weekend.

If I had to pick a back up winner it would be Ian Poulter.  Nothing on the stat sheet suggests that Poulter should be a super contender this week, but he was in contention last year after 54 holes and has a sheer will to win and be great.  His demeanor and focus make me have confidence that he will play well.  This is definitely a gut pick and I could be wildly wrong, but I have a good feel about Poulter this week.

 

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