Masters Week is Here! Time For Previews and Predictions

The longest three months of the year for a fan of the PGA Tour ranges from the Mercedes Championship until the world’s best finally ascend on Augusta National Golf Club in early April. For those of us in foul weather climates, it also signals the unofficial start to the golf season. The Masters is not my favorite event, that honor belongs to the Ryder Cup, but it is always my most anticipated.

The Favorite:

Tiger Woods – With Tiger’s act at Bay Hill two weeks ago, he officially cemented himself as the favorite to win his 5th green jacket and his first since 2005. I get a sense that Tiger really wants this one, more so than usual. Being out of the winner’s circle there for the past three years has no doubt annoyed him. Plus, winning that first major after reconstructive ACL surgery is an important moment in his quest for 18, and he wants it now.

The Next Wave:

Paul Casey – Finally broke through with an impressive victory in Houston last week in extremely difficult conditions. Always a solid performer in majors, it wouldn’t shock me to see Casey do the double.

Padraig Harrington – Certainly overshadowed by Tiger’s return to major competition is the fact that Paddy has won the last two contested. The guy has the game to win on ANY course and his confidence in majors has never been higher. A virtual lock for a top 10 at week’s end.

Robert Karlsson – The United States might have won the Ryder Cup, and Ian Poulter might have picked up the most points, but no one impressed me more than this guy. I predict big things for him in ’09, and it could start at Augusta. Love Karlsson’s talents.

Phil Mickelson – I don’t particularly like him this week, but NO ONE is more streaky than Phil. Two wins already on the season, but has been in poor form of late. Nothing this guy does on the golf course surprises me anymore, and that’s not necessarily a good thing.

Geoff Ogilvy – Love him this week. He’s a high ball hitter. He currently ranks #1 on the PGA Tour in putting, and he’s off to a great start in 2009. He is the 2nd best player in the world when he has it going.

Vijay Singh – Still recovering from knee surgery, but he’s won here before. Granted, it was nine years ago.
Camilo Villegas – Best player in the world between ages 20 and 30 (Rory McIlroy is 19). The next step is winning a major.

Lee Westwood – Still waiting for him to break through in a major. He had his best chance last year at Torrey Pines finishing one shot out of a playoff. I’m not giving up on him yet.


Qualifications for sleepers: above average length, exceptional short game, proven winner, and the guts to win a major, so that’s gives us… Aaron Baddeley, Stewart Cink, Anthony Kim, Hunter Mahan, Rory McIlroy, Sean O’Hair, Andres Romero, and Justin Rose (Rose always starts well at Augusta). My apologies to Trevor Immelman and Zach Johnson, but I just don’t see it happening again.

And The Winner Is…

Geoff Ogilvy. Although I will claim partial credit if he finishes runner up to Tiger.

Enjoy the Tournament!

Patrick Keegan

4 Responses to “Masters Week is Here! Time For Previews and Predictions”

  1. Richard Conway says:

    I’m probably one of Tiger’s biggest supporters and I’m really happy he’s back on the winning trail but I can’t help feeling that even Tiger needs a bit more recovery time before winning another Major. Don’t rule out the older players like Lefty, The Big Easy, VJ and The Goose. Augusta requires a fair degree of consistency and the ability to bounce back after it has kicked you in the teeth. 🙄 Dick

  2. Jon Tretter says:

    Pretty good article. Pretty much agree with all your predictions. However, I feel Villegas pulls it out this year.

  3. Dan Harkins says:

    TIGER TIGER TIGER…Great win at Bay Hill but will truly have his hands full with the likes of Geoff Ogilvy and YES…Paul Casey!

    I have been on TIGERS bandwagon for years and he can achieve the impossible since I have been totally convinced of this! But if there is a more consistent and strong willed player on this earth than Geoff Ogilvy at this time , I would sure like to meet this person and shake his hand and give homage to him. Ogilvey is on a tear and seems to put himself in the right place at the right time come Sunday morning!

    However this turns out, Andy is right about some of his picks that he would like to see WIN!

    Geoff Ogilvy has his sights on the “GREEN”

  4. Great article Patrick.

    I can’t see past Tiger, but a win by Rory, Justin or Ian would make my weekend.



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