We only have to wait another few days and we will be at Augusta for the US Masters, the first major of the year and in my mind the most enjoyable to watch.
I think the course plays a huge part in that as we all know it so well, and its the only major played at the same venue.We have seen so many past winners play the course, we know what can happen on the back nine on Sunday at the Masters!
Remember last year!
Phil Mickleson has won three times since 2004, Woods has won three times since 2001, his last win was 2005 in a playoff.
Four Europeans have won in the last twenty years, two South Africans in the last four, so to get a European win this year on current form looks a distinct possibility, but the americans do have a very good record, ten wins in the last twenty.
So who do I think will win, well Tiger does play well there and he is in form, so he must be in with a great chance, they do say horses for courses so Phil Mickleson must play a part , he seems to raise his game for Augusta, of the other Americans I think Keegan Bradley is worth watching, long hitter, putts well, also Brandt Snedeker has played well at Augusta, could Bubba eagle a few holes with drive and a wedge!
Of the Europeans Luke Donald must have a good chance, his short game and putting is superb and he has proven that he can win, Justin Rose has played so well of late, he can putt, his short game is very good and he has a lot of confidence and can keep a score going when not at his best..
Now we come to world number two Rory McIlroy, what a talent, long hitter, great iron player, putting hugely improved, and short game, has learnt how to win and is much more consistent than ever before, will last year effect him, well did it effect him at the US Open last year!
Last year he played so well at Augusta for three rounds that if he had putted reasonably I think he would have had a eight shot lead going into the last round, his tee to green play was so good.
If he plays his normal game he must have a great chance again.
Can I see Poulter, Casey, Garcia, McDowell or Westwood winning unfortunately no is the answer.
So my picks for the Europeans are, Donald, McIlroy and Rose. pretty obvious ones really.
US picks would be Woods, Stricker and Keegan Bradley .
Of the rest of the field, Adam Scott looks good.
So there we have it, I have tried to use form, gut instinct and some logic into this but as we know on the back nine on Sunday at Augusta anything can happen, and it probably will, that is what makes this event so special and why I will be watching to see who wears that green jacket come Sunday evening.
It is probably the most eagerly anticipated Masters for many years, Tiger on a comeback, and the young guns out to prove themselves.
David Bown PGA AA Golf Professional
Authorised Golfing Machine Instructor
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