In the second part of my double-header this week, I have gotten over the romanticism, and now it’s purely business. Who’s going to be receiving a green jacket from Adam Scott on Sunday? Will he be presenting it to himself?
First of all, I think there is a good chance that Scotty will go back to back. He is still in glittering form; he has been since he won at Augusta last year. He has moved into the famous ‘Champion’s Locker Room’ and shares his locker with none other than Gary Player. Now at his 13th Masters, he knows the course, he has developed a game that works around here, and has stated that he is happy with his game going into this week. Tonight he will host his Champion’s Dinner, an annual event hosted for all previous champions by the defending champion. He is rumoured to be turning the clubhouse into a beach for an Aussie barbeque. He says he’ll be giving everyone a taste of Australia.
Sticking with the land down-under, do not rule out Jason Day. Although his appearance this week was briefly in doubt due to injury concerns, he’s here and he is a consistently great player at Augusta. With a T-2 finish in 2011 and a solo 3rd last year, he is one to watch. With his pal and compatriot Adam Scott winning last year and inspiring other Australian golfer’s to what has been a stunning year so far on the PGA Tour, I expect this could be his year. I’ve already put money on him each way.
The bookie’s favourite this week is Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy. Everyone knows what happened at the 2011 Masters, but I think this will just make Rory want it more. He had a tough year last year, but has found form and has been heating up in preparation. He finished at Houston last week with a blemish-free 65 which will give him a great boost coming into this week. I think Rory could pick up his first green jacket, he’s ready and his game suits the course.
That’s my top three and I hope you agree they are the strongest guys in the field this week. My dark horse and one to watch this week is the big Argentinian Angel Cabrera. He lost on the 10th green last year at the second playoff hole to Scott, but is another player that just gets his game working at Augusta. He has a green jacket in the wardrobe already with a win in a playoff in 2009. He’ll be looking to make amends for last year and he’s one of the coolest characters around.
Yes we are missing Tiger, and that’s a pity, but this adds to the excitement. Adam Scott has a chance to become world number 1. As if he needed more incentive to go back-to-back but he has it anyway. By Sunday evening, or the early hours of Monday morning for me, we’ll know who has won the 78th edition of the US Masters. It’s going to be great, it always is.
Photo credit: Augusta National Golf Club