Masters Monday: Trickiest pick in golf
If you’re in a Yahoo fantasy league or your office has a pool, you know how difficult it is to handicap the Masters tournament. The Augusta Spring Invitational used to be an easy one to call. That long-hitting, smooth-putting guy…or that stoic German…or that flamboyant Spaniard…or that dour Englishman…or that sweet-chipping Spaniard…you get the idea. The Masters has NEVER been easy to predict and 2012 promises to be as difficult. Of last year’s top 7, no one had Charl Schwartzel, Jason Day or Angel Cabrera in the top ten. Nor did you think Tiger would be in the mix, although you wanted him to be. You probably had Luke Donald in the top ten, but you didn’t think Adam Scott or Geoff Ogilvy would be there at the end. Like I said, almost impossible, despite the small field.
I’m going to give you what I consider to be long-shot picks. I know that Tiger, Luke, Rory, Lee, Phil and others SHOULD be among the leaders come Sunday afternoon. What I don’t know is if these guys can hold up, but I think they’ll be around through Saturday.
1. Kyle Stanley~Why? He works really hard, really often, on his game. He can win and he can bounce back from losing.
2. Hunter Mahan~Why? He needs to go up a level and major championship victory is the last one left. He’s on a roll, too.
3. Brandt Snedeker~Why? He has a Tom-Lehman/Thomas-Bjorn thing for Augusta. He may never win it, but he’s quite comfortable here and will contend more often than not.
4. Steve Stricker~Why? He putts the ball better than everyone else. He hasn’t had that one amazing putting week at Augusta and I think it comes this year.
5. Y.E Yang~Why? He owns a major championship and he is fearless.
Here’s a bonus section: Five Masters champions who will experience unexpected success in 2012
1. Fred Couples~Why? Ageless and back is better than ever.
2. Bernhard Langer~Why? Works hard, like Singh and Stanley.
3. Angel Cabrera~Why? He’s Snedeker, with a win at Augusta.
4. Mike Weir~Why? Actually, I don’t like this pick at all, but he’s ready for a break-out after health/injury issues.
5. Tom Watson~Why? He’s always good for one or two sub-par rounds, he knows the course and plays within himself.
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