The most prestigious golf tournament in the New World is the Masters. The green jacket sits as one of the most recognizable pieces of sports attire along side Yankee pin stripes and the Notre Dame golden helmets.
This week we will have all the drama as the Tour’s most prestigious golfer is seemingly ready to make his long awaited return to Major greatness. The world’s most daring young gun is ready to close the deal this time around. The golf world can expect plenty of fireworks again this year. All the top players are in good form and there are plenty other top performers waiting to take that leap into greatness. Let’s take a look at 3 different aspects that will be huge stories and could possibly decide who gets to wear home that Green Jacket!
There are two huge stars that are looking for redemption.
Rory McIlroy did his best Roy McAvoy in last years Masters. His 54 hole lead quickly evaporated as he shot a 43 on the back nine on the final day to shoot an abysmal 80 to finish T15. Watching his downfall was difficult to stomach but like a good NASCAR crash was much more memorable than Charl Schwartzel’s victory. Even though he went on to win the US Open in convincing fashion, Rory’s historic demise still weighs heavy on his mind and ours!
Tiger Woods is ready, right? Tiger has won this tourney 4 times but not since 2005. He finished strong last year and even found himself at the top of the leaderboard before a 3 putt bogey and missed eagle putt ended his chances. We have been waiting for Tiger to return and his victory two weeks ago was a great start but the Majors is what he plays for. His quest for 15 has been a long road. He hasn’t won a Major since the amazing one-legged performance in the 2008 US Open. There will be plenty of stories and people will pretend to be sick of the Tiger obsession, but he is the most significant golfer since Jack. His importance is undeniable and his performance in Major’s is the measuring stick for eternity.
2. Dark Horses
Can the Master’s produce another first time Major winner?
Anyone that has the ability to win a Master’s isn’t really a dark horse but 3 of the last 5 winners claim the Masters as their only Major victory. There will be several possible players who could upend the biggest names but I look towards one to make a run. Hunter Mahan is coming off a victory at the Shell Houston Open and won the WGC in February over Rory so he isn’t afraid of the big stage. He carries a world ranking of 4th so he has been consistent force. I wouldn’t be surprised if Mahan accepted the jacket from Charl!
3. Amen Corner
2011 saw the 11th, 12th and 13 play key roles and expect the same this year.
Last year Rory and Tiger’s stumbles included the difficult 12 with a 4 and 3 putt in their final round. Amen Corner finds a way to insert itself into the conversation every year and this year will be no different. One of the most famous stretches in golf for it’s beauty and venom figures to live up to it’s reputation.