During his press conference on Tuesday at The Masters, Las Vegas favorite, Rory Mcilroy said at least 70 players in the field have a chance to win a Green Jacket on Sunday afternoon. Basically, even without Tiger Woods in the field, there were 70 legitimate contenders who will have tee times on Thursday morning at Augusta National Golf Course with a chance to win a Green Jacket this year.
With his statement, Rory is pretty much saying the Masters is Wide Open this year, but three-time Green Jacket winner, Phil Mickelson has a bit of a different opinion. He says that with the improving weather conditions, the golf course will toughen, and it will significantly reduce the number of possible contenders.
Mickelson, says the field of contenders narrows as the golf course becomes more difficult.
“If the course plays firm and fast conditions, I think you’re looking at less than a dozen,” he said when asked how many can win. “But if it doesn’t, I think you’re looking at almost half the field.”
Before he injured his thumb, I thought Jason Day would have an excellent chance to be the second Aussie in history to win the Masters, and was my early trendy-pick. The 26-year-old Australian last competed in a stroke-play event on Feb. 8, when he failed to qualify for the final round at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
“Not really a concern,” Day said Monday. “I think I just need to tighten up a few things, just kind of get a little sharper with my tee shots. I think I’ll be good.”
“It’s more frustrating for me because just coming off the win at the Match Play, I was playing some pretty good golf,” he said. “It was trending in the right direction going into Doral and the Florida Swing there. Just something so small, it’s so frustrating, because everything else is fine. But you need your hands to grip the golf club, and every time it hurt when I swung the golf club. I would kind of flinch at impact, and you just can’t compete against the best players in the world doing that.”
Like Rodney Dangerfield who gets no respect, 2013 U.S. Open champ, Justin Rose is getting no respect this week. The 33 year-old Brit is coming off of some physical issues with his shoulder says he feels fine, and is just working to get his game back to championship caliber.
But at this point, no one is picking Justin Rose to win this thing, except Justin Rose. Justin certainly has the game, and shot-making capability to be competitive at Augusta. He was the first-round leader in both 2004, and 2007. He led after 36 holes in 2004. He has finished fifth, eighth and 11th in eight tries and knows how to play this track.
“I learned the hard way in 2004, I tried to chase this golf course,” Rose said. “You’ve seen all the eagles and birdie son the back nine over the years and I was trying to do that on Saturday. You can’t chase the course. You’ve got to let it unravel.”