Without a doubt, the week leading up to The Masters gets more attention than any other golf tournament throughout the year including the three other majors. There’s never a lack of something to talk about before the players tee it up on Thursday at Augusta National, and this year is no different. There is always something to discuss, and write about.
The biggest Storyline from the 2014 Masters has to be the one player who will not be there. Of course, I’m talking about Tiger Woods. The four-time Masters champ can’t win anything this year, but he can lose something.
Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson, and Jason Day all have an opportunity to take over the Number One ranking in Tiger’s absence, depending on how they finish on Sunday.
Jason Day has to win to get to number one, but Scott and Stenson can finish near the top and walk away with the ranking. Of course Greg Norman is an Aussie who has been number one, but Stenson could become the first Swede to be number one in the world.
We all know that winning in your first Master’s appearance is a daunting task that hasn’t been done since Fuzzy Zoeller did it in 1979. The main reason a rookie in the event isn’t favored to win is their lack of course knowledge. That is the reason that Patrick Reed may have a chance this year.
With 24 first-timers in the field, the 23 year-old Reed does have some reps at Augusta, and has some course knowledge in his golf bag. WGC-Cadillac champion Reed, who went to Augusta State and played the course three times as an amateur.
Phil Mickelson comes into Augusta this year with physical problems that may, or may not be attributable to his age, but one thing is for sure. Lefty turns into a 24 year-old kid as soon as he drives down Magnolia Lane, and can never be counted out.
I can remember the 2012 Masters when he was going to finish in third place behind playoff contenders, Bubba Watson and Louis Oosthuizen. Phil was smiling and high-fiving fans on his way to the scorer’s tent. You would have thought by watching him that he had already won the tournament.
Phil is one of the toughest players to read. If he wakes up in the right frame of mind, and gets on a roll, he can be unbeatable. He loves this place, and this event so it could happen this week if he can stay healthy, and he has to be a favorite for a fourth Green Jacket.
Although, how someone is playing before they get to Augusta is an important factor, the magical properties of the place can bring out the best, and worst in players. With that being said, I agree with Rory McIlroy, almost anyone who is here can win this thing if they get on a roll. Especially when the Masters really starts. The tenth hole on Sunday!