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My Preview of The Masters

The Green Jacket by shareski.

The first major of the golf season, the Masters, begins tomorrow and all eyes will be on Tiger. Of course, Woods will be the man to watch and the clear favorite to win the tournament, but he hasn’t won it all yet and there are certainly guys in the field who can give him a run for his money. So, here are my Top 5 Players to Watch in the Masters.

1) Tiger Woods: Tiger has won this tournament 4 times, the most recent being in 2005, so don’t hand him the trophy just yet. He definitely played well at Bay Hill, but I still believe that O’Hair lost the tournament and Woods was just in the right position to take the victory. Woods was far from his best in Bay Hill and he will need to play even better if he wants to win in Augusta.

2) Paul Casey: Casey has finished 11th or better in three of his four starts in the Masters and he should be confident after winning his first tournament on the PGA Tour at the Shell Houston Open. Earlier in the season, Casey also won in Abu Dhabi and he finished second in the WGC Match Play event, so he is peaking at the right time.

3) Phil Mickelson: Only Mickelson and Geoff Ogilvy have multiple victories in the season, thus far, and Mickelson is always a favorite when it comes time for the Masters, which he has won on two previous occasions. That is the upside. The downside is that Mickelson played absolutely dreadful last week. He will need to step it up this week.

4) Geoff Ogilvy: Ogilvy, who is the 4th ranked player in the world, already has two big wins this season (Mercedes-Benz Championship and WGC Accenture Match Play). He is already a major champion, as he won the US Open at Winged Foot when Mickelson faltered on the final hole. He has only played in the Masters three times, but he has made the cut every time and has a best finish of T-16 in 2006.

5) Padraig Harrington: While Tiger was away, Harrington was definitely able to play. After Woods took a break following his victory at the US Open last season, the Irish-born Harrington won the final two major championships of the year. If Harrington were to win here, it would be his third major in a row and he is definitely capable of doing just that, as he has finished T-5 twice, the most recent of which was just last year.

(Photo of Trevor Immelman and Zach Johnson by Dean Shareski)

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