Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Favorites For the Masters

Jason Sobel joins me today on The 19th Hole to talk about the Masters and ESPN's coverage of the Par 3 contest. He ranked the field from 1 to 94 this week. He, like everyone else on the planet, favors Tiger Woods to win the event. He likes Geoff Ogilvy second. I can't argue with that considering that Ogilvy ended Woods' streak, seems to know a phenomenal amount about Augusta National, and is a high ball hitter. I have been saying Retief Goosen could be a surprise this week, but Sobel has him ranked third in the field. Glad to see someone as high on the Goose as I am. Here's why he is:

Had this list been produced a month ago, Goosen would have been about 30 spots lower as his game appeared to be in the tank. He hadn't cleared top 15 at any U.S. event since making the cut on the number here last year and shooting 70-69 on the weekend to finish T-2, but a T-14 at Bay Hill and T-2 at Doral has the two-time major champ back in the mix -- thanks in large part to a return to his old putter.
Lee Westwood sits at 4th in a bit of a surprise to people who don't follow the Euro Tour - he has 9 Top 10s. Couples is 8th.

Sal Johnson breaks down the field every week at Golf Observer and he does so again this week for the Masters. Also, he provides some great stats as to what makes a champion at Augusta - precise putting, minimal 3 putts, and hitting greens. He likes a lot of the same guys I like (listed below) and has performance data to back him up in his theories.

My picks? Of course, I have Tiger Woods at #1. If you don't, you would be crazy. Here's the best of the rest - a top 10.

#2 Retief Goosen
#3 Phil Mickelson
#4 Geoff Ogilvy
#5 Paddy Harrington
#6 Vijay Singh
#7 Jim Furyk
#8 Luke Donald
#9 Stuart Appleby
#10 Freddy Couples

1 comment:

The Florida Masochist said...


I like Stuart Appleby, but his record at Augusta is poor. Last year is the only year he's done well there.