Masters 2012: Bold Predictions for Phil Mickelson and More Past Champions
Phil Mickelson will make waves at the 2012 Masters, but he will fall well short of his ultimate goal. This will prove to be just one awesome storyline from what promises to be an epic tournament.
Here is a taste of what you can expect from past champions at this historic tournament.
Mickelson Will Hold an Early Lead and Fall off
Mickelson will finish?
Lefty is at the peak of his perplexing form this season. You just never know what you are going to get with this guy.
He has played seven PGA events this year. In his fourth and fifth events he finished first and second. He finished 26th, 49th and missed the cut prior to that, and finished 43rd and 24th following that.
He has settled into a bit of a groove of mediocrity recently. His last eight rounds have all been between 71 and 73.
While that would lead to a logical conclusion that Mickelson is headed for a similar even-par type of performance, there is nothing logical about his game.
He is going to start this tournament on fire. He will hold the lead at some point during the first two days and be near the top of the leaderboard at the end of the second round.
However, that is when his errant driving and sporadic putting will kick in and derail him. He will end up finishing outside of the top 20.
Charl Schwartzel Will Never be a Threat to Defend His Title
Schwartzel won a battle of survival to take last year's Masters. He finished strong as Rory McIlroy blew a four-stroke lead and others crumbled.
He will not be in that same position this year. Schwartzel had, his year's best, fourth place finish at the WGC Cadillac Championships. He then missed the next two cuts.
At the root of this is some struggles with the putter this year. He is averaging his most putts per green since his rookie season. If there is one part of the game that can't be struggling at Agusta it is putting.
Schwartzel will give away strokes with his putter and as a result will never be a factor.
Zach Johnson Will Finish in the Top 10
The 2007 Masters champ is rounding into form. He is coming off of an 11th-place finish his last time on the course.
Johnson does not have the typical game that has success at Agusta. When he won, he laid up on all of the week's par fives.
The winning scores are going to be too low for him to contend for the title with his game, but it will lead to him having a consistent and solid tournament.
Where will Woods finish?
Tiger Woods Will Win
You can't very well have an article on past champions without talking about Tiger Woods. However, I'm not going to get too specific on Tiger here, since I already outlined why he will outduel McIlroy to win the title.
For those of you too sick of me to click over, let me just say that Woods is playing fantastic. His victory was not a mirage, but the culmination of his efforts to reclaim his top form.
If he plays like he has been playing, he will not be beaten.
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