Masters Predictions 2012: Stars That Will Struggle at Augusta National
If last year was any indication of how the 2012 chapter of the Masters Golf Tournament will end, we can expect high drama with a frantic finish at Augusta.
South African Charl Schwartzel held off eight others during the final round and put a bow on his Masters weekend by making four straight birdies to capture the green jacket in 2011.
The Tournament’s final round featured eight different leaders, including a roaring Tiger Woods who came back from being seven strokes down and Rory McIlroy who started out the day with a four-stroke lead. Mcllroy then proceeded to finish with an 80 on Sunday in one of the most memorable collapses in recent history.
In 2012, Golf’s biggest players are vying for the green jacket, but here are the reasons why each star will be left behind at Augusta National.
Rory Mcllroy rebounded quite nicely after his epic collapse at last year’s Masters. Mcllroy won the 2011 U.S. Open by a wide margin and scored the lowest four-round tally in U.S. Open history.
He even topped the world rankings for a short time earlier this year, but it remains to be seen if Mcllroy can seriously compete at the site that caused him so much trouble in 2011.
Phil Mickelson made his way back into the Top 10 of the world golf rankings this year and even though his recent play has been very strong, Mickelson started off the season terribly after switching putters again.
Mickelson won in 2010 and has routinely played well at Augusta, but will his inconsistent putting game cost him a chance for a fourth green jacket?
Tiger Woods is back! Right? Winning his first official PGA tournament turned the golf world on its head last weekend, but Woods hasn’t been his dominating self in quite a while.
He played remarkably on the Augusta front nine during last year’s final round, but it’s hard to see Tiger winning the Masters if you take into account his overall game as of late.
It is quite humorous to see Vegas oddsmakers making Woods the overwhelming favorite to win this weekend after gaining his first victory since 2009.
Charl Schwartzel made history when he birdied his final four holes to win last year’s Masters, but Major championship history is defiantly not on his side.
No player has repeated as Masters Champion since 2002, when Tiger Woods doubled down on green jackets. The last 14 major championships have also featured 14 different winners.
By all accounts, Luke Donald has to be considered a strong choice to win at Augusta this year. Donald finished fourth in the 2011 Masters and is building steam with a win in last month’s Transitions Championship.
Even so, with no major championship in his trophy case, it’s not in your best interest to bet on Donald this weekend.
If this year’s Masters was decided on momentum alone, the odds-on favorite would have to be Hunter Mahan.
Mahan, the highest ranked American on the PGA Tour, won this weekend at the Houston Open and even out-dueled Rory Mcllroy in February’s Accenture Match Play. Still, it’s not easy to pick Mahan against the host of big names going for the green jacket in 2012.
Adam Scott has been the stylish pick to become the next big thing in golf for what seems to be the last 10 years. Scott has done well for himself, but has never seemed to reach his full potential.
What is even worse for Scott is his performance in majors. The Aussie has cracked the Top 10 only six times in his 43 attempts.
Considering he hasn’t been able to put together a complete tournament this year, it’s not conceivable to think Scott will win at Augusta.