We haven’t even played the first round and I’m already prepping for Sunday. Here are the top nine final day pairings we would love to see and where they would register on golf’s richter scale.
Luke Donald and Lee Westwood: 5.7
Two guys who have both spent substantial time as the world’s No. 1 ranked golfer (Donald the current number one) without having won a single career major. Yes, now that’s a great final pairing...for Europe.
Bubba Watson and Rickie Fowler: 6.0
Arguably the two most popular American players behind Tiger and Phil and two of the more like-able players on tour.
Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler: 6.8
Two of the younger star players on tour, and the only two golfers who look like they’re still teenagers.
Tiger Woods and (insert any no name player): 8.3
Who am I kidding, this is what everyone wants to see. Even if you're not a Tiger Woods fan, you're going to be disappointed if he's not in contention on Sunday.
Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia: 8.5
Sergio still has yet to win a Major and wouldn't even be on this list if not for millions of Tiger Woods fans who just want to jump in a time machine back to 1999 at Medina.
Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson: 8.7 (nullified)
Pair Dustin Johnson with any golfer in the final round and it is going to be must watch TV solely for the purpose of waiting to see if he folds again. Unfortunately we won’t see this because Johnson withdrew from the tournament yesterday with a muscle strain.
Tiger Woods and Adam Scott 8.9
This pairing would be Tiger’s life coming full circle with his golfing career. You have Scott who is still looking for his first Major, Tiger who is essentially trying to win the equivalent of his first Major, and Steve Williams carrying the bag of Adam Scott. The media would surely make this one awkward round of golf for all the parties involved. The truth, though, is that it wouldn’t actually be awkward at all. At least not until the winner was decided. Would it end with Tiger coming oh so close in defeat, or would he find a way to prevail and reclaim the golf world once again? Either way, this wouldn’t be Adam Scott versus Tiger Woods, it would be Tiger versus Steve. And it would be awesome.
Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson: 9.1
It’s never before happened in a Major and we’re running out of time. However, the days of a Tiger-Phil pairing topping everything are gone. What we really want to see is...
Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods 9.8
This gets the edge over a matchup with Phil because McIlroy is the current (unofficial) number one. He’s also considered by many to be Woods’ successor. Because of that, this is the Tiger Woods/Phil Mickelson pairing on steroids.
You have the fact that last year McIlroy, who had a comfortable lead heading into Sunday, threw the tournament away. You have the best golfer in the world (again, unofficially) going up against the number one golfer to ever play the game, and the guy who will still always be considered number one in the world no matter what he does. You have a mini Ryder cup with Tiger playing as a representative for the United States and McIlroy representing Europe. You have a 22 year old kid going up against a full grown man who aged before our eyes. You have all of it happening on Easter Sunday. And you’ll have every advertiser known to man doing a mad Saturday night scramble just to fill in the remaining opening commercial slots so they can get a piece of the action.