Master 2012: Tiger Woods Must Go Low on Saturday at Augusta National

Fred AltvaterContributor IIApril 7, 2012

Can Tiger Woods catch the leaders on Saturday?
Can Tiger Woods catch the leaders on Saturday?Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Earlier in the week, Tiger Woods was a 4/1 favorite to win his 15th Major title at the 2012 Masters.

His first round even-par 72 featured bogeys on No. 17 and No. 18.  His second round three-over 75 put him T-40 and eight shots behind 36 hole leader Fred Couples.

Did Tiger shoot himself out of the tournament on Friday?

In 1956, amateur Ken Venturi was within one shot of winning the Masters, but Jackie Burke came from eight shots back to claim the Green Jacket.

Tiger has two days to get his game back on track.  He knows Augusta National and understands where and when to take risks.  He has not been nearly at top form for the past two Masters and still managed to finish T-4 both years.

Tiger has 33 players to pass over the next two days to collect a win, but upon further inspection only a few names appear to be real contenders.

Phil Mickelson is at two-under par and well within striking distance.  Rory McIlroy is at four-under par and certainly in a position to win his second major.

Two other names that deserve mention are Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia.  Both are just one shot behind Freddie and seeking their first Major win.

Matt Kuchar has some history at the Masters and as a Georgia Tech Alumnus, you know he wants a win here.  He is at three-under par could be a factor on the weekend. 

Long-hitting Bubba Watson has also himself positioned to make a run for the Green Jacket at four-under par. 

The bottom line here is that Tiger needs to go low today.  At minimum, he needs to shoot a five-under par 67 to cut into the deficit and get close enough to the leaders to make a Sunday charge.

Possible?  Yes.  Probable?  No.

Remember, this is Tiger Woods we are talking about here. 

A charge up the leaderboard by the pre-tournament favorite and the most famous golfer in the world would be the leading story in every sports writer and announcer's inventory.