What Tiger Woods wants, Tiger Woods gets.
When the "grand master" of golf complained that the course at Augusta National had begun to take on the appearence of a US Open venue it suddenly shrank by ten yards and the rough was tamed. But is that enough for Tiger and his rebuilt knee?
Woods answered a few questions a couple of weeks ago at Bay Hill, but does that weekend translate to anything in the 73rd edition of the Masters?
As presently constituted the course has changed from one that rewarded shot-makers and gamblers to one that rewards the straightest, safest game. Since the major changes, Tiger has gone home empty handed and relative unknowns—like Trevor Immelman and Zack Johnson—have donned the green jacket.
Is this year more of the same, or is there some magic among the magnolias? Is it Tiger or the field in 2009? Let's see.
Woods answered a handful of questions in the gathering dark at Bay Hill, but is his rebuilt swing up to straight and safe? Most have already conceded that Woods will take down Jack Nichlaus' major record; is this the weekend he moves one win closer?
Prior to his majestic battle with Woods at Torrey Pines last summer, Mediate was largely unknown outside of his native Western Pennsylvania. Rocco showed that he had the nerves to handle the last day at a major.
But is his cranky back up to the weekend's grind?
He can't hit the ball into the next area code anymore, but Couples has been amazingly consistent in his last several appearances at Augusta. At 49, he would be the oldest winner of the Masters, so its now or never.
If ever a golf course owed a guy a mulligan, it's Augusta for Greg Norman. People remember the great el foldo of 1996, but do they remember that Norman was the victim of Nicklaus' last charge?
We saw at The Open last summer that Norman can still create his way around a golf course. But can he create here where so much has been taken from him?
Maybe the most talented golfer on the planet without a major title behind his name. He's been less swash-buckling in the last couple of years, but does he have enough straight to avoid trouble? Does he have the nerves to finally finish the deal?
Maybe 19-year-olds don't belong inside of the ropes here, but McIlroy has already won the Dubai Desert Classic wire-to-wire and is ranked 17th in the world. Maybe the drive down Magnolia Lane this week is enough to unwind his game. but maybe, just maybe, we have a story here.
Gentlemen, hit away.
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