They will all arrive tomorrow, at yet another closing Sunday in Augusta, Georgia, each with his own grand dream of a certain walk up the 18th fairway, Green Jacket in sight.
And, yet, of the 48 men teeing off tomorrow, from England’s own Lee Westwood, the current leader at -12, to Nathan Green (of Australian fame) who is currently the equivalent of NFL Draft Day’s “Mr. Insignificance” entering tomorrow’s first tee time at +11, I count an even 10 who may actually stand a chance of donning that green blazer.
Although, it's only between four men, to be honest.
Following is the list of tee times for Sunday’s Final Round of the 2010 Masters. I will save rating the chances of winning for only those 10 mentioned previously.
10:40 - Chad Campbell (USA), +11
Nathan Green (AUS), +11
10:50 – Robert Allenby (AUS), +9
Jason Dufner (USA), +6
11:00 – Retief Goosen (RSA), +5
Robert Karlsson (SWE), +4
11:10 – Sergio Garcia (ESP), +4
Zach Johnson (USA), +4
11:20 – Steve Stricker (USA), +4
Ben Crane (USA), +4
11:30 – Matteo Manassero (ITA), +4
Dustin Johnson (USA), +3
11:40 – Mike Weir (CAN), +3
Ernie Els (RSA), +3
11:50 – Scott Verplank (USA), +3
Francesco Molinari (ITA), +3
12:00 – Miguel Angel Jimenez (ESP), +3
Yuta Ikeda (JAP), +3
12:10 – Ryan Moore (USA), +2
Luca Glover (USA), +2
12:20 – Charl Schwartzel (RSA), +1
Matt Kuchar (USA), +1
12:30 – Camilo Villegas (COL), +1
Soren Kjeldsen (DEN), E
12:50 – Adam Scott (AUS), E
Steve Flesch (USA), E
13:00 – Angel Cabrera (ARG), E
Kenny Perry (USA), -1
13:10 – Nick Watney (USA), -1
Sean O’Hair (USA), -1
13:20 – David Toms (USA), -1
Heath Slocum (USA), -1
13:30 – Geoff Ogilvy (USA), -1
Trevor Immelman (RSA), -2
13:40 – Tom Watson (USA), -2
Bill Haas (USA), -3
13:50 – Steve Marino (USA), -3
Jerry Kelly (USA), -3
14:00 – Y.E. Yang (KOR), -5
Anthony Kim (USA), -5
Okay. The following are the only few players who I believe have a legitimate shot of winning, albeit some have much greater odds than do others.
14:10 – Ian Poulter (ENG), -6 : Poulter has not been lights out, and has, in fact, stunk up a few holes here or there. However, he is still hanging around, quietly, steadily. He is a long shot, but one who may actually place or show.
Ricky Barnes (USA), -6 : Wow! I thought Jim Furyk had a messed up swing. The Lord Himself cannot fix Barnes’ swing, nor can he in time tomorrow. But, he does have that way of making you want to watch. Long shot at best.
14:20 – Hunter Mahan (USA), -6 : Hunter may be one of the more impressive golfers you may not have heard much about. He is steady and has been unaffected by anything, good or bad, this week. I expect Mahan to finish in the Top 5 come sundown.
Fred Couples (USA), -7 : What can I say? It has been nice watching Ole Freddy out and about again this week. He still has, in my opinion, one of the prettiest, easiest swings…kind of like God said, “That’s it! Mold that swing into a golf swing.” However, there is something else to be said for bad knees and a bad back. I think they come back to haunt him on Sunday and Couples finishes, at best, -5.
14:30 – K.J. Choi (KOR), -8 : Simply put, I believe Choi is a going to be a force to reckon with for years to come. He has played with Tiger and knows his game, yet still does not get intimidated. I think Choi finishes Top 3…and do not be surprised to see him wearing green at evening’s end.
Tiger Woods (USA), -8 : Let me say this to all of you who may have never played “competitive” golf. It is absolutely stunning, amazing, out-of-this-world-insane that he is even IN this position. I have not seen him charge yet this weekend until day’s end on Saturday. I pick Tiger to win, again, for the fifth time, after a four-month absence from competing. In a word, sick!!
14:40 – Phil Mickelson (USA), -11 : It is completely different, of course. But, folks, let me remind you what Mickelson has endured over the past 18 months. He has had to deal with both his wife and his mother fighting breast cancer. We are talking about the two women we adore most in this world, and he had BOTH of them fighting for their lives. And here he is again. I believe it comes down to he or Tiger on Sunday…almost too close to call, but I give Tiger the nod, barely.
Lee Westwood (ENG), -12 : Westwood has played lights out since the opening bell in this year’s tournament. However, with all due respect, I just do not see him beating Tiger or Phil on Sunday, or even K.J., for that matter. I believe he falters and shoots 75. Just my opinion.
To borrow a quote from Jim Nantz, “I will never forget April 13, 1986. It was my first Masters, and just as it ended, (CBS analyst) Ken Venturi drove me back to the CBS compound and said, 'Jimmy, you may be lucky enough to broadcast 50 Masters, but you'll never live to see a greater one than the one you saw today.' I think he was right. ”
Mr. Nantz, with all due respect, I believe April 11, 2010, some 24 years later, you will have seen yet another.