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The Masters Golf 2010: Could It Be the Most Memorable Ever?

Collin CooperCorrespondent IApril 7, 2010

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 07:  A general view of the play during the Par 3 Contest prior to the 2010 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2010 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
David Cannon/Getty Images

Clearly, the Masters is one of the toughest tests of nerves that golfers endure. I can’t imagine how PGA tour players can keep their emotions in check while standing over a putt to win a regular tour event. Ratchet up the stakes at the majors and my nerves would go into system overload. If the level of nervous tension could be measured like a car’s tachometer, my reading would be past the red line and ready for self destruction. It takes a rare and special person to handle the pressure of competing at such a high level. Only a few people in the world can reach that level. Tiger is one of them.

Regardless of how Tiger fairs during this Masters, he will be making major memories for the crowd, the viewers, and himself. Win or lose, he will be the talk of this year’s event. The galleries at the Masters are by far the best mannered in all of golf, but even with the well mannered attendees, the pressure on Tiger will be tremendous.

I’m sure he will sense that not all in the crowd are ready to forgive and forget. He will, in all likelihood, hear some derogatory remarks. In recent days many have stated to me that they will be watching the Masters just to root against him. You can make a case that the 2010 Masters will be his greatest challenge in his entire golfing career.

Prediction: Tiger will not win the Masters tournament this year. Better yet, Tiger will struggle to make the cut and my real bet is that he won’t even make it. I don’t wish Tiger ill will, although I don’t condone what he has admitted doing. I just don’t think any human, even Tiger, can stand up to the pressure that he will be experiencing this week.

He has proven that he is equal to Jack Nicklaus in being the all-time best at handling pressure. Who can forget the putt he made at Torre Pines to force an 18 hole playoff at the 2008 US Open. There are numerous other examples of his extraordinary skills under pressure. But this week will be a completely different kind of pressure and even Tiger won’t be able to handle it. I know I’d be folding like a cheap lawn chair.

Terry Cooper

Senior Golf Correspondent for the Sports Trekker

The Masters Official Site

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