The Masters begins today and, when Sunday arrives, one thing is certain: the winner won’t be Tiger Woods.
But who will it be? Australian Adam Scott, the defending champion, with Woods’s former caddie, Stevie Williams, on the bag? Or will it be someone else?
Here are a couple of the more esoteric ways to predict the winner (to be used for recreational, non-betting purposes only):
Phil Mickelson, in every even-numbered year since 2000, has finished in the top five — and has won it three times. He’ll tee off at just the time he prefers, too.
Phil Mickelson before 2011 Masters: ″I like the latest tee time possible here.” Since then, his Thursday tee times: 1:48, 1:53, 1:30, 1:48.— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelGC) April 8, 2014
And then there are the Irishmen, who’ve fared well when Woods sits out a major tournament. There are three in the field at the Masters — Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy, Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell.
Masters Chairman Billy Payne admits that “we miss Tiger, as does the entire golf world,” but it isn’t as if Woods was a lock to win. He may bring buzz and TV ratings, but he hasn’t donned a green jacket since 2005. Maybe it’s best to go with Mickelson. He may be 43, but all of his Masters wins have come since he turned 33. In fact, he’s won all five of his majors since then.
Or maybe it will be someone like Ian Woosnam, the very, very, very early leader Thursday.
Rory McIlroy on who can win: ″Ian Woosnam, no. Sorry, Woosie. I’m talking about the people that are playing regularly.” Now? Woosie leads.— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelGC) April 10, 2014