It is Masters week and the golfing world will have its eyes on Augusta, Georgia. This is the one tournament that seems to draw sports fans from all walks of life.
The return and resurgence of Tiger Woods has added additional intrigue to the 2018 Masters. Tiger has played very well over the past month or so and is actually listed as one of the top five favorites to win yet another Green Jacket.
Here are my favorites this year.
I like Jordan Spieth this week. After dominating the sport in 2015 and 2016, he is almost the forgotten man this season. Spieth has improved weekly of late and is coming off a third place finish at Houston last weekend. He knows how to win here (2015) and placed second in 2014 and 2016.
Someone else rounding into form just in time is Rory McIlroy. He got back into the favorite talk of this year’s Masters with his win a few weeks ago at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. While he has yet to win the Masters, the four-time major champion is more than capable of winning it. McIlroy’s career-best outing thus far was a fourth place finish.
Look for Bubba Watson to be on the leaderboard this weekend. Remember, this guy has won this tournament twice (2012 and 2014). Watson has enjoyed a resurgence of sorts over the past two months. He has two wins this year including the prestigious World Match Play title last month.
Let me close with Tiger. His last two starts led to top five finishes. Woods finished second at the Valspar and fifth at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He returns to a locale where he has won often and he returns to make yet another charge toward Jack Nicklaus’s record of major victories. Woods knows the course, knows the greens, and knows how to win at Augusta. He was basically bedridden a year ago with all his injuries. Does he have the strength and endurance to post four good scores.
NCAA Tourney Thoughts
As predicted in these pages, Villanova marched right through the Final Four like they did in the earlier rounds of the tournament. By handily beating Michigan in the Finals, the Wildcats accomplished the rare feat of beating all six of their opponents by double-figures….I find it refreshing to see that the best teams I saw this year, including Villanova, have lineups that include upperclassmen who stayed in college versus leaving school early for a possible NBA career. Runner-up Michigan also had a roster of juniors and seniors to go along with freshmen who also contributed. It should not surprise many that experienced teams will end up beating schools like Kentucky and Duke who have chosen, of late, for the one-year and done player.
Image: Tiger Woods earlier this year