Update: Well, I got one thing right and a couple of things wrong – I didn’t think Molinari would lose the Masters with a two-stroke lead into the final round, I didn’t think Tiger Woods would win a 15th major… but what a weekend of golf watching!!! /update
It doesn’t matter who wins the Masters this year, it should be a great finish with the current Leaderboard.
So many stories abound, with the players just at -6 and if recent history holds, the group at -7 from which the winner is favored to come (Francesco Molinari, Jason Day, Brooks Koepka, Adam Scott and Louis Oosthuizen), and I’ll tell you my reasons why.
I know Tiger Woods is everyone’s favorite to win, sitting 1 off the lead, and he very well could win due to 3 reasons I can think of:
- He’s swinging easier now, and as I’ve said, TW is a good enough golfer to win with any swing, provided he’s not playing hurt, however ugly his driver/irons/putting are on any given day,
- He’s won 4 Green Jackets already and
- He’s won more majors than the rest of the leaders put together.
Those are my reasons Tiger could be putting on the Green Jacket tomorrow evening, but I think it’s more likely going to be someone from the group at -7 for the following reasons:
- TW has never won a major coming from behind, which means he’s not yet in his kill-zone, and will have to beat the 5 players ahead of him,
- Recent history has had the winner holding or sharing the 36 hole lead, further strengthening TW’s need to have the best 3rd round out of everyone at -6 or -7 and likely again on Sunday,
- Everyone at -7 has won a major, with 2 players having won majors last season (recent form), so they aren’t likely to melt at the sight of TW on the leaderboard,
- They have all won majors since TW’s last major victory,
- If you have 5 players in the leading group, these 5 have bettered TW over 36 holes and I wouldn’t bet on TW beating them all over the next 36 holes and finally
- For those thinking TW is going into the weekend with the momentum, 4 of the 5 players ahead of him shot equal or better scores than him yesterday (Brooks shot -1 to TW’s -4, one shot equal -4 and the other 3 shot better scores with 2 going -5 and the other -6).
Mathematically speaking, my money would go on someone at -7 primarily because of reasons 5 and 6 above – however well TW is playing, 5 others have played better to this point and he has to beat all 5 of them over the next 36 holes, which is possible but not something to bet the house on.
There’s also the added element of major winners lurking from -6 to -4 (including multiple major winner Dustin Johnson at -6 and multiple major winner and 3 Green Jackets holder Phil Mickelson at -4), as well as other players at -6, any one of whom could have a monster moving day and be holding a share of or solo lead by tomorrow!
So, who’s going to win?
But again, I’d have to bet on someone at -7 if you gave me a free roll. And if you made me pick a horse – classic swinging ’18 Open Championship and ’19 API Champion Francesco Molinari!
DJ’s Pick – Molinari
That, however, is the reason you play all four rounds before handing out the prizes – anything can and will likely happen today, setting up a fabulous weekend for golf fans who like the big horses coming down the stretch on major Sunday.
Great news for me as well, the golf facilities will be opening in my area this weekend. I won’t be able to make it to hit balls today, and there is rain and cold forecast for Sunday and Monday, so I’ll likely not be out until Tuesday at the earliest.
The rain and cold however give me the perfect excuse to park myself in front of the TV tomorrow afternoon and enjoy watching the final round live, which I rarely do.
Have a great weekend, all, and I’ll see you on the other side!
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