And so it begins, one of the most important weeks in the golf season. It’s Masters Week. Even casual golf fans know that the Masters is not just another Major. When the tour makes its annual stop at Augusta National, all eyes turn to the 93 golfers who battle for the elusive and prestigious Green Jacket. From the 63-year-old, two-time champion Tom Watson to the youngest competitor in Masters’ history, 14-year-old Chinese stud Tianlang Guan, the field this week is stacked with the best golfers in the world. Here are some players to watch during the 2013 Masters:
-Tiger Woods: Honestly, does this guy even need any reason to win his 15th Major? With three wins under his belt in 2013, he is poised to grab his fifth Green Jacket and his first Major since 2008.
-Rory McIlroy: This young gun will take another stab at Augusta National after coming so close in 2010. After winning two Majors since then, he has the confidence to contend yet again this year.
-Phil Mickelson: With a dominating performance by Lefty earlier this year in Phoenix, the three-time Masters champ is always a threat, even though Father Time is knocking on his door.
-Keegan Bradley: Another young guy that already has a Major under his belt, Bradley has had a hot start to the season, even though he hasn’t found the winner’s circle. His game suits Augusta very nicely.
-Ian Poulter: This flamboyant Englishman has never won a Major, but this could be the time to do it. After an unbelievable performance at the 2012 Ryder Cup, his game is sharp and a Green Jacket is a real possibility.
-Brandt Snedeker: The defending FedEx Cup champion has already won this year and is eager to get his first Major Championship. A strong, consistent putter is needed to win at Augusta and that is exactly what Snedeker has in his bag.
-Bubba Watson: You’d be stupid not to keep an eye on last year’s champ. His game isn’t really where it should be right now, but he’s a fun guy to watch, both on and off the course. You never know.
Final Verdict: These are 93 of the best golfers in the world. All of these guys have the talent to win on any given weekend at any given course. With that said, this isn’t just another course. This is Augusta National, the toughest venue all year.
However, I have a hard time picking against the guy that has made this course his playground since his first win there in 1997. Get ready for some Sunday Red. Get ready for another Tiger victory. This is Augusta National Golf Club, this is The Masters.
by Zach Weinreich