In my very first post on December 28, 2012 I picked Rory McIlroy to win the Masters this year…so let that sit for a minute.
I play the weekly/season-long fantasy golf challenge on golfchannel.com. Each week I pick one player from each of four groups (usually divided by world ranking) and add up the amount of money they won for the week. The total runs all season. Presently, I am ranked somewhere around 4,500/98,000 with roughly $8.5 million.
SInce the golfchannel.com game is a contest that I am trying to win I picked the players I though would give me the best results:
- Group 4 – K.J. Choi: A sleeper pick seemingly every year. His steely temperament, solid ballstriking and reliable putting seem a better fit to a US Open, but his best results in majors over his career have come at The Masters including two top 10s in his last three starts.
- Group 3 – Freddie Jacobson: I love this guy. His swing lives up to his nickname (The Junkman, with a soft J, he’s Swedish) and his short game and putting deserve wizard-status. He played very well at the end of the West Coast swing and into Florida to lock up a spot in the Top 50 to earn his invite. He’ll hit the ball literally everywhere, then get up and down.
- Group 2 – Matt Kuchar: Kuch was right in the mix last year, with his first career top 10 at The Masters. Most impressive to me was his indifferent start last week in San Antonio that turned into a top 20. He’s longer than you think, and he can putt (lead the tour in 2010). Don’t sleep on his Georgia Tech connection with Augusta founder, Bobby Jones.
- Group 1 – Tiger Woods: How can anyone pick against him? He’s putting as well, if not better, than he ever has. His short iron/wedge game his back to Tiger-standard. I followed him a couple of days at Bay Hill and he was hitting tight, controlled, high draws with his driver. He’s already won 3 times this season (although the previous three times he came to Augusta with 3 wins he left without a green jacket). It just seems his confidence is back to what we all remembered from his peak during the last decade. As Johnny Miller said on Golf Channel, it will probably take a super-human effort to beat him this week.
But initially, I picked Rory. Yes, waaaaay back in December. Who could have forseen the incredibly rough beginning to this season? Although it seems he finally found something in San Antonio with a final round 66, I just don’t think he’s quite confident enough to get the job done. We shall see…