The forecast is for dry and sunny conditions today, so the course might not be quite as friendly as it has played this week and with sunday pin positions, we might be in for some fun and high scoring.
Kenny Perry and Angel Cabrera lead the field by two strokes and will be the final pairing today, the winner has come from the last group out in 17 of the last 18 years, so plenty of people will not be looking beyond these two. However, both can get very nervous and other stats are against them, Perry would become the oldest Major winner ever and Cabrera with three rounds already in the 60's, is due a big number, as no golfer has ever shot four sub 70 scores at Augusta. Having said that, maybe he could win with a 73 and he is looking to become a two time Major winner after his shock 2007 US Open win. I favour him to beat Perry, he is said to be very relaxed and with a big one already in the bag, his nerve might hold out better than KP, it is one thing to win on Tour at 48, but to claim your first Major at that age is quite another.
Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson have been paired together and although both are seven shots off the lead, you can be sure that we will see more television coverage of these two, than the overnight leaders. Tiger has holed nothing this week, it is not that he has putted poorly, just that nothing has fallen for him, his swing looks in excellent shape and he could put in a massive charge today, if everything clicks. "Big Phil" is not so big now and a winter spent in the gym has left him looked as fit as we have seen him in many years. They both have the ideal game for Augusta and it would have been fantastic if these were leading the field and playing together, however, there is not a lot of love lost between the top two players in the game and neither will want to give an inch. The last five times they have been paired together, Mickelson has won three, with one tie, so at "level ball" and 2.75 he looks too good to pass imo, especially given Tiger's putting woes this week. Having said that, Tiger is an expensive guy to oppose, so we will keep stakes small.
Second two ball out is Miguel Angel Jiminez against Rocco Mediate and I am confident that the Spaniard will take the spoils in this one. Last year in very difficult last day conditions he shot 68, only one other player bettered 71 and Jiminez charged through the pack to finish 8th, This is not the first time he has produced similar last day heroics here and facing Mediate, who looks a little tired after, by his standards, a very busy March and who finished 193rd on tour for final day scoring last year, he is a sound bet for my money.
Finally, one of our new favourites Nick Watney, who I will take to see off Stephen Ames. Last year Watney shot 71 in round 4, a total only beaten by two players, so the conditions and pin positions will not bother him today. He is already ranked 8th for final round scoring this year, with his 8 sunday finishes averaging a very fine 68.75, he beat Ames by four strokes in 2008 (on Sunday) and is a much better, more rounded player now and could hardly be in stronger form.
With regard to the outright winner , I have no idea and can find reasons to oppose all the leading contenders.
5 points Cabrera to beat Perry 1.96 Pinnacle Sports..... up to 2.10 available with the "tie" you lose quote.
5 points Mickelson to beat Woods 2.75 Pinnacle Sports.
7.5 points Watney to beat Ames 1.91 general quote.
7 points Jiminez to beat Mediate 2.05 general quote.
Pinnacle refund stakes with the "tie", others are quoting with the "draw", so if taking that option, you would lose if the golfers shoot the same score.
Similar quotes should be available on the exchanges later this morning.
WRITTEN EARLY SUNDAY MORNING !