Sunday, April 11, 2010


OK, this one is easy, the US Masters is "always" won by one of the final pairing, at least it has in 18 of the last 19 years, this is not a course where it is easy to play catch up on the Sunday. So that leaves us with leader Lee Westwood and his closest challenger Phil Mickelson.

Next up, we all know that the first 63 holes of most golf tournaments are just for show, that not too much happens until the back nine on the final day, when the real business starts. Well Big Phil is ten under par for that stretch, six shots better than the englishman, so get that 44L green blazer pressed and ready !

Of course, it is not quite that simple, but the course sets up really well for PM, especially the par 5 13th, where he is already five under this week and it is over these holes, Amen Corner 11 through 13, that this tournament is likely to be decided. I think the others are too far back, although to write off Woods just four strokes off the lead is always foolhardy, but I think the baggage he carried into the tournament, will eventually prove too much and will see him come up short.

Westwood is a proven multi worldwide winner, but has never previously led in a major before this week and whilst he remained very focused yesterday, when Mickelson was charging. I think he was helped greatly by playing with his fellow countryman and friend Ian Poulter, which gave him a buffer against what was going on elsewhere on the course and there was plenty !

Now he has to battle head to head with Mickelson, who is ultra popular, looking for a third Masters victory and will have massive support from the galleries. 2010 has not been a great year for the newly slimline californian, just one top ten finish todate, at a time of year he normally racks up the titles, but he has had other issues. His wife Amy has been battling breast cancer but, and this is key to family man Mickelson, she and their whole family have travelled to a tournament for the first time in a year and it is plain to see that, this has left him more relaxed and able to concentrate fully on what he does best.

I fully expect Mickelson to win tonight and rate him a double stakes bet at anything above the generally quoted 2.50......... quite a bit higher available on the exchanges.

Good Luck.

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