Fantasy Fix

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Welcome to a Masters edition of Fantasy Fix, the place we plan on wearing our own green jacket if we predict the winner — or even come close. The first major championship of the year is finally here and we can't wait for it to get underway. Let's get right to our thoughts.

ON TAP

Ahh, the Masters. The only sporting event that features blades of grass so excellent that you feel bad stepping on them. One particular of the most exciting tournaments on the golf calendar despite the bevy of tiresome pimento cheese jokes (I'll take the spicy chicken sandwich any day), this year's edition seems even more vast open than usual. Considered a bomber's course with all the tweaks over the years, a forecast of plenty of heat instead of much rain should have the course playing firm and fast with titleist 2010 ap2 irons , giving shorter hitters like Jim Furyk and Zach Johnson a good opportunity of competing. In fact, out of a larger-than-usual field of 99, probably 98 have an opportunity of winning. Sorry, Larry Mize.

Random tournament fact: Horton Smith won the inaugural Masters in 1934. He is also the only non-Dr. Seuss character to have the 1st name Horton.

THE DEFENDER

Phil Mickelson. Lefty arrived here previous year with little confidence in his game and even less momentum. It appeared that would be the case again this time around until his brilliant performance over the weekend in Houston. Having finished outside the top 10 only once in the past 12 Masters, it seems like Mickelson could break par at Augusta inside dark with r11 driver . Sure, it's an obvious choice, but that doesn't make it a dumb one particular. Which leads me to this next guy you just could have heard of before…

ELDRICK TONT "TIGER" WOODS

Is it finally time for Tiger Woods to step into a phone booth and morph back into a single of the most dominant athletes of all time? This could be the place, especially because Augusta is an individual of the few places that still has pay phones. Tiger's struggles from the past year have been well documented, but he is only been out of the top 10 during this event 3 times because turning pro. If he could finish T-4 very last year despite just returning from a self-imposed five-month layoff, there's no reason to think he won't be in contention again come Sunday. So will we finally be treated towards the back-nine duel between Tiger and Phil that we've always dreamed of? Within the words of Verne Lundquist, "Yes sir!" Why? Because the sports gods owe us after putting us via that dreadful NCAA championship sport between UConn and Butler.

STUDS OF THE WEEK (NOT NAMED PHIL OR TIGER)

Hunter Mahan. With top-10 finishes on this event the last two decades, Mahan looks poised for a major breakthrough. Yes, chipping under pressure has been a problem, but of all the major championship venues, this may be the one in which his superb ball-striking can mask that flaw the most.

Nick Watney. It's tough to forget about that disastrous final-round 81 at Whistling Straits when he was from the final group of the PGA Championship very last year, but the guy is a player with best golf clubs . Watney won at Doral earlier from the year, and he has long been while in the top six in four of six events in 2011. His high ball flight comes in handy at Augusta, in which he's improved each and every year, including a solo seventh very last year. Oh, and he has a connection with Masters co-founder Bobby Jones, having picked up the golfing legend to play a round of golf. So what if it was a Lexus commercial?

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This article was published on 2011/04/06