The Masters is approaching very quickly and many players have entered the Texas Open to play in preparation for the first major tournament of the year. The Masters has the smallest field of the four majors in the season and can only be played by those who have been invited, but there are still requirements which must be fulfilled in order secure a place. Last year’s champion Bubba Watson is looking to defend his title whilst a very in form Tiger Woods hopes to regain it.
The players will need to bring their best form to this notoriously difficult course. Considering that this will be the first of four majors, it is obvious that the tournament is going to be hard and with a possibility of high winds, it could prove too much for many players. The course was lengthened from 6,985 yards to 7,445 yards in 2006. However in 2009, the first hole was shortened by 10 metres leaving the length of the course at 7,435 yards, which is the current length.
The main players to watch are out for are Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson. Tiger Woods thrives on competitions such as the Masters having won it 4 times previously in 1997, 2001, 2002 and in 2005. Woods sits behind the golfing legend Jack Nicklaus in terms of Masters victories. Also, Woods is currently on what many are saying is his old form, having recently taken over Irishman Rory McIlroy as the world number one. He is going for a fifth Masters Title this year and it will be difficult for other players to match him.
One man who could beat him to the coveted green jacket is the former world number one Rory McIlroy. The Irishman will seek revenge on Woods who took the world number one place from him last week. However, McIlroy is yet to win a Masters title, making it an especially difficult task to beat a man who has won the title four times previously. Woods has the experience in the Masters but McIlroy still has a reasonable chance, despite his recent poor form, as he still very much wishes to etch his name into golfing history.
Phil Mickelson is also a prime contender having won the Masters on three occasions – just one victory away from Woods’ four. Mickelson is the most recent player to win the Masters of the three competitors having emerged victorious in 2004, 2006, and three years ago in 2010. Even though Mickelson is currently ranked only 10th in the world, there is no ruling him out as he looks to match Woods’ tally.
Author Daniel Foster.
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