Tiger Woods

This is a guest post by Troy Vayanos from Talking Golf Online

A lot has changed in professional golf the last 8 months. Since the 2012 PGA Championship all the talk has been about the changing of the guard after Rory McIlroy’s dominant victory. However, a new set of clubs for McIlroy and a Tiger resurgence has seen the momentum swing in the latter’s favor  So much so that Tiger Woods is now the raging hot favorite for this weeks US Masters at Augusta National Golf Club. The question appears to be now, not who can win the Masters but who can stop Tiger from winning major number 15.

Here are 4 players I believe are capable of pushing the world number one all the way to Masters Sunday.

Louis Oosthuizen

The sweet swinging South African had a great start to the year by winning January’s Volvo Golf Champions event in Europe. His form has been up and down since on the PGA Tour with just the one top 10 but has a habit of performing well at the big tournaments.

He finished runner up to Bubba Watson in last years US Masters after a memorable battle with the American down the stretch. Who could forget his albatross (double eagle) at the par five 2nd on Sunday? He performed solidly at 2 of the other 3 majors in 2012 and is capable of adding another major to his 2010 British Open win.

Can he go one better in 2013?

Phil Mickelson

The crowd favorite is having a strong season in 2013 with his all the way win in the Phoenix Open the real feature. It was highlighted by a first round 60 that had many declaring Phil was back! “Lefty” has a scoring average of 69.50 this season on the PGA Tour, sits 2nd on birdie average and 7th in scoring on par 4’s.

His record at the US Masters is superb, with only 14 time major winner Tiger Woods able to match him of today’s current players. Phil has won the ‘green jacket’ 3 times and has recorded an impressive 14 top 10’s at the venue.  He finished just 2 shots behind the winner Bubba Watson last year despite recording 2 triple bogey’s during the championship.

Phil is always a threat at Augusta National.

Matt Kuchar

“Mr Consistent” is Matt Kuchar and season 2013 is proving to be one of his best yet. He has a scoring average of 69.70 and has recorded 3 top 10’s, 6 top 25’s with the one victory coming at the World Matchplay event in March. Kuchar has shot 65 or better an impressive 5 times already this season!

He doesn’t feature on most of the key statistics on tour apart from scrambling where he is ranked 6th. This shows his ability to remain competitive despite not always putting the ball on the fairway and the green.

Kuchar finished in the top 10 twice at majors in 2012 including leading briefly during the final round of the US Masters. His recent major record is strong which reads 4 top 10’s in majors the last 3 years where he’s also made 10 of 12 cuts. His record at Augusta National is solid finishing no further back than T27 in his past 6 appearances.

I expect him to be in the mix come Sunday afternoon.

Justin Rose

The Englishmen continues to go from strength to strength and has reached a career high 3rd position in the world golf rankings. He’s made 4 cuts from as many starts in 2013 on the PGA Tour and boasts an impressive 69.33 scoring average. His 3 top 10’s this season have come in strong fields including the WGC Cadillac Championship and the Bay Hill Invitational. Justin is 2nd in scrambling this season and 1st in approaches from 125 yards or less.

He recorded 2 top 10’s in the majors in 2012 including last years US Masters and PGA Championship. Rose played a big role in Europe’s retention of the Ryder Cup making several huge putts under pressure on the final day. His record at Augusta National is solid with finishes of T8, T11, T20, T36 & T5 at his last 5 appearances.

Could Justin Rose become England’s first major winner since Nick Faldo in 1996?

Author Bio:

Troy Vayanos was born and still resides in Brisbane, Australia. He has been a passionate golfer for over 20 years and loves learning and increasing his knowledge of the golf swing.

He lives and breathes golf from his local golf course to the professional tours around the world. Troy loves to share his views and opinions on the game of golf at his blog Talking Golf Online

Filed under: Stuff From John

Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!