I must admit that I couldn’t help but watch Tiger play his first round and then cheer him on. I suppose that is when you admire the efforts of a real champion – that is what you cheer – regardless. Not necessarily in support of an individual athlete, but more for the witnessing of a champion performance. Had Woods putted to his potential in round one, he would have led on day one.
Though he did have a couple of mishit tee shots during the first 18 holes which fortunately escaped the trees. (Driving is his Achilles heel.) Often Tiger is tempted to try and hit the ball too hard. In the process his swing plane is too flat, resulting in either a pull hook to the left, or a blocked tee shot to the right.
I didn’t see him play his 2nd round today. But he is right in the thick of things – he is by far the best player with the most success in handling pressure when it counts, even in his unmatched amateur days. The UK’s Westwood and Poulter are good players but not yet great players. Poulter has a relaxed temperament and a very good short game and self belief again needs to reintroduce itself to Westwood’s thinking in Majors if he is to perform at his best. A preview of how this UK pair might perform as possible leaders in the final round will be seen by how they perform individually as tied leaders in round 3.
Somehow I doubt whether Phil Mickelson can win. But he is good enough. I think the Asian chaps Choi and Yang and Kim are real chances due to their temperament and ability. We will all be a lot wiser after the 3rd round. If Tiger gets his putter working and has a bit of luck, he could grab the lead going into day 4. Though I am sure he will be quite content with his position on the leaderboard at the moment. The player chasing has less pressure than the leaders.
My winning score prediction for The Masters – if it stays fine is – 14 to 16 under par. Tiger will need to post a 67 or 68 in round 3, if he is to have a chance to win on Sunday. But who really knows? – Only the golfing gods.
I suppose that leaves me out!