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April 2, 2018
It's Masters Time or Tiger Time?
Jim Nantz has stated that this is the most anticipated Masters in his thirty-three years of broadcasting the event. Sounds like an overstatement, but that's how much Tiger Woods can move the excitement needle. Also, did you know that Nantz has been doing the Masters broadcast for thirty-three years? That means he was 25 years old when he first covered the tournament. Wow!
Tiger Woods is the Las Vegas betting favorite to win the Masters. Vegas makes odds on what people are willing to bet on their favorite player, not what his true chances are to win the event. On April 2nd the betting line is 10 to 1 for his victory. Jordan Spieth, with his solid performance at the Shell Houston Open, is now tied with Tiger as the favorite. Tiger's lowest odds were 5 to 1 after his second place finished at the Valspar event in Tampa. As you can see, the line varies greatly on emotion.
Let's look at the statistics. Tiger Woods has not won a major since the US Open in 2008. He has not won a PGA event since 2013. The last time he played in the Masters was 2015. A logical betting person wouldn't overlook that data and put a substantial wage on him. Those are the facts, but this is Tiger Woods. Do I give him a chance? YES, because he has done things that no one else has done. People expect the unexpected from him. This would be the ultimate comeback, the pinnacle victory, and cement his place in all-time sports history.
Jim Nantz paints a dreamy picture of this coming week. I think he is correct. The storylines are so interesting. If Tiger Woods wins, it will be against the strongest field that he has faced. All the top contenders are peaking at the right time and have positive vibes going into this week. If any of them win, it will be a Masters to be remembered.
My favorites in order of preference
Dustin Johnson – His time has come. He is healthy and is ready.
Rory McIlroy – Nobody is better (not even Tiger) when he is fully on. Just doesn't happen that often.
Jordan Spieth – This course likes him. He knows what to do and win.
Justin Thomas – This win would solidify his status as a superstar.
Justin Rose – I really like his chances. Could've won last year. Maybe he validates this year.
Tiger Woods – The person that I want to win. Would be an unbelievable story. Fairytale storyline.
Bubba Watson – Two wins this year and is putting well. Loves the course. Could do it again.
Phil Michelson – If he can stop making big numbers, he has the rest of the game to win again.
Jason Day – Flashes of his old self from a few years ago. Maybe he is back?
Jon Rahm – Not seen lately, but a perfect game for Augusta.
Ricky Fowler – Will make a splash and disappoint again.
The game starts in a few days. I hope the tournament matches the hype. I really doubt a longshot will sneak in, like Trevor Immelman, and steal the glory. That would be a shame, because all the pieces are in place for an epic event.