Spring has sprung and the thoughts of golfers everywhere turn toward Augusta National and the Masters. As the first major of the year the Masters commands plenty of extra attention from the world's best. Everyone is putting forth their theories regarding who has the best chance to win the Masters. If we narrow the possibilities down to only former Masters champions, which one has the best chance of winning in 2012?
There are 30 living Masters champions. However, in 2011 only 15 of them competed in the Masters. In an effort to winnow the field down even further, let's eliminate the Masters champions over age 50. This leaves us with nine players.
Of the remaining nine players here are the former champions that have the best chance of winning the 2012 Masters.
Did you think that I was going to leave Tiger Woods off this list? I was going to put Woods on this list prior to his victory at Bay Hill. Now he is definitely a player to watch. We are talking about a four-time Masters champion and the best golfer of his generation. He is in what should be the prime of his career and it would be a mistake to discount his chances of winning in 2012.
Phil Mickelson has three Masters titles in his career with the last coming in 2010. Phil has played well at times this year with the win at Pebble Beach and a playoff loss to Bill Haas the following week at Riviera. Phil's favorite tournament is the Masters and he can not wait to get to Augusta National. If Mickelson plays well, he will certainly contend and anything can happen on Sunday afternoon at the Masters.
I tried to find a third former champion that has a realistic chance of winning the 2012 Masters. However, after looking at former winners such as defending champ Charl Schwartzel, Zach Johnson, Angel Cabrera and Mike Weir, I do not think that any of them is playing well enough this year to contend for the title. Schwartzel does have a couple of top 10 finishes on tour this year, so perhaps it is possible. Could another former champion catch lightening in a bottle over four days? Sure, but I think if a former champion is going to add another green jacket to his collection it will be Phil or Tiger.
Dwight is an avid golfer. While still relatively new to the game, he plays as often as the weather and his schedule will allow.
More from this contributor:
- Tiger Woods
- the Masters
- Augusta National