Masters Roundtable

Phil and Tiger have won seven of the last 14 green jackets.

Ron Varrial
Managing Editor: Metro US
Thrash Talk columnist:

Who will win the 2011 Masters?
Phil Mickelson at 14-under. I swore I was done picking Lefty, but it’s hard to deny his game is built for Augusta National. Hits it a mile, plays towering shots into greens and has all the creativity needed around the putting surfaces. Plus, he won last week in Houston.

Name one shocking contender and one flop
Ricky Barnes (ranked 77th) is healthy enough to pull off another solid major performance. As for a disappointing top dog, I’ll say it’s Steve Stricker. He’s been marginal at Augusta, and I’d expect the scores to go low this week, leaving him in the dust.

Augusta is on Tiger Woods 12. Does that cheapen this event?
I do think it robs the course of some mystique, maybe not for die-hards, who already revere those grounds, but for kids who will never know that Augusta was once way too exclusive to be available to anyone with a video game unit.

How much would you pay to play Augusta National?
I’d say $5,000, knowing that I’d give up golf and guy trips for as long as I needed to in order to recoup the cost. Everyone’s got a bucket list of golf courses and Augusta is atop mine — by about a mile.

Justin Pucheu

Bag Drop columnist:

Who will win the 2011 Masters?
Hunter Mahan has been playing very good, consistent golf, as has Nick Watney. Tiger, though, seems to be on the verge of a breakthrough. He’ll win his first Green Jacket since 2005 at 17-under.

Name one shocking contender and one flop
Hard to believe Barnes won’t be there, the guy always seems to be somewhere near the top in recent majors, including last year’s Masters, where he finished 10th. Rory McIlroy, a top-10 player, will miss the cut.

Augusta is on Tiger Woods 12. Does that cheapen this event?
That game is the closest probably 99 percent of us will ever get to stepping foot on Amen Corner, there’s nothing wrong with it.

How much would you pay to play Augusta National?
Until last year, I said there’s no way I’d ever pay $500 to play anywhere, but after visiting Pebble Beach for the U.S. Open, my stance has changed. Augusta is a whole different level and I’d totally shell out at least that.

Jamieson Weiss
Trap Five columnist:

Who will win the 2011 Masters?

Matt Kuchar at 11-under. Last year, he was the money leader and the Vardon Trophy winner. He already has six top 10s in eight events this season.

Name one shocking contender and one flop

Vijay Singh is No. 52, but he’s quietly had a good year. My missed cut is going to sound harsh, but world No. 1 Martin Kaymer has never played well here.

Augusta is on Tiger Woods 12. Does that cheapen this event?

If anything it might expose more people to the course.

How much would you pay to play Augusta National?

A couple thousand. Though, if I want to play it that badly I’ll spend $50 on TW 12 for Wii.


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