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phil mickelson
brandt snedeker
retief goosen
nick watney
dustin johnson
foot birdie
lee westwood
ernie els
Can Phil Mickelson Win The Masters?
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Everyone is wondering whether Tiger can win his 15th major or if Phil Mickelson will win this week's Masters?

Being played as usual at the famed Augusta course from April 7th to April 10th 2011, this years Masters brings added pressure to no less than 5 players. Woods and Mickelson among them. The others are Graeme McDowell, Lee Westwood and Luke Donald.

Any of these five players will gain the world's number 1 spot by winning the 75th Masters.

Luke Donald may not have done himself any favors by winning the Master's Par three tournament. No-one has ever won the mini tournament and then gone on to win the main event. Surely it will happen one day - but will this be the year?

Mickelson is in impressive form having won last week. Tiger has been at Augusta for a week practising and getting a feel for the subtle changes that are made at Augusta each year. Plus of course Tiger has not quite mastered his swing changes and the question is will it all come together this week?

To me this years Masters is a truly open field.

Besides those battling it out at the top of the rankings there are any number of players with great incentive to win:

  • There are the brash and brave youngsters such as McIlroy, Schwartzel, Ricky Fowler, Jhonattan Vegas and Jason Day (could he be the first Ozzie to win?).
  • The old hands such as Ernie Els, who has strangely never claimed the green jacket (although he came awfully close in 2004 and was only thwarted by an 18 foot birdie put from Phil Mickelson on the final hole), or any of the older Australian campaigners not to mention a number of Europeans. The field is wide open.
  • Camilo Villegas, Brandt Snedeker, Kevin Na, Dustin Johnson, Adam Scott, Nick Watney, Tim Clarke, Aaron Baddeley, Retief Goosen, Ryo Ishikawa, Padraig Harrington, Rory Sabbatini, Matt Kuchar to name a few others. It is a class field.

Phil Mickelson's statement that the secret of winning at Augusta involves a lot of different things beside the obvious ability to play good golf. You need a great short game - and he is probably the best in the world. You also need a lot of imagination.

I found his comments that to take risks on Thursday and Friday is not the way to play there. Mickelson says once through the cut and heading into the final two days is when to step up a gear or two and start thinking about taking calculated risks.

His amazing shot out of the rough at the 16th last year is a classic example of that. What an awesome shot that was which inevitably led to a birdie. And that after his caddie advised him against taking the risk.

As Phil says he prefers to be the one who makes the decisions on the final days of big tournaments. I think most of the top players are similar

An interesting aspect of Phil's game is that, unlike most players, his preferred shot is the fade.

So will it be a fader who wins, a drawer who overpowers the field or someone with great touch and finesse?

It is going to be enthralling that's for sure and I for one will be glued to my set for 4 days. Don't bother phoning as the phone will be off the hook.

Who am I rooting for? Not telling but it is one of the lesser players who I would like to see come through. I love it when new talent rises to the top.

Street Talk

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