Everybody wants to see great golf at the Masters. Nobody - at least that they will admit - roots against anyone. But if two expected contenders pull away from the pack on Augusta National's back nine Sunday, it's only human nature to have a preference (you couldn't pull for Nicklaus and Palmer). Chances are good that this year's winner will come from the 20 players listed below. Forced to choose, here's one for/against list in no particular order.
- Steve Pajak
ROOTING FOR ...
Player - Comment
Rory McIlroy - Accessible, accountable, refreshing, human - the anti-Tiger
Brandt Snedeker - Great putter will never be penalized for slow play
Louis Oosthuizen - Just want to hug the little guy - and swing like him
Phil Mickelson - Love him, hate him, love him, hate him ... love him
Matt Kuchar - Has carried his happy-go-lucky ways over from amateur days
Lee Westwood - Englishman has handled major heartbreak with class
Graeme McDowell - Would like to have a beer with him - now there's a compliment
Dustin Johnson - If in contention, there won't be any laying up or backing down
Hunter Mahan - Solid player is deserving of major breakthrough
Rickie Fowler - Reputation exceeds accomplishments, but he's well-grounded
ROOTING AGAINST ...
Player - Comment
Tiger Woods - Among the least interesting men in the world
Luke Donald - Most of the Brits (Rose, Poulter, too) just kind of blah
Adam Scott - Uses a long putter - that's not illegal, but ...
Keegan Bradley - All that freaky twitching ... and uses a long putter
Bubba Watson - Know those guys you're not drawn to but can't articulate why?
Charl Schwartzel - Seems to have forgotten that golf can be fun - call him Snarl
Sergio Garcia - Can't think of one likeable thing about him
Jason Dufner - His indifference, charming last year, is off-putting this year
Webb Simpson - We just can't have a Masters winner use a long putter
Jim Furyk - Quit pretending that you're ready to putt it and putt it already
Call The Bee's Steve Pajak, (916) 326-5526.