Even the casual golf fans are excited about this week's Masters. Tiger is back and for many, the Masters signals the start of the spring golf season. To win at Augusta, you need length off the tee and nerves of steel. You need to putt well and get a few lucky breaks. For a good article about what it takes to score well at Augusta these days, click here. The first major of the year will set the tone for the rest of the season and everyone wants to come out and play their best this week.
Retief Goosen is my pick to win this week. He has finished in second place at The Masters twice before and he has yet to hang a green jacket in his closet. He has two US Open victories and he likes Augusta. He has played very well in 2010, with five Top-6 finishes so far including a victory at the Tavistock Cup. He is 3rd in total putting and 24th in total driving. This might be the year for Goosen to get his Green Jacket.
Steve Stricker played very well here last year where he finished tied for sixth. With the exception of his final two rounds at Bay Hill two weeks ago, Stricker has played extremely well this season as well. Don't count him out. He is coming off of a week of rest that I think will recharge the batteries and leave him playing his best. If he is on, there might be no one who can beat him.
Justin Leonard might surprise some people this week and compete for the title. This is not far enough off base of a pick to make a sleeper, but it is close. His best finish so far this season is a tie for 17th at the Honda Classic, so it is a bit of a reach. Maybe I just have a gut feeling about him this week. Leonard has a British Open title to his name so we know he has the nerve's to close out with the pressure on. He might surprise this week.