No-one in this year’s Masters field has more Green Jackets than Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson – who own four and three respectively.
But, who is going to finish higher come Sunday? Alex Perry and Dan Murphy disagree…
Tiger Woods will be right up there on Sunday
I predicted that Tiger Woods would threaten up until the 54-hole mark then fade away on the final day – provided he doesn’t end up in hospital – but after seeing the way he’s played in his opening rounds of 70 and 68, I might just revise that, writes Alex Perry.
It was a vintage performance. Tell me it didn’t give you goosebumps.
As for the ridiculous question at the top of this page, if you watched even a fraction of Tiger’s second round then you have your answer.
And seeing his great rival Mickelson up alongside him on the scoreboard might just be the catalyst he keep him going on the final day at Augusta.
Yeah, I know, they’re great mates now and all that. But nothing – NOTHING – would annoy Tiger more than seeing Phil draw level with him on four Green Jackets. And you won’t convince me otherwise.
He would never answer the question honestly, but if you asked Tiger the one person in the field he wouldn’t want to win this week, it would be Phil. (Sergio second, of course.)
I’m not underplaying Phil’s chances here, and his record around this corner of Georgia speaks for itself, but you just always feel he’s got as much chance of shooting 82 as he has 62.
So if you’re asking me if I’m putting my life savings on Tiger or Phil to finish higher this week – why on earth would you do that? – then I’m playing safe with the man who has 14 majors on his CV.
Mickelson playing well could be the best thing that happens to Tiger this week.
Four is the magic number for Phil Mickelson
Don’t think for one minute that Phil Mickelson plans on playing second fiddle to Woods this week, writes Dan Murphy.
After rounds of 67 and 73, Lefty once more finds himself front and centre at Augusta National.
The 48-year-old knows he is in the hunt for a fourth Green Jacket that would bring him level with his great rival’s total – and he might never get a better chance.
He isn’t about to pass it up.
Nobody apart from Ernie Els has had to play in the great man’s shadow more than Phil and while their relationship is much more cordial now than was once the case, do not mistake that for a lack of competition.
Never mind the phoney war of The Match last year, a Sunday showdown at the Masters would be the real thing.
Curiously, this is something that has never materialised in a major championship, despite the fact they have dominated the game for much of the last 25 years.
Since Tiger’s most recent major, in 2008, Phil has added a third Masters (in 2010) and the Open (at Muirfield three years later).
As recently as last March he added a WGC in Mexico. Phil has certainly not forgotten how to win and, like all gamblers, he can always sense the next big win.
There is nothing he would love more, apart perhaps from that elusive US Open title that would complete a career Grand Slam, than to slip on a Green Jacket once more.
And if it involved staring down Tiger in the process, well, that might even be preferable to winning his precious national championship.