With azaleas budding here in Georgia, it is time to for the 2013 Masters. The 77th iteration of this world class tournament that begins on Thursday April 11 in Augusta, promises to be a great event. The main storylines to follow revolve around Bubba Watson, the defending champion, who said he wants to be the number one golfer in the world this year, Tiger Woods, who looks to be playing like the old Tiger again, and Charl Schwartzel, the streaking 2011 Masters champion.
Bubba Watson, who won the 2012 Masters in historic fashion, is back and ready to play. Currently ranked 14th in the world, Watson is planning to make his move again in this tournament, catapulting him back into the top 10. But to do this, he will have to overcome four Americans currently ranked in the top five, as well as number one ranked golfer, Tiger Woods.
Of the five Americans currently ranked in the top 10, none are more feared right now than Tiger Woods. Looking like the pre-meltdown Woods again, Tiger is making a serious run at the Masters this year. And while many were saying the same thing last year, another year of focused play should provide Tiger with just what he needed to get himself back to form for a more serious run at a green jacket – time. Tiger is hungry for a big win in a Major to put him back on track in his pursuit of Jack Nicklaus’s record of 18 majors. This win will also consolidate his recent move to the number one ranking in the world. Watch out for Tiger this weekend.
Charl Schwartzel, the 2011 champ and current number 15 ranked golfer in the world, has been on a tear the last four months. Since November, he has had top five finishes in seven consecutive tournaments spanning multiple continents. Among those finishes, he had back to back wins in Thailand and South Africa. During this four month span, he has accumulated more world ranking points than any other golfer. He has the game to remain in the top five for a long time to come, and is poised to break out on Masters Weekend.
Another interesting aspect to consider are the golf balls of choice of these golf pros. The most commonly used ball on tour is the Titleist Pro v1 and Pro v1x, which just so happens to be the ball of choice for Bubba Watson. Woods and Schwartzel, however, use the Nike One Tour D. There will also be on display a new Nike, the 20XI series, which is McIlroy’s new ball since signing on with Nike.
With so many story lines, this year’s Masters will surely be one to remember. Please, tell us which story lines you are planning to follow in the comments section.