It's the halfway point of the Masters, and I thought it would be appropriate to make some predictions about how those at the top of the leaderboard, as well as other key players, will fare during the weekend. As we all know, Saturday and Sunday in major championships is very different from Thursday and Friday. Here's how I see it shaking out for certain players:
Trevor Immelman: He will not win, but he will not fold. He will have his struggles, especially on Saturday, but he'll end the tournament in the top six with a final score of -7.
Brandt Snedecker: He has a good shot of winning this thing. I like his attitude, and he can make birdies and eagles at an amazing rate.
Ian Poulter: I don't see it happening for Ian, although he appears to be confident. I would like to see him do well, but this isn't his year. It would be more in character for him to win the tartan jacket next week at Hilton Head. Plain green is a little dull for him.
Steve Flesch: I like this guy, and having another left-hander win at Augusta would be quite a story, but he's going to struggle with the bright lights of the Masters over the next two days. I think he'll end up at -2 or -3.
Phil Mickelson: The only way he won't win this tournament is if: a) he blows it himself, which I don't think is going to happen, b) someone behind him like Tiger, Vijay or Goosen goes ballistic, or 3) one of the other leaders hangs in and defies the odds by posting two rounds in the 68 to 70 range.
Paul Casey: Like Phil and Weir, he's one of my picks in my fantasy golf league, so I hope he can pull it off. He's done well at the Masters in the past, but he still has to prove to me that he can go low on the weekend of a major. Being from the U.K, if the weather is crummy, odds are that he won't collapse. Look for him to remain in the top five or six.
Stephen Ames: See Paul Casey.
Mike Weir: I would like to see him do well, but it's going to be tough for him if it rains and gets windy.
Arron Oberholser: He would be a great story (because of his comeback from weird injuries), and I think he has the guts to hang in there, but being five shots off the pace will make it difficult for him. He has to go low both days. I'll go as far as saying he'll remain in the top ten.
Stewart Cink: I don't trust him on the weekends, but maybe I'll be wrong. I think he's pretty vanilla, but he would be a worthy champion. However, it's not going to happen.
Retief Goosen: If anyone is going to come from way behind on the weekend, it's either going to be the Goose, Singh, or Tiger. Watch out for this guy.
Tiger Woods: Had he not converted that tricky par putt on 11 or gotten himself out of a jam on 18 yesterday, I would say he was out of it. Since he got it to -1, he's still in it. I think he'll be close to a 65 today, but it'll end up being a 69 and keep him 4-5 shots off the pace going into Sunday. If the wind kicks up on Sunday, he'll likely do poorly and finish around a T-7.
Vijay Singh: I have a feeling that he's going to go low on Saturday but come up short in the end. Like Tiger, he has too many good golfers in front of him.
Others: Geoff Ogilvy, Padraig Harrington, Justin Rose, and J.B. Holmes will all make strong showings, but they will all fall short.
Winner: Phil Mickelson. If it's not Phil, I think it'll be Snedeker, Ames, Casey, or Goosen.