Lee Westwood takes part in the par 3 contest Wednesday prior to the start… (Jamie Squire / Getty Images )
Writers from around the Tribune Co. predict who will be wearing the green jacket after the final round of the Masters on Sunday. Feel free to join the conversation with a comment of your own.
Bill Dwyre, Los Angeles Times
Lee Westwood will win this year’s Masters for two reasons: 1. Because he is a great player (has been for a long time); 2. Because he is due.
Since Tiger Woods fell out of the top ranking in the world in October 2010, Westwood has been No. 1 twice and is currently No. 3. If he wins the Masters, he will become No. 1. He finished second at Augusta in 2010 and only because Phil Mickelson shot a lights-out 67 the final day.
Westwood is 38, his time is running out, but he is mentally tough enough to know that and not choke on it.
Teddy Greenstein, Chicago Tribune
There are three types of players in the Masters field: The guys we know by a single name (Tiger, Rory, Phil, Sergio, Bubba), the ones whose names are somewhat difficult to spell (Graeme, Charl) and the rest of the field. My Masters pick is from the third list.
Justin Rose shed his rep for blowing Sunday leads at the 2011 BMW Championship at Cog Hill. His five-shot edge shrunk to one until he chipped in for birdie on No. 17. Last month at Doral, he rallied from three shots down to claim his fourth PGA Tour victory in less than two years. He’s both ready and able to win at Augusta, where last year he tied for 11th.
Anyone can pick Tiger or Rory. I’ll take the guy who won’t face shot-by-shot scrutiny this week.
George Diaz, Orlando Sentinel
All the buzz is going to be about Tiger.
He’s back! Ready to roar again! Yada-yada…
Mr. Woods may have found his footing again at the Arnold Palmer Invitational recently, but he won’t be fit for green this weekend.
Say hello to your 2012 Masters champion, Rory McIlroy.
Yes, we all know about the infamous implosion on No. 10 in last year’s tournament, when Rory turned into an average hack on a 3-par muni course. Boink, into the trees. Triple-bogey.
Although McIlroy cried that day, he didn’t pout very long. He went on to win the U.S. Openi n a few months, his first major. That shows remarkable resiliency.
It all adds up to his second major championship, and a slice of redemption for McIlroy.
Mark Wogenrich, Allentown Morning Call
Given a choice between Tiger/Phil/Rory or the field, I’ll take the other 93. Just good betting sense.
One player who should be on the Green Jacket radar, however, is Australian Adam Scott. He was squarely in the mix of last year’s Sunday scramble, leading briefly after making birdie on the 16th hole before ultimately tying for second.
Having played only 10 competitive rounds in 2012 (because of a tonsillectomy and a philosophy change), Scott arrived in Augusta as a wild card. Either he’s rusty and will be overwhelmed or he’s fresh and freed of cluttered headspace. We’ll lean toward the latter.