Let's admit one thing right at the start of this blog: Tiger Woods is the prohibitive favourite to win the Green Jacket. These days, the most popular question when it comes to Masters bets is Tiger or the field? The recently re-crowned No. 1 certainly seems to be firing on all cylinders and with three wins already under his belt, looks strong. But just for argument's sake, here are five reasons why he might not come through and win his 15th major this week.
As good as Tiger is playing, there are many other players also coming into the year's first major with hot hands. Justin Rose is playing well as is countryman Lee Westwood. Matt Kuchar has won this year and has played well at Augusta National in the past. Phil Mickelson has a win this year too and knows the course well. Throw in Brandt Snedeker, Sergio Garcia and Graeme McDowell and – oh ya, that Rory kid who suddenly showed up – as well as others and there's enough good competition to make Tiger anything but a lock.
Funny things happen around Augusta National. Just ask Greg Norman. Or Scott Hoch. Or Curtis Strange. The course has a way of tripping up even the best of players. As well as Tiger knows the course and as well as he's played in the past, one bad break could keep him out of the winner's circle. There's nothing predictable about this course and that's why we love it so much.
Want It Too Much
Tiger would love to end his major drought but is there a chance he wants to do that too badly? If he tries to press things the likely result won't be a Green Jacket. If he tries to force his game, then expect to see him somewhere other than top spot on the leaderboard. While he knows better than anyone what it takes to win a major, he's obviously anxious to get
While I listed Tiger's errant driver as one of the reasons he might win – because he can get away with spraying the ball at this course – it could be a problem if he's too wild. If you can't go for par 5s because you're stuck behind a tree then others will pass you on the leaderboard. Tiger is not accurate off the tee so if he chooses to use his driver more than not, he might end up hurting himself rather than helping.
Greens in Regulation
As well as Tiger is hitting it with his irons, he's not spot on with his accuracy coming into the greens. He's ranked 81st so far this year which isn't horrible, but at Augusta National, you not only have to hit greens, you have to hit the right part of greens. Miss the proper spot and you could have a white-knuckle ride of a putt. Tiger will need to be sharper than he's been to get it done.