Even without Phil and Tiger, it appears this Masters will still have a whale of a finish.
With the two marquee players presumably sitting on the couch somewhere, beer and chips on the coffee table and the remote in hand, a gaggle of golfers is set to provide the theatre on golf's greatest stage.
Bubba Watson had the opportunity to run and hide on Saturday but his 74 caused a multi-player pile-up on the leaderboard. There are now 17 players within six shots of the lead. Only four of those have a major to their credit and three are making their first appearance at the Masters. It likely means that there will be some excitement as they try to untangle themselves coming down the stretch. No one seems to mind having the opportunity to be a part of that.
“It's one of those things that you have dreamed about your whole life,” said Watson. “If you want to be a professional golfer you've dreamed about it, you've thought about it.”
Despite his over-par score Watson still felt in control of his game; he wasn't losing the ball left or right, just short or long, a relatively good sign around what was a hard and fast golf course.
Watson is tied with youngster Jordan Spieth, who has looked calm and confident beyond his 20 years in getting to five under. Despite being born a year after Fred Couples won his Green Jacket, Spieth has had enough time to soak in what the Masters is all about and the opportunity that Sunday presents.
“I don't think I've ever had a round where I've been nervous on every single swing, shot, and putt,” said Spieth who would be the youngest Masters winner in history. “I'm sure that will happen tomorrow, but hopefully I can channel it positively and stay grounded, stay cool, and see what happens.”
Below the leaders is an interesting collection of possible winners. There is Matt Kuchar, the aw-shucks guy who has already compiled six top-10 finishes this year including a playoff loss last weekend where he coughed up what appeared to be a sure win, and Jonas Blixt, the Swede trying to become the first European to win since 1999.
And Miguel Angel Jimenez, who would not only become the oldest Masters and major champion but also the first player with a bun to wear the Green Jacket.
Rickie Fowler put himself in contention with a strong 67 on Saturday and gave no doubt as to his wardrobe for Sunday.
“Oh, yeah, orange and green look great together,” he stated. “I think green would look great with anything, to be honest.”
The list of possible champions is so deep it's likely there is a full closet full of potential green jackets at the ready. Before that, however, there is sure to be some drama and excitement to be revealed over Augusta National. In past years, the pin-setters have been friendly, allowing for birdies down the stretch; but with the hard, slick course, danger is always only a few centimeters away.
Get settled in, hang on and enjoy.