The stage has been set and four of the most exciting days in golf commence as the Masters gets underway. It’s sure to be an exciting tournament filled with great play and dramatic moments. The field is stacked with golfers from around the world, including two local products from the Pacific Northwest.
Veteran golfer Fred Couples will tee it up once again at Augusta for his 27th Masters showing. The Seattle native won the tournament in 1992 and had a stellar showing last year finishing 6th.
Couples is 51 years old but is still at the top of his game. If he can withstand lingering back issues, it’s possible he could still be in contention on Sunday.
Ryan Moore is another local product who will be competing at this week’s Masters. Moore was born in Tacoma and grew up in Puyallup. He played golf for Puyallup High School winning the Washington high school individual championship in 2001.
Ryan excelled as an amateur golfer winning multiple titles in 2004 and becoming one of the most decorated amateur golfers of all time. He turned pro in 2005, and continued his ascension moving up quickly in the PGA rankings. Last year he had six top ten finishes and ended at #32 on the tour money list.
Moore has played in three previous Masters, with his best performance coming in 2005 when he finished tied for 13th. Last year he would finish 14th after a good showing and chances are this time out he’ll play well again.
He displays a solid all around game and can be dangerous if he gets his putter going. While his experience is limited, look for him to contend and put on a show at this year’s tournament.
Players to Watch
Besides the two local contenders here are a few other golfers to keep your eye on during this week’s Masters.
Phil is playing his top golf right now and is coming off a solid performance after winning the Shell Houston Open. He has a history of success at Augusta, winning 3 times previously including last year, and is the favorite to do it again. While it is very difficult to repeat as champion, Phil’s chances look very promising moving forward.
Here is another golfer on top of his game. Thus far in 2011 Watney has finished in the top ten in 5 out of 6 events and won the World Golf Championship earlier this year. He finished 7th in last year Masters and tore it up on the final day shooting an impressive 65. He is sure to compete and will be a serious contender in this year’s event.
Tiger has looked very shaky as of late but it’s never smart to count him out. The Masters is also historically a tournament in which he has excelled, don’t be surprised if he turns in a solid week of golf reversing his recent struggles.
Kuchar has had a great year thus far, he is one of the top putters in the PGA and has 6 top ten finishes in 2011. While this is only his 2nd showing at the Masters he has been playing some solid golf recently and could easily work his way up the leaderboard with a few good rounds.
Westwood hasn’t been playing his best golf as of late but he is sure to come ready to play at Augusta. Last year he finished 2nd at the Masters and also finished 2nd in the Open Championship at St. Andrews. He has historically played well in Majors and can be expected to step up this week.