1. Anthony Kim. He’s a momentum player, and will surge into the Masters on the high of a gritty, gutty win in Houston. Don’t forget, he made a record 11 birdies in one round at last year’s Masters. If Kim’s thumb doesn’t fall off, he’s a big-time threat.
2. Yani Tseng. A new era has dawned in women’s professional golf.
3. Augusta, Ga. Literally. With high temperatures all week, hopefully the course will be a firm, fast racetrack inducing the spills and chills we all love.
4. The Augusta National practice area. Only at this place can a driving range induce so much heavy breathing.
5. Tiger Woods. Amazing how one of the most dominant athletes in history has suddenly been recast as an underdog. But after unburdening himself in a cathartic press conference, I believe Tiger is ready for a transcendent performance.
1. Cristie Kerr. Usually at the Dinah she chokes on Sunday. This year she got a head start and did it on Saturday.
2. Phil. His final round in Houston was like Cliff Notes for his entire maddening career: six straight birdies … preceded by three double bogies. Will Good Phil or Bad Phil show up to the Masters?
3. Local boys. Vaughn Taylor had a chance to play his way into the Masters but made a messy bogey in the Houston playoff. And Charles Howell failed to qualify for the Masters for a second straight year. Where have you gone, Larry Mize?
4. Gary Player. Shouldn’t he have been invited to be part of a Big Three reunion for the ceremonial first tee shot?
5. Vegetarians. Angel Cabrera’s champion’s dinner asado is basically six different kinds of beef. Plus wine. Wish I was there.