Every morning this week, writers and editors from Sports Illustrated and Golf Magazine will address one pressing question about the Masters in a daily version of PGA Tour Confidential, our weekly roundtable discussion.
Jim Gorant, senior editor, Sports Illustrated: Short and sweet: Who are you picking to win and why?
Alan Shipnuck, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: Anthony Kim. He’s hot and tends to stay hot. And don’t forget he made a record 11 birdies in one round last year.
Jim Herre, managing editor, SI Golf Group: Lee Westwood. Might be best player in the world at this moment, plus I see an international leader board.
Michael Bamberger, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: I liked Dustin at Pebble Beach in ’09. I liked him in ’10. I liked Dustin at Augusta in ’09. I like him again this week. That’s Dustin Johnson. Any further questions, refer to the SI Golf Masters Preview.
Cameron Morfit, senior writer, Golf Magazine: Phil. He’s the best player out there, and more than the six straight birdies he made in Houston on Sunday, I liked his demeanor in his post-round TV interview. He seems to know something.
Mike Walker, senior editor, Golf Magazine: Tiger Woods. Has he ever played so many practice rounds here? Expect Woods to show his sense for the big moment. No fist pumps, though.
Damon Hack, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: I like Angel Cabrera, the prototypical big man with soft hands. From Oakmont to Augusta, Cabrera can handle large, slick greens as well as anyone in golf. Throw in the muscle memory for last year’s Masters win, the high finishes throughout his career and the uncertainty of Tiger and Phil, and Angel is as good a bet as anybody. El Pato makes it two straight.
Joe Posnanski, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: Tiger. Because it would be an amazing golf achievement, and the guy has a nose for the big moment.
Farrell Evans, writer-reporter, Sports Illustrated: I like Hunter Mahan, one of the best drivers of the golf ball on the planet (ninth in Total driving on the PGA Tour) and a PGA Tour winner this year at Phoenix against a strong field. He can draw the ball with a lot of length on an Augusta layout that favors that shot shape. Mahan wins with a 10-under par score regardless of the weather.
Rick Lipsey, writer-reporter, Sports Illustrated: Phil Mickelson. With all eyes on Tiger, Phil, due for a breakout performance after a blah start to the season, can work in relative obscurity while he draws inspiration from the emotion of Masters week, not to mention the feelings for his recuperating wife and mother.