Thursday, April 5, 2012

2012 Masters preview

Well it’s that time of the year again.  The azaleas are blooming and some of the world’s greatest golfers have descended upon Augusta for what promises to be a thrilling Masters tournament.  The world’s greatest golf tournament, and I say that with all due respect to the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai (J), kicks off today in what is one of the most anticipated Masters tournaments in recent years.  With Tiger’s victory at Bay Hill just two weeks ago moving him back into the world’s top 10, and with Rory finding winning form, the prospect for an exciting week’s golf is upon us.

My only disappointment this year is that Ernie Els failed to qualify.  While his form certainly seems to have improved it is a shame he was unable to win a tournament to qualify for the Masters or at least move into the world’s top 50 in time to qualify for the tournament.

I had a really tough time this week choosing my European Tour Fantasy Team.  With their being so many quality Europeans in the field, the choice was really tough to make.  Finally I settled on Donald, Fisher, Garcia, Hanson, Karlsson, Quiros, McIlroy, Oosthuizen, Rose and Westwood.  I made an educated guess leaving out Martin Kaymer, given that he has not made the cut in four previous visits to Augusta.  My toughest call was omitting Charl Schwartzel, the defending champion, from my fantasy team.  With him having won last year he is not under as much pressure to perform this year.  Although I believe he will do well I suspect that other players will do better.

Who would I like to see win?  I have predicted here that Alvaro Quiros will win the Masters.  Otherwise I am quite happy to see Rory win to gain some sort of closure on what happened last year.  Beyond that I would love to see Luke Donald or Lee Westwood take their first major.  That would be much deserved after the careers that they have had so far.  Otherwise a win by any European would be most welcome, especially if they just happen to be in my fantasy team this week.

The 2012 Masters is bound to bring back fantastic memories of my trip to the Masters for my 40th birthday last year.  I was pleased to attended six days of the tournament in 2011, including two practice rounds, the Par 3 competition and all four tournament days.  My review is here and the photo's are here if you are interested.  Unfortunately I am likely to miss the final round of the tournament as we will be on the Titanic Memorial Cruise, leaving Southampton on Easter Sunday, the day of the final round, and arriving into New York on April 19.

Enjoy the 2012 Masters, it should be a cracker!!

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