by Jeff Skinner
Here are some thoughts on selected pairings of today’s third round.
10:45am Tiger Woods & Charl Schwartzel. It’s Charl’s turn in the travelling circus that Tiger’s gallery is. As long as Schwartzel stays out of club throwing range he’ll be all right. What swing will Tiger bring today? It has got to be better than yesterday.
1:45pm Phil Mickelson & Vijay Singh. Phil says he is playing so well he still has a low round on deck. Vijay is always a threat at Augusta. It isn’t too crazy to think that either of these fortysomethings can win this one.
1:55pm Ben Crane & Charles Howell III. Ben Crane’s game is overshadowed by his slow play reputation. He can play golf. Wouldn’t it be amazing that on the 25th anniversary of Augusta native Larry Mize’s victory that another Augusta boy, Howell wins The Masters?
2:05pm Matt Kuchar & Miguel Angel Jimenez. Kuchar would make his career with a win at the place where we first saw him as an amateur. Miguel loves playing at Augusta and he would be a very popular champion. He’s 48 but beats guys half his age every week. The Spaniard is The Coolest Guy in Golf and the sight of him in a green jacket would be some tribute to Seve.
2:15pm Bubba Watson & Paul Lawrie. What an odd pairing this is. Redneck Bubba from Baghdad probably won’t understand a word Paul from Scotland says and vice versa.
2:25pm Sergio Garcia & Rory McIlroy. Paired together are the former phenom and the phenom. Rory is living the life that was expected of Sergio a dozen years ago. The difference between the two is that Sergio let his failures fester inside him while Rory lets his go with his next Guinness.
2:35pm Louis Oosthuizen & Lee Westwood. A second major win by Oosthuizen would put him in another class of golfers. Westwood wants this one so very much. He knows this is one of his best chances to shed the tag of “The Best Player Not to Win a Major.
2:45pm Jason Dufner & Fred Couples. All the relatively unknown Jason Dufner does is keep putting himself in a position to win majors. Don’t think he can’t win here. With the exception of Phil, there wouldn’t be a more popular champion at Augusta than Fred Couples. He is worshiped here and he gives it right back. Dufner will have to deal with a very pro Freddy crowd today. Freddy will be hoping his back doesn’t fail him.