2014 US Masters Preview: Leaderboard: TV Times: Tee Times
By Brian O’Hare
ADAM SCOTT sees no reason he can’t become just the fifth golfer ever to win back to back US Masters victories.
With Australia’s incredible recent success on the US PGA Tour, beginning with Scott’s breakthrough win at Augusta National last year, who’s to say the fairytale can’t continue.
Should Scott again hoist the Masters trophy come Sunday, he would join the select group of back to back winners that so far includes Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus and Nick Faldo.
“I would like to add my name to that list this week,” Scott said earlier this week. “I don’t know if there are answers to why only (a few) guys have managed to repeat their performance. It’s just one of those things. I certainly don’t think any of the responsibilities are so draining that it’s going to cost you having a good week.”
It has certainly been a different build up for the 33 year old Aussie this week. He has new winner’s only digs at the Masters and was sharing a locker room with golf legend Gary Player. He also served up Moreton Bay Bugs and his mother’s homemade Pavlova at the Champions Dinner on Tuesday night.
But now the focus is back on the golf. With Tiger Woods out of the event with his back issues Scott is the highest ranked player and shares equal favouritism with Rory McIlroy with the local bookies.
“Going up in the Champions Locker Room has been a dream come true,” Scott said. “It has a lot of fun to see the guys up there and to see them hanging out around the tables is quite an incredible experience for me. I want to try to enjoy all that, but I also want to really get my head into playing well this week because I think I’m in good form.”
McIlroy cast his eye over the 97 golfer strong field this week and declared there were 70 entrants with a real chance of winning.
“There’s a few past champions that play that might not be able to compete. There might be a few first-timers or a few amateurs that won’t compete,” McIlroy said. “But then you’ve got the rest.”
The 24 year old two time Major winner and reigning Australian Open champion was matter fact about his own chances.
“You’ve got a lot of guys that can win, a lot of guys that have won PGA Tour events,” McIlroy said. “OK, we’re playing at Augusta. Because it’s the Masters and because it’s so big and so hyped up or whatever you want to say, you ought to remember that you’re still playing against the same guys you play with week in and week out. I’ve beaten them before, they’ve beaten me before.”
On the second line of the betting is Jason Day, Matt Kuchar and Phil Mickelson.
Jason Day has competed in two Masters and hasn’t finished worse than third. An obvious “big stage” performer he now has the 2013 World Cup title under his belt as well as the WGC Accenture Matchplay win in February. Day has been hampered by a thumb injury of late but is chomping at the bit. A win at August would see him jump from No.4 to the top of the world golf rankings.
Five other Aussies are in the field, including Marc Leishman – another star performer at Augusta last year – recent PGA Tour winners John Senden, Steven Bowditch and Matt Jones, along with West Australian amateur Oliver Goss.
With Adam Scott laying the Masters hoodoo to rest last year, lets home the dam now bursts open.
Round One Tee Times:
Local AEST Players
8.18am 10.18pm Mark O’Merea (USA), Steven Bowditch (AUS), Jordan Neibrugge (USA)
8.29am 10.29pm John Senden (AUS), Boo Weekley (USA), David Lynn (UK)
10.41am 12.41am Adam Scott (AUS), Jason Dufner (USA), Matthew Fitzpatrick (UK)
11.35am 1.35am Sandy Lyle (SCO), Matt Jones (AUS), Ken Duke (USA)
12.31pm 2.31am Trevor Immelman (ZAF), Graham DeLaet (CAN), Oliver Goss (AUS)
1.04pm 3.04am Jason Day (AUS), Dustin Johnson (USA), Henrik Stenson (SWE)
1.26pm 3.26am Joost Luiten (NLD), Marc Leishman (AUS), Hunter Mahan (USA)