Prediction: 2017 Masters

April 5, 2017

It’s Christmas! No, it’s even better! IT’S MASTERS WEEK!

This is the week that LG and I wait for every year, the best week of golf of the year. 20 years since Tiger’s record-setting performance, I can’t wait to see how it plays out on Sunday.

Updates in Bold added 4/20/2017
Top 10:
1 Sergio Garcia -9 3
2 Justin Rose -9 5
3 Charl Schwartzel -6 F
T4 Matt Kuchar -5 F
T4 Thomas Pieters -5 F
6 Paul Casey -4 F
T7 Rory McIlroy -3 F
T7 Kevin Chappell -3 F
T9 Adam Scott -2 F
T9 Ryan Moore -2 F

JK:
Winner: Rory McIlroy T7 at -3. Correct was Sergio Garcia, happy to say
Winning Score: -9 correct
Runner Up: Jordan Spieth T11 at -1
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Matthew Fitzpatrick Solo 32nd at +4. Closest to “unknown” in the Top 10 was Kevin Chappell
Last Year’s Winner (Danny Willett) will … (Win, Top10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut): Make the Cut MC
The US Open Champion (Dustin Johnson) will …: Top 10 WD – back injury
The Champion Golfer of 2016 (Henrik Stenson) will …: Make the Cut MC
PGA Champion (Jimmy Walker) will …: Miss the Cut T18 at +1. Not bad
How many prior Masters winners will be in the Top 10: 4 2
The Low Amateur will be…: Curtis Luck T46 at +9, but not LA. Low Am was Stewart Hagestad, T36 at +6
Does the Low Amateur make the cut?: No Yes he did, and so did the second best
Jordan Spieth will … Top10, second place close, T11 at -1
Jason Day will … Withdraw T22 at +2. Not bad
Rory McIlroy will … Win not exactly
Hideki Matsuyama will … Top 10 T11 at -1. Good showing
Justin Thomas will … Make the Cut T22 at +2
Rickie Fowler will .. Make the Cut T11 at -1
Adam Scott will … Top 10 Correct, T9 at -2
Bubba Watson will … Top 10 MC
Sergio Garcia will … Make the Cut WIN IT
Phil Mickeslon will … Top 10 T22 at +2
Bernhard Langer will … Make the cut MC, 75-78
Ian Woosnam, Mark O’Meara, Sandy Lyle, or Larry Mize–who is lowest?: All MC, I’ll go with O’Meara Larry Mize made the cut with 74-76 then took down solo-52nd at 17 over par. Yikes
Will there be a hole in one? Yes of course, 16 most likely CONGRATULATIONS MATT KUCHAR!!!
What will be the major storyline of the tournament? Tiger Woods / Rory McIlroy comparisons Definitely Sergio dropping the monkey
What is your Bold prediction? McIlroy makes 4 eagles over the weekend yea, not exactly

LG:
Winner: Bubba Watson MC
Winning Score: – 8 Close
Runner Up: Rory T7
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Adam Hadwin T36 at +6
Last Year’s Winner (Danny Willett) will … (Win, Top10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut): MC correct
The US Open Champion (Dustin Johnson) will …: Top 10 Best player not in the field
The Champion Golfer of 2016 (Henrik Stenson) will …: Top 10 not exactly
PGA Champion (Jimmy Walker) will …: MC not exactly
How many prior Masters winners will be in the Top 10: 2 Correct
The Low Amateur will be…: No idea who they are. learn some golf, LG
Does the Low Amateur make the cut?: Don’t care. wasted talent
Jordan Spieth will … Top 10 close, T11
Jason Day will … Make Cut Correct, T22
Rory McIlroy will … Top 10 Correct, T7
Hideki Matsuyama will … take forever to swing, look like he hate the shot, then make an ace on 12.  Make cut. Correct, T11
Justin Thomas will … MC made cut
Rickie Fowler will .. Make cut correct
Adam Scott will … Make cut Top 10
Bubba Watson will … WIN! MC
Sergio Garcia will … Miss cut WIN!
Phil Mickeslon will … Top 10 Closure, T22
Bernhard Langer will … be old. yep
Ian Woosnam, Mark O’Meara, Sandy Lyle, or Larry Mize–who is lowest?: Woosie will be the shortest, for sure. winner
Will there be a hole in one? YES good
What will be the major storyline of the tournament? The rain, sadly. not at all
What is your Bold prediction? Jim Nantz says the word “shit” live on the air. he was fighting it back all week

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True to form, the season is rounding out nicely. Many tournaments this year have gone to playoffs. We have had a host of big names playing their best golf at the right time. Wins from guys like Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, and Jimmy Walker have headlined a great start to the year. But now, it’s time for the best week of golf.

Every year, that week is The Masters. It’s a our reminder that Spring is upon us and that our days of golf with friends and family are nearing. I think I speak for LG here in saying that our favorite post of anything we do is the one you’re about to read.

In commemoration, here is our 5th year of Predictions: I give you our Masters Predictions 2015:

updates 4/12/2015 :
Top 10 Leaderboard:
1 Jordan Spieth -18
T2 Phil Mickelson -14
T2 Justin Rose -14
4 Rory McIlroy -12
5 Hideki Matsuyama -11
T6 Ian Poulter -9
T6 Paul Casey -9
T6 Dustin Johnson -9
T9 Hunter Mahan -8
T9 Zach Johnson -8
T9 Charley Hoffman -8
T12 Rickie Fowler -6
T12 Ryan Moore -6
T12 Bill Haas -6

JK:
Winner: Jason Day T28 at -1. Correct is Jordan Spieth
Winning Score: -12 -18
Runner Up: Rory McIlroy Solo 4 at -12. Phil Mickelson and Justin Rose were T2 at -14
Low Amateur: Byron Meth Corey Conners shot 80-69 to MC best at 149. Meth shot 74-76 for a 150, 1 shot off
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Brian Harman MC with 76-72. There really wasn’t a true “unknown” in the top10. Maybe Matsuyama, but he’s big in Japan. Hoffman has been known for awhile. The nearest thing to a true “unknown” near the top10 was Kevin Streelman, but even he has some cache to his name.
Most difficult hole vs. par? 4 (i usually pick 11, but let’s mix it up) 11 at +.326, but 4 was +.296 for second most difficult
Easiest hole vs. par? 13 yeah, always is
Last Year’s Winner (Bubba Watson) Will … (Win, Top10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut)? Make the cut correct
How many prior Masters winners will be in the Top 10? 4 2, Phil Mickelson and Zach Johnson
US Open Champion (Martin Kaymer) will …? Make the cut MC
British Open Champion (Rory McIlroy) will …? Top10 Correct, solo 4 at -12
PGA Champion will … oh yeah, we don’t need to ask what Rory’s going to do again…
When will Sergio Garcia implode? the day he steps off the plane Friday, shooting 74, but otherwise played great and finished T17 at -5
Dustin Johnson will…? close to the Top10 T6 at -9
Rickie Fowler will…? make the cut Correct, but just barely–he was two shots from T9. Instead, he finished T12 at -6.
Jordan Spieth will…? make the cut yea…sort of….he killed it!
Jimmy Walker will…? make the cut Correct. T38 at +1
Tiger will? Top10…specifically T-4 close. T17 at -5.
Phil Mickelson will? Top10 Correct
Ben Crenshaw, Larry Mize, and Sandy Lyle. Who wins? Crenshaw, in his last year of playing, shoots the low round of the triad, and misses the cut by 4 shots. crenshaw shot the worst scores in the field–91-85. Yikes.
What will be the major storyline of the tournament? TIGA TIGA TIGA WOODS, Y’ALL That was big, but bigger was how Spieth demolished the field
What is your Bold prediction? Tiger Woods plays tremendous golf but misses easy putts all day. Rory makes a push for the title but can’t get over his duck hook from a few years ago and puts two in the water on 15. Jason Day does just enough to keep it in play and putt to hold on by 1, finally getting his major. would have been fun if this had happened, but it was still awesome watching Spieth annihilate the record books.

LG:
Winner: Sergio Garcia T17.
Winning Score: -9 Try double that
Runner Up: Rickie Fowler T12
Low Amateur: Gunn Yang This would be the correct answer to the question “who shot the third worst round in the entire field?
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Anirban Lahiri T49
Most difficult hole vs. par? 11 yeah
Easiest hole vs. par? 13 yeah
Last Year’s Winner (Bubba Watson) Will … (Win, Top10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut)? Top 10 nope. T38 at +1
How many prior Masters winners will be in the Top 10? 2 correct
US Open Champion (Martin Kaymer) will …? Miss Cut correct
British Open Champion (Rory McIlroy) will …? Top 10 correct
When will Sergio Garcia implode? In the press room after he wins 🙂uhm…
Dustin Johnson will…? Top 10 Correct. T6
Rickie Fowler will…? Runner Upnot exactly
Jordan Spieth will…? Make Cut lol. yeah.
Jimmy Walker will…? Make Cut correct
Tiger will? Play. he did a lot more than that
Phil Mickelson will? Make Cut so did he
Ben Crenshaw, Larry Mize, and Sandy Lyle. Who wins? Crenshaw – he already called it his last one. by crenshaw not returning, i think we all win
What will be the major storyline of the tournament? Sergio’s putting holds up to win him his first Major uhm
What is your Bold prediction? Sergio wins isn’t a bold enough prediction?  Fine, Sergio’s redeeming win is overshadowed by Golf Channel following Tiger to the port-a-john when he has gas.OH NO! HE BREATHED WRONG! IS HE INJURED?!?!?!?!?!
LG will…? Be attending the Masters on Wednesday and Thursday 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 you suck

JK, I think we need to mix up the questions next year.

Also, see our history of prior years’ predictions:
2014: https://thepowerfade.com/2014/04/07/predictions-masters-2014/
2013: https://thepowerfade.com/2013/04/08/masters-predictions-2013/
2012: https://thepowerfade.com/2012/04/10/predictions-masters-2012/
2011: https://thepowerfade.com/2011/04/11/conversation-masters-predictions/

Fail of the Week 11

May 6, 2013

A few weeks later, the dust settles, and we find out the truth; the news is out on who outed Tiger Woods. We all assumed it was a random TV viewer call-in; those despised “I’m going to get you, professional athlete, while sitting on my couch” people are shamful, we all thought; so many people discussing “I don’t like the idea that golf entertains this type of thing!”

Well, that wasn’t the REAL story.

As reported by DeadSpin (http://deadspin.com/punk-ass-snitches-who-ratted-out-tiger-woods-identified-486213426), a Senoir PGA Tour player and none other than Jim Nantz combined to alter the outcome of golf’s greatest tournament, ruining the fun of watching for all of us.

As a recap, those who may or may not know the story, on the Friday round at Augusta National Golf Club for the 2013 Masters, Tiger Woods struck the pin with his approach to the 15th hole. The ball ricocheted back into the water in front of the green–a terribly unfortunate result. What happened next was just strange. Tiger reviewed his options for places to drop and elected to re-play from the original spot. He dropped his ball, hit a shot within putting distance of the pin, and went on to make the putt.

Rule 26-1 governs the ability of a player to take a drop. Tiger’s election was under Rule 26-1(a):

26-1. Relief For Ball In Water Hazard

It is a question of fact whether a ball that has not been found after having been struck toward a water hazard is in the hazard. In the absence of knowledge or virtual certainty that a ball struck toward a water hazard, but not found, is in the hazard, the player must proceed under Rule 27-1.

If a ball is found in a water hazard or if it is known or virtually certain that a ball that has not been found is in the water hazard (whether the ball lies in water or not), the player may under penalty of one stroke:

a. Proceed under the stroke and distance provision of Rule 27-1 by playing a ball as nearly as possible at the spot from which the original ball was last played (see Rule 20-5); or

b. Drop a ball behind the water hazard, keeping the point at which the original ball last crossed the margin of the water hazard directly between the hole and the spot on which the ball is dropped, with no limit to how far behind the water hazard the ball may be dropped; or

c. As additional options available only if the ball last crossed the margin of a lateral water hazard, drop a ball outside the water hazard within two club-lengths of and not nearer the hole than (i) the point where the original ball last crossed the margin of the water hazard or (ii) a point on the opposite margin of the water hazard equidistant from the hole.

When proceeding under this Rule, the player may lift and clean his ball or substitute a ball.

Shortly after, the Masters Tournament Rules Committee took a call that indicated that Tiger Woods had not dropped “as nearly as possible” because his ball was a few yards behind his original spot. The Rule Committee reviewed tape, decided not to talk to Tiger about his drop, and allowed him to sign his scorecard. Tiger Woods took a post-round interview from CBS in which he discussed the whole (as it had quite a negative affect on his round) and described how he dropped “a few yards back” because his first shot was a little too long. The Rules Committee was then again notified about Tiger, but this time it was that his post-round comments may have indicated he was not in compliance with the rule because dropping “a few yards back” is not “as nearly as possible.”

Tiger was not disqualified but was given an additional two-stroke penalty for signing an incorrect scorecard. The Rules Committee decided not to disqualify Tiger–which would have been likely in different circumstances–because they had made a ruling on the situation and allowed him to sign a wrong scorecard. Tiger finished 4 shots off the lead of Adam Scott and Angel Cabrera, who went to playoff with Scott winning.

Although it seemed odd at first not to disqualify Tiger, the Rules Committee’s explanation of it as “we made a ruling and Tiger was entitled to the benefit of that Ruling” seemed to make sense. The PF has no quibble with that. It seemed like the Rules Committee got that right. Although many called for Tiger’s disqualification or withdrawal because he was getting “special treatment,” no one seemed to acknowledge that the only reason this was an issue was because cameras were on him. If you think other players were not violating this rule, you are crazy.

Moreover, it’s not exactly sure what “as nearly as possible” means. Does a player have to drop in his own divot? If so, why would anyone ever choose that option? Surely, that cannot be what is required. How close is “close enough?”

Alas, we digress. This FAIL is reserved for none other than Jim Nantz.

Jim?! For Real?!?!? What were you thinking?

Look, you get to go to this tournament every year, experience some of the finest accommodations anyone could imagine, and be a part of everyone’s memories of this amazing tournament. WTF are you thinking sticking your nose in the middle of the tournament?

Broadcasters have no business interfering with the tournament any more than couch potatoes do. You are not a pro golfer. You are not a competitor. You are a side show to what is going on out there. If we wanted to watch you referee a game of golf…well, no one would ever want that.

Look, First, we’re sick of you getting googly-eyed over Tom Brady. He’s a good quarterback. No one needs to you emphasize that for them. Next, stay where you’re put and don’t interfere with the event you’re broadcasting. You basically killed your own broadcast by taking the most popular player in the tournament completely out of the competition. If Tiger is one down coming to 18, do you not think everyone on earth is watching, hoping he’ll make a birdie? If he didn’t have to shoot 65 to tie the lead, do you think things would have come out differently–or maybe just been a little more exciting for all of us?

Jim, this week, you’re the FAIL.

JK: 7/24/2012 at 10:37 AM EST

Alright LG, time to put it out there.

There’s a lot of discussion lately about belly putters. More appropriately, there’s a lot of discussion about what to do about them. After going decades without single mid-length putter or long-putter winnings on Tour, now the belly putter is taking the Tour by storm. Three out of four of the current major champions used belly putters to win (Keegan Bradley, 2011 PGA; Webb Simpson, 2012 US Open; Ernie Els, 2012 British Open). Bubba Watson (2012 Masters) is the only current major champion who did not use a belly putter to win.

So there are many questions to answer here, but to me, the main point boils down to: 1) is it an advantage? if so, 2) what should be done?

Some people are just antithetical to belly putters and long putters in general. While neither you nor I use them–and I personally find them to be a bit distasteful–I do see a need in golf for them. Many amateur-level players need a way to make the game fun. Poor putting can often thwart someone’s progress as a golfer, and a long or belly putter may give them the stability they need to get over the hump. For example, when my wife’s grandfather played, he wasn’t in good enough health to lean over a putt, so he got a long putter and stopped 3-putting EVERY green (he still did 3-5 times per round, but way less than previously).

I think the more important point, though, is that belly and long putters really don’t give a “better” player much of an advantage. No matter the golfer, the person must still read the putt, account for the speed, pick the line, and set up to it properly before any mechanics of the stroke happen. The ability to do this successfully comes after hours and hours of practice that a “good” player will put in regardless of the length of putter he/she uses. To put it another way, the belly putter didn’t read the 35-footer that Keegan Bradley hit on the 17th hole at Atlanta Athletic Club–the player did. The player read it, accounted for the speed, picked the line, and let the put go on that line.

Further, I don’t think a longer putter shaft REALLY makes it all that much more stable for the better golfer. Adam Scott bogeyed the final four holes at Royal Lytham & St. Annes largely because he picked poor targets and failed to execute the mental part of his putting routine, not because he was using a long putter instead of a belly putter.

Webb Simpson’s putter didn’t make Jim Furyk pull his fairway shot in the bunker on 18 at Olympic or make Greame McDowell miss his birdie attempt by a mile and a half. Am I missing something?

Opponents of longer-length putters say it helps stabilize the stroke. That may be true, but at the same point, it prevents someone from using his or her athleticism to correct in small variations, such as when precise speed is needed, or when the player plays from the edge of the green and needs to blade the putt a little bit. I’ve practiced with a belly putter before, and I do see some stability improvement. But the stability improvement is far outweighted by the inability to control the distance, for me at least.

In my view, there is little to no real advantage in belly putters. I see it more as a mental advantage that some people will find helps their own games. Maybe some people will play better with them, but I firmly believe that others (like me) won’t. Just like all of the other equipment tweaks one can make (shaft flex, various grips and sizes, cavities vs. blades, groove changes, ball changes, etc etc etc etc etc), I see the putter shaft length and stroke method as just another option that a player can choose to make his or her game better. That’s what it’s all about, right?

What say you LG?

LG: 7/25/2012

For two reasons, I don’t think long putters should be allowed.

First, we should look to the game itself.  For me, golf is about using using a club to move the ball closer to the hole.  While this might seem to leave some room for a belly putter or long putter, the image just seems to go against what golf is all about.  When I think “golf swing,” I can’t imagine an athletic motion taking place with an anchored club.  No other club is anchored to the body in “golf,” so it makes little sense to allow it for the putter, in my view.  For that reason, I don’t think it should be allowed in competition.

Second,I think there is advantage and long putters should probably not be allowed in competition.  Golf is a mental game.  Putting is the strongest mental test given that it requires the least athleticism.  It takes a lot of skill and nerve to make short putts that matter.  I am inclined to believe that long putters provide a mental crutch to players that use them on those kinds of putts because they have the knowledge that they will make a fluid stroke based upon their equipment, not their practiced routine.  In that way, they provide an advantage (whether real or not).  While you can pretty easily point to Adam Scott’s performance in the 2012 Open Championship to counter this, the point isn’t players with long putters can choke, but rather, he choked DESPITE having that mental advantage.  Read: double choke.  At the highest level in the game, the point is to test your mental fortitude, not your ability to make a 4 footer.  No one in the entire world would (or should) bet against Adam Scott on any given 4 foot putt, but that putt becomes harder when it means you win or lose the title of “Champion Golfer of the Year.”  For a player to have a mental advantage over another based upon the equipment they are playing rather than the time spent on the practice green is what bothers me about the long putter and why I think it should not be allowed in competition.

That being said, I think they can be great learning tools to learn a fluid putting stroke.  Often, players like Ernie will switch back and forth between a standard putter and a long putter to get a feel for a good putting stroke.  I’m all for using them in a practice round.  I’m all for using them on the putting green.  I think you and I agree on the fundamental point; Long putters just aren’t golf.

JK, 7/26:

I agree that long putters and belly putters “just aren’t golf,” but I’m less opposed than you. The entirety of golf is about selecting equipment that maximizes your game. We do it with drivers; we do it with golf balls; heck, we do it with shoes. Every little thing to get an advantage makes sense. Some people had this “ban it” mentality when metal woods came out or when cavity-back irons were developed. Slowly, those things have become part of the fabric of the game to where no one would think of using a non-metal driver and cavity-back irons are almost universal. Even the classic “PING Anser” putter was looked at with shame originally but now is the most ubiquitous design available. While I see your point, I think it’s just part of the natural progression of the game. If you’re wanting to ban something, ban the way Tommy “Two Gloves” Gainey swings a golf club. That’s way more offensive than a belly putter.


Predictions: Masters 2012

April 10, 2012

This being one of our favorite posts to go through each year, we had to come out of hibernation to get our Masters predictions on board. I’m excited that the year is starting over again. Tiger has already won once at a real PGA event, and the excitement is back in the game.

On the wake of a pretty poor showing last year (see https://thepowerfade.wordpress.com/2011/04/11/conversation-masters-predictions/), LG and I look to fall far short of our mark set last year.

So, without further ado, here’s our predictions:

original predictions posted 4/3. updated answers in bold posted 4/10.

JK:
Winner: Tiger Woods —-> uh. no. bubba
Winning Score: -10 —-> YES! I GOT ONE!
Runner Up: Phil Mickelson —-> oosthuizen in the playoff. Phil T-3, though. Not bad
Low Amateur: I wish I could say Randall Lewis, but it will probably be Patrick Cantlay —-> YES! I GOT ANOTHER! WOO HOO!
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Chez Reavie —-> m/c. The only real “unknown” in the top 10 was Peter Hansen
Most difficult hole vs. par: 11 —-> i think this was it, but can’t confirm
Easiest hole vs. par: 13 —-> same as above
Last Year’s Winner (Charl Schwartzel) Will … (Win, Top10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut): make the cut, but be outside of the Top 10. —-> correct – T50
Sandy Lyle Will…(Win, Top10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut): miss the cut, yet again —-> CORRECT!
How many prior winners will be in the Top 10: 3 —-> just 1 – PHIL
How many times will Hank Haney’s book be referenced on Sunday? twice —-> 0. sad
When will Sergio Garcia implode? Front 9 on Sunday —-> shot 40 on the front 9 on saturday, but started out with a double and two bogeys on sunday. I’m going to say this is correct, even though he finished T12
Dustin Johnson will… hit some golf balls really, really far, but he can’t chip well enough to compete. I’ll put him in the Top 10 at best, more likely 15th or so. —->uhg.
US Open Champion (Rory McIlroy) will … play better than he did on the back 9 last year. Made cut but outside of top 10. —->T40 shooting 77-76 on the weekend. CORRECT!
British Open Champion (Darren Clarke) will … show up drunk. MC. —-> also CORRECT. lift your pint Darren
PGA Champion (Keegan Bradley) will … MC. Belly putters don’t work at Augusta. —-> nope – T27. not bad for keegan. of course, now his winning percentage has been cut in half for majors, but whatever.
World #1 (Luke Donald) will … Top 10. Still no major for the world #1. Sad. —-> T32. why are we talking about luke donald?
What will be the major storyline of the tournament? Tiger playing just like he did in 1997. —-> Oosthuizen’s double-eagle, bubba winning dramatically, a bunch of guys in contention…great tourney this year. can’t wait for ‘013.

LG:
Winner: TW! —-> wrong
Winning Score: -14 —-> wrong. see JK answer above for the CORRECT answer
Runner Up:  Rory —-> wrong.
Low Amateur: Screw it.  Lewis.  Too good a story not to pick him. —-> wish it was right, but it’s still WRONG. however, see JK answer above for the CORRECT answer
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Jason Dufner. (I’m going to call him an unknown b/c he has no wins). —-> WRONG. although dufner was in it, 75-75 wont get it done on the weekend.
Most difficult hole vs. par: 10 —-> can’t confirm, but i’m pretty sure you’re wrong, just by the answers above
Easiest hole vs. par: 13 —->when you copy JK, you get the right answer. Imagine that.
Last Year’s Winner (Charl Schwartzel) Will … (Win, Top10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut):  fizzle out.  Make the cut, but then shoot even for the weekend. —-> pretty much yah. lots of fizzle.
Sandy Lyle Will…(Win, Top10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut):  Who?  MC. —-> wrong. the correct answer was “solo last place.” nice try though.
How many prior winners will be in the Top 10: 4 —-> just one. phil the thrill.
How many times will Hank Haney’s book be referenced on Sunday? 0.  Tiger’s “Thanksgiving Fiasco,” on the other hand…. 18. —-> thank god, no.
When will Sergio Garcia implode? Saturday.  on 12. —-> he birdied 12 on saturday, so you’re completely WRONG
Dustin Johnson will… be eating ice cream on the couch.  Keep up with the news, JK. http://espn.go.com/golf/masters12/story/_/id/7770093/2012-masters-dustin-johnson-withdraws-unspecified-injury —->ice cream? didn’t you mean coke?
US Open Champion (Rory McIlroy) will … Lead the charge into the weekend and then watch Tiger walk right by him on the back 9. —-> uhh…i’m pretty sure he bested Tiger here. WRONG
British Open Champion (Darren Clarke) will … enjoy the first two days in the ropes and the last two outside the ropes.  MC. —-> yah. we all saw this coming. at least he enjoyed the beer.
PGA Champion (Keegan Bradley) will … Top 10. —->wrong again
World #1 (Luke Donald) will … not hit the ball far enough to matter – make the cut. —-> well…yah. pretty much
What will be the major storyline of the tournament?  Phil Michelson chokes on pimento and cheese sandwich…Or Tiger wins 5th green jacket.  Yeah.  That one. —-> Phil finishes T-3. that was a much bigger story.

as for your “bold prediction”….a little too bold buddy.

congrats to bubba–and to the guy who caught Oosthuizen’s ball in the stands…that lucky SOB.