Going into Sunday there are still plenty of guys in The Masters field who will believe they are in with a shout.
It seems unlikely that anyone will muster a round of any better than 66 under the weight of the pressure that comes with the territory of being in the dog-fight for the green jacket on a Sunday.
It is also unlikely that all of the top three will buckle, and you would have to expect at least one of them to get round in level par given the form they’ve shown so far this week.
By that logic then, the lowest the winning total will be, come later tonight, is six under par, and more likely at least seven under par.
The combination of someone a few shots back pulling a Sunday 66 out of the bag, and the potential winning total being around the seven under mark, would suggest that anyone who is starting the day any worse off than two under will not mount any serious challenge.
Two under then, appears to be the score which all players need as a minimum requirement going into this evening’s action if they are to have a realistic chance of winning within the regulation 72 holes of play.
This means then that Angel Cabrera, Brandt Snedeker, Adam Scott, Jason Day, Marc Leishman, Matt Kuchar, Tim Clark, Tiger Woods, Lee Westwood, Steve Stricker, Jim Furyk, Bernhard Langer and Rickie Fowler are the only players worth any serious consideration.
The following are only hunches, but it’ll be interesting to see how they pan out…
I personally can’t see Langer, Furyk or Stricker challenging at the last and neither can I see Tim Clark, who starts the day at three under, maintaining a serious challenge throughout. I will therefore discard them from consideration.
I have a feeling that Woods, Westwood, and Fowler all still have a good score in them. I’m going for Woods to shoot 68, Westwood a round of 70, and Fowler a 69.
I think Matt Kuchar will tickle along nicely, and that he will muster a useful 70, to see him finish on six under for the tournament.
Of the rest of the non-leaders I think Marc Leishman’s challenge will fall by the way-side with a battling 74, but I think that fellow Aussies Jason Day and Adam Scott will go under par. I think Scott will shoot 70 and Day a 69.
Now then, the leaders… It’s a tough call really, but I can’t quite see Angel Cabrera pull another round out of the bag. I wouldn’t be surprised if he came home one over for the day and six under for the tournament.
As for Snedeker, I think he will go under par. I think the shaggy-haired Nashville native will score a tidy 70, and will win the tournament by a single shot, bagging his first green jacket and a first major title of his career.
Given his early season form, and his form throughout 2012 there is no one out there who deserves to win The Masters more, and I think Brandt will do just that. I do though expect this evening to take both him, all other competitors, the patrons at Augusta and us, the viewers, through the full ringer of emotions.
If the scores go the way I’ve predicted, the leaderboard will look a little like this come midnight tonight (it is Sunday at the Augusta National though so forgive me if they wind up being horrifically inaccurate!):
1. Snedeker -9
T2. Scott -8
T2. Day -8
4. Woods -7
T5. Cabrera -6
T5. Kuchar -6
7. Fowler -5
T8. Westwood -4
T8. Clark -4
T11. Leishman -3
T.11 Furyk -3
T.11 Haas -3