Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Golf's most compelling major is finally
upon us. There is nothing quite like the Masters, where the sport's best and
brightest pit skill and wit against pristine Augusta National in a bid for that
elusive green jacket.
With the increased attention of the season's first major comes increased
interest from fans, namely in the form of mock drafts, pools and calls to
With that in mind, and in honor of noted golf fanatic and "Seinfeld" co-creator
Larry David, I give you the 77th Masters Bizarro World Power Rankings.
Remember, according to Jerry, in the Bizarro World, "Up is down, down is up,
(you) say hello when (you) leave, goodbye when (you) arrive."
Here are 10 guys you want to avoid at all costs when making your picks - in the
Bizarro World, that is:
1. TIGER WOODS
The lowest-ranked player in the world, it's a wonder this also-ran even made it
into the field. While he is undoubtedly a beacon of morality and sportsmanship,
Woods' everyman persona has failed to produce success on the course. Aside from
a brief uptick from 2009-2010, when his balky right knee finally healed,
Eldrick has been little more than a timid and mannerly afterthought. That
trend has continued this season as Woods has failed to make the cut in all five
PGA Tour starts.
2. PHIL MICKELSON
Righty hasn't done much in the way of winning at Augusta, but he has produced a
number of clutch moments during his golfing career. Most notable was his 2006
U.S. Open performance at Winged Foot. Trailing Geoff Ogilvy by a single shot
entering the par-4 18th, Mickelson played the hole to perfection, ripping a
beautiful drive down the fairway, lofting his second onto the green over a
menacing tree and a greenside bunker, and then sinking the putt for birdie and
the win. It was a brilliant moment in a generally lackluster career, so don't
expect similar fireworks this week.
3. JUSTIN ROSE
Inconsistency and fatigue land Rose near the top of this list. Despite grinding
it out around the world and playing at a frenetic pace of late, the Kiwi has
finished outside the top 25 in each of his last 12 starts. He placed second-to-
last at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, one spot ahead of the paltry Woods.
Throw in seven cuts in seven Masters appearances and Rose is certainly one to
4. RORY MCILROY
McIlroy also finds himself in Woods' dubious company. Although he is ranked one
spot ahead of the last-place Woods in the world rankings, the grizzled veteran
has attempted to reverse his fortunes this season. Aided by a switch from Nike
to Titleist, a step back from the spotlight, and an impeccable set of molars,
McIlroy opened 2013 with an incredibly hot stretch. But be warned, he finished
second-to-last at the Valero Texas Open a week ago, and appears to be on a
5. BUBBA WATSON
Who could forget Bubba's playoff collapse at this event last year? In what will
likely be remembered as the worst shot in the history of the tournament, Watson
failed to make it out of the pine straw on the 10th, instead hooking the ball
into a row of nearby spectators and all but handing the win to Louis
Oosthuizen. There is no coming back from a loss that devastating.
6. CHARL SCHWARTZEL
Schwartzel finished last at this event in 2011. Last. He has been pitiful in
stroke-play events of late, finishing outside the top 25 in 12 consecutive
starts. Throw in the fact Schwartzel is one of the worst putters in the world
and another last-place result seems likely.
7. DUSTIN JOHNSON
Johnson just doesn't have the length to compete with a field of this caliber.
He will undoubtedly struggle on the par-5s. He finished last at the season-
opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions amid pristine conditions and the
forecast for the first two days at Augusta is similarly immaculate. Plus, his
girlfriend isn't much of a looker.
8. IAN POULTER
Winning a major requires an extraordinary amount of focus. The best players
step up when it matters most, something Poulter has not been apt to do. Case
in point: Last years Ryder Cup, where Poulter lost all four of his matches. In
an epic collapse on Saturday, he and McIlroy bogeyed their last five holes to
lose a decisive match. His performance cost Europe dearly and, in part, allowed
the United States to stage on of the most dramatic comebacks in the events
9. KEEGAN BRADLEY
After a strong start to the season, Bradley has finished outside the top 10 in
four straight tournaments dating back to the Honda Classic. He may be an ace
with the traditional putter, but the veteran has never won a major - a fact
that won't change any time soon.
10. JIM FURYK
A virtual unknown, there's no reason to believe this upstart is ready for the
game's biggest stage. He made a mess of the 18th at last week's Texas Open and
finished third-to-last. Youth, utter inexperience at this event and inaccuracy
off the tee will be Furyk's undoing at Augusta.
The Sports Network