The Masters field is heating up

Published 5:20 pm Friday, April 7, 2017

As I type these words Charley Hoffman and Sergio Garcia are tied at 4-under thru 18 for the lead at the Masters Tournament.

Sneaking up behind them is Rickie Fowler at 3-under for the tournament, who by the way is shooting the best round of the day at 4-under.

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Between those two, I would like to see Sergio break away and take this thing all the way until the final group on Sunday. If I had to choose a non-American player that I love to cheer for the most, it would be Miguel Angel Jimenez… But Sergio would be right behind him! With Jimenez out of pocket, I’ll root for the next closest Spaniard.

Sergio has never won a major, and although I hate thinking of a non-American winning on Georgia soil, I would be more than happy to see him put on the Green Jacket this Sunday.

I picked Little Rickie as my dark horse candidate to win this thing, and it looks like he is pulling through with some clutch play, thanks mainly to a sweet eagle chip on No. 2, complimented with some nice birdies on No. 3 and No. 8.

The thing about Rickie is he can sometimes lose his balance down the stretch. Take the PGA Championship last year, for example. He was the leader by a couple strokes and had everything going for him, but the wheels came off.

The highest he has ever come in at Augusta is T4, and I’m sure the memories of those rounds are filling his head right about now.

How he has handled the course so far the past couple days has been spectacular, though. A lot of players are letting the wind sweep away their balls and the moisture still on the greens change the way they’re rolling.

Flirting behind these guys, but who we shouldn’t discount, is Phil Mickelson at 2-under for the tournament.

Phil has been playing the fairways solid, and would have the sure lead if it weren’t for a couple putts that missed the cup by a blade of grass.

Phil has won the Masters three times and is as familiar with this course as anyone.

If not careful, the current leaders could make a stray shot and give it up to Mickelson at the end.

The Golden Child Jordan Spieth, who this week is looking more like the Faux Golden Child, is 3-over and probably won’t make the cut, which is a crying shame. Of course, everyone will be analyzing his performance, talking about how he missed easy shots that he should have made (which is true, to be fair).

It’s a shame that Dustin Johnson isn’t playing in this year’s tournament.

I had him picked as someone in the final group on Sunday. He is playing the best golf of his career, but had to withdraw due to back issues. The word is he fell down the stares at his house, but I’m not sure if I believe that. Either way, not having him on the course seems wrong.

If you call me this weekend, and I don’t answer, please don’t be offended.

I’ll be glued to the TV with a Corona and lime in one hand and a fried chicken drumstick in the other. Maybe with a little carrot cake in my mouth.

Enjoy Masters weekend.