- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 7, 2009


“I truly believe that everything I have tried to do I have done with a good, clean conscience and if we made a mistake, we'll find out about it.” - Jim Calhoun after Connecticut's Final Four loss to Michigan State

TAKE YOUR PICK: Put these Masters: favorites in predicted order of finish

A. Tiger Woods — ; The four-time Masters champion again is a prohibitive favorite at Augusta National after winning at Bay Hill in his last start to put to rest any questions concerning his post-op status.

B. Phil Mickelson — ; Lefty has won twice this season (Northern Trust and CA Championship) and would overtake Woods atop the world rankings if he collects his third green jacket.

C. Padraig Harrington — ; Somewhat forgotten amid the excitement of Woods' return is the fact that Harrington has won the last two majors and is attempting to join Tiger and Ben Hogan on the list of those who have won three straight in the modern era.

D. Geoff Ogilvy &amp — ; The Aussie has been the most consistent player this season, winning two of the three biggest events to date (Mercedes and Match Play) and adding a top-six finish last week in Houston.

E. Paul Casey &amp — ; Casey rose to a career-high No. 6 in the world after collecting his first PGA Tour victory at the Houston Open. In eight starts this season on the PGA and European Tours, Casey boasts two victories and four other top-11 finishes.

Our Take — ; A-D-C-E-B; Woods hasn't put a green jacket in his closet since 2005; he's overdue and hungrier than ever. As for the others, Ogilvy would seem the most logical challenger given his recent form and Augusta National profile (superb short game). Harrington has figured out the major formula, but he's not winning three straight. Casey is white hot, but he doesn't putt well enough to win at Augusta; expect him to be a major factor at Bethpage for the U.S. Open. And Lefty is coming off a missed cut in Houston and isn't likely to be in the mix in the foul weather expected for the Masters.

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