tiger green jacket One week to go before the Masters and the prediction mill is turning at full throttle. I’ve been weighing up the chances of the past five winners of the Masters in relation to “class”, “current form” and “course form” to try to decipher if any of them can do it again this year.

Would you believe it has been five years since Tiger donned the green jacket? Sabbatical aside, we know he has played practice rounds at Augusta and according to practice partners like John Cook, he’s reported to be at the peak of his powers. In the same way as Mayo always looked impressive in the kick-around before the All Ireland Final, there is absolutely no guarantee of what will happen come game time. Yes he has four green jackets and the most consistent course form of the entire field, but absolutely no tournament time in the lead up. Verdict: I’m going with “game time” over class here. Since he has none, I say no chance.

Angel Cabrera will be the defending champion next week and will be choosing the menu. The rumour is he’s going to change the word “Masters” on the front to “Mistresses” in honour of Tiger! Seriously though Cabrera goes so far under the radar he’s still on the ground. Last year in the build up to the Masters, he came 90th at Arnie’s event and 96th at Houston, a cumulative 10 over for the two events. Then he went to Augusta, arguably one of the toughest driving courses in the world, and shot 12 under. The “Duck” as he’s known, could never be accused of being a form dog but there’s not many guys that have a green jacket and a US Open trophy back at the pond. Verdict: I’m going with class, and the ability to surprise. Cabrera could contend.

Then there’s the 2008 champion Trevor Immelman. He wcabrera green jacketas the model of consistency two years ago, wasn’t he? Surprisingly no. Of the five tournaments the South African played in the build up to his Masters win, his best result was 40th. He was a huge price going into Augusta, but drove it like Schumacher for the week and won. Immelman has had his troubles ever since with his health and injury but it’s great to see him out there plugging away. He finished 20th last year as defending champion, a finishing position he hasn’t bettered anywhere since. Verdict: Current form rules here, surely Immelman will only wear the green jacket again at the past champions dinner.

Zach Johnson came into the 2007 Masters as one of the most consistent players on tour. Sure, it surprised many that he went and won that week, but he did bring form to Augusta that year having top tenned in the CA Championship. Just like Trevor Immleman, Johnson finished 20th in his defence at Augusta in 2008 but he remains one of the most consistent players in the world. Between the British Open in July last year and the Transitions two weeks ago, Johnson played 12 events with a worst finish of 37th ! Thus nobody can argue that Johnson lacks form but he did miss the Augusta cut last year and I’m not convinced. Verdict: Beginning to think it was a flash in the pan, I say no chance.

Finally there’s 2006 champion, big Phil Mickelson. some including Butch Harmon say golf is not his priority right now (with his wife and mothers illness) and that he lacks form, but for me there is no argument, it’s a big thumbs up. For a guy who pops in for a game the add time, Phil has finished under par in his eight events leading up to the Arnold Palmer invitational, which include two wins and a worst finish of 45th and since 1999 has only been outside the top 10 once at Augusta. Verdict: Combine form with course form and add just a sprinkle of dedication next week and I say Mickelson to contend.

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