2012 Masters Predictions
As Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and the rest of the world’s best golfers take center stage at this year’s 2012 Masters, no one will have more to prove than the young 22-year-old from Northern Ireland. Although Woods is making all the headlines after winning his first tournament on almost three years, he certainly doesn’t have nearly as much to prove as McIlroy does.
Let’s face it, even if Tiger would retire right now, he would indeed be a Hall of Famer with his 14 major championships. So, whether Woods wins his fifth Green Jacket this week at Augusta or not, his legacy is pretty much cemented in most people’s eyes. McIlroy, on the other hand, is not only 13 majors behind the former top-ranked American, but he also has his own trials to overcome.
His collapse last year in the final round is something that will be talked about until he actually wins this tournament. Going into the final day with a 4-stroke lead and completely falling apart while the world watched, doesn’t exactly look good in one’s pursuit of becoming the greatest golfer to ever live.
Nevertheless, with a long, bright career ahead of him, McIlroy will have plenty of opportunities to redeem himself, starting this weekend. With the odds stacked against him and listing Woods as the betting favorite to win the 2012 Masters, this would seem like the perfect time to begin building towards that Woods-like resume.
“I learned so much more from my Sunday collapse at Augusta than I did from the whole experience of winning the U.S. Open,” McIlroy said. “Whenever you win, it just reaffirms that what you are doing is the right thing. Everyone makes mistakes, so it’s all about taking what you can out of them. There is no point in dwelling on the past because you can’t change that. You can definitely change what happens in future.”
So you see, this tournament isn’t as much as ‘Is Tiger Woods back’ as much as it is about Rory McIlroy legitimacy as a top-ranked world golfer that’s here to stay. The key to this young man’s legacy isn’t going to be how many majors he wins, but rather how consistent he can be with Woods as his main rival. It’s going to be interesting to see if McIlroy will rise to the occasion or will he fold under pressure this weekend.
“I’m a lot more experienced as a player and a person than I was a year ago,” McIlroy assured. “I mean I still hit the ball in a very similar fashion, but my short game has improved a lot. I definitely feel like I am a more complete player. The work I did with Dave Stockton on my putting helped enormously. A lot of people thought I played too fast; but he thought I wasn’t fast enough. He couldn’t understand why I had three practice putts. He got me just focusing on the target and then hitting.”
Check out the latest odds to win 2012 Masters to see where oddsmakers see McIlroy in relation to the big picture this weekend.