Player capsules for the 2010 Masters

By Doug FergusonApril 2, 2010, 4:07 am

A capsule look at 20 top players in the 74th Masters, starting Thursday at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia:

THE SHOW-STOPPER

Tiger Woods

Age: 34

Country: United States

World ranking: 1

Worldwide victories: 82

Majors: Masters (4), U.S. Open (3), British Open (3), US PGA Championship (4).

Best Masters: In 1997, setting records as youngest champion (21), lowest score (270) and largest margin (12 shots).

Backspin: Historians always wondered how injuries, marriage, death of his father, or having children would affect his pursuit of Jack Nicklaus in the majors. No one ever mentioned the effect of a sex scandal that dominated the news during the last five months. He is playing for the first time since his incredible downfall through revelations of rampant infidelity.

THE DEFENDING CHAMP

Angel Cabrera

Age: 40

Country: Argentina

World ranking: 31

Worldwide victories: 19

Majors: Masters, U.S. Open

Best Masters: In 2009, in a span of five holes, he made a clutch birdie, saved par from a tree and won a sudden-death playoff.

Backspin: A threat at Augusta National even before he won, he returns to the Masters trying to join Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus and Nick Faldo as the only repeat winners. The only difference? Cabrera has not won a tournament since slipping on the green jacket.

THE SENTIMENTAL FAVORITE

Kenny Perry

Age: 49

Country: United States

World ranking: 18

Worldwide victories: 14

Majors: None

Best Masters: On the verge of becoming golf’s oldest major champion, he had a two-shot lead with two holes to play in 2009 until making bogeys on the 17th and 18th and losing on the second hole of a playoff.

Backspin: Perry joined an elite list of most gracious losers in a major because of the way he handled himself after the Masters playoff. Among the best players who haven’t won a major. He has not finished in the top 30 since the season-opener at Kapalua, which had a 28-man field.

THE HOT HANDS

Ernie Els

Age: 40

Country: South Africa

World ranking: 7

Worldwide victories: 62

Majors: U.S. Open (2), British Open.

Best Masters: Preparing for a playoff in 2004 until he heard the roar for Phil Mickelson’s winning birdie putt on the 18th green.

Backspin: He ended the longest drought of his professional career with a four-shot victory at the CA Championship, and if he can keep putting like that, he should be a major factor. Working against him is scar tissue at Augusta National. The Masters has been cruel to him.

Steve Stricker

Age: 43

Country: United States

World ranking: 2

Worldwide victories: 7

Majors: None

Best Masters: Tied for sixth in 2009 for his best finish.

Backspin: Joined the list of best players who haven’t won a major by contending in three since 2006, winning five times in the last three years and going to No. 2 in the world. If nothing else, he’s the highest-ranked player who hasn’t won a major.

Ian Poulter

Age: 34

Country: England

World ranking: 8

Worldwide victories: 9

Majors: None

Best Masters: Bad news: He has never finished in the top 10. Good news: He has never missed the cut.

Backspin: He won the Match Play Championship for his first victory in America and rose as high as No. 5 in the world, proving to anyone not paying attention that there is far more to him than fashion. Makes up for medium length off the tee with a determined short game.

Camilo Villegas

Age: 28

Country: Colombia

World ranking: 12

Worldwide victories: 4

Majors: None

Best Masters: In 2009, earned his first check (tie for 13th) and first crystal (eagle on the 15th hole in final round).

Backspin: Equipped with a better attitude, he has been among the most consistent players this year. He reached the semifinals of the Match Play Championship and won the Honda Classic.

Charl Schwartzel

Age: 25

Country: South Africa

World ranking: 27

Worldwide victories: 6

Majors: None

Best Masters: Watching on television in 2008 when Trevor Immelman gave South Africa its first Masters victory in 30 years.

Backspin: He’s not in the same league as the others in this category, but it would be tough to find anyone playing as well. Won in consecutive weeks in South Africa to start the year, then showed his game on a world stage at the CA Championship and was impressive, particularly with his length and his putting.

THE USUAL SUSPECTS

Phil Mickelson

Age: 39

Country: United States

World ranking: 3

Worldwide victories: 39

Majors: Masters (2), US PGA Championship (1)

Best Masters: Famous for his leap when he made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole to win first major in 2004.

Backspin: No one is as hard to figure out. He was the hottest player at the end of last year, but has not come close to winning this year. His putter is the frustrating part of the game. The recovery of his wife from breast cancer has a lot more to do with his up-and-down form than most realize.

Jim Furyk

Age: 39

Country: United States

World ranking: 5

Worldwide victories: 14

Majors: U.S. Open

Best Masters: In the hunt late in the final round of 1998 until his shot to the 15th went into the water on the other side of the green and he wound up in a tie for fourth.

Backspin: He doesn’t quite qualify for the “Hot Hands” category because Furyk hasn’t contended until winning at Innisbrook. While it was his first victory in 58 starts on the U.S. PGA Tour, he still managed to stay in the top 10 in the world for the very reason he could easily contend at the Masters— consistent play.

Padraig Harrington

Age: 38

Country: Ireland

World ranking: 10

Worldwide victories: 21

Majors: British Open (2), U.S. PGA Championship

Best Masters: Twice he has finished tied for fifth, but in 2007 he started the final round only two shots off the lead yet closed with a 73 and finished four shots behind.

Backspin: Harrington is much further along than he was a year ago, no longer concerned with figuring out his swing and focused more on scoring. He was the 36-hole leader in the Transitions Championship and his game, while not exactly where he wants it, is good enough for him to win.

Geoff Ogilvy

Age: 32

Country: Australia

World ranking: 13

Worldwide victories: 8

Majors: U.S. Open

Best Masters: Three shots out of the lead going into the weekend in 2007, he shot an 81 in the third round and tied for 24th.

Backspin: Ogilvy has a map in his mind of how to play Augusta National, and while he has never finished in the top 10, he has never missed a cut. He hasn’t seriously contended since winning Kapalua, then went home for the birth of his third child. If his chipping is in good shape, he could easily be there on Sunday.

Lee Westwood

Age: 36

Country: England

World ranking: 4

Worldwide victories: 30

Majors: None

Best Masters: The last time he was on top of his game, he tied for sixth in 1999 despite opening with a 75.

Backspin: The leader of England’s golf revival, he is coming off a year in which he won the European Tour money title with two victories late in the year. He has been one putt away from a playoff in the U.S. Open and British Open the last two years. Among the best players who haven’t won a major.

THE KIDS

Martin Kaymer

Age: 25

Country: Germany

World ranking: 9.

Worldwide victories: 5

Majors: None

Best Masters: He opened with a 71 in 2009, but to no avail. In his two previous Masters, he missed the cut.

Backspin: He has been as prolific as any of the players in their 20s, with five victories in his first four years as a pro on the European Tour. He’ll need surgery to complete recovery from a go-kart accident last summer, but is good enough to win now. A fellow German, Bernhard Langer, also won the Masters in his third try.

Ryo Ishikawa

Age: 18

Country: Japan

World ranking: 41

Worldwide victories: 6

Majors: None

Best Masters: Had rounds of 73-77 to miss the cut in his only Masters in 2009.

Backspin: His performance has been spotty in America, but the “Bashful Prince” tends to shine on the big stage. A winner in Japan at age 15, four victories last year to lead the Japan Tour money list, and a star at the Presidents Cup are indications he is capable of creating some buzz at Augusta National. His fundamentals are sound.

Anthony Kim

Age: 24

Country: United States

World ranking: 26

Worldwide victories: 2

Majors: None

Best Masters: Made 11 birdies in the second round and tied for 20th in 2009 in his only Masters.

Backspin: A bad round or a bad period has kept him out of contention this year, although his 11-birdie performance last year in the second round means he cannot be overlooked.

Dustin Johnson

Age: 25

Country: United States

World ranking: 30

Worldwide victories: 3

Majors: None

Best Masters: He tied for 30th in 2009 in his only Masters, making an eagle from the fairway on the 14th hole.

Backspin: He might be the best American under 30. When he defended his title at Pebble Beach, he became the first player since Tiger Woods to go from college to winning in each of his first three years on the U.S. PGA Tour. He is very long off the tee, plays very fast and will never be accused of paralysis by analysis.

Rory McIlroy

Age: 20

Country: Northern Ireland

World ranking: 11

Worldwide victories: 1

Majors: None

Best Masters: Tied for 20th in his Masters debut in 2009.

Backspin: One of the most promising youngsters to come out of Europe in years, he made the cut in all four majors last year and finished in the top 10 in two of them. The concern is that such a talent has managed to win only one time in Europe, and more red flags have been raised because he is dealing with back pain.

THE HUNCHES

Robert Allenby

Age: 38

Country: Australia

World ranking: 16

Worldwide victories: 22

Majors: None.

Best Masters: He tied for 29th in 2002, shooting 70 in the second round, one of only three rounds under par at Augusta National.

Backspin: A streaky player who hit his stride in December with victories in South Africa and Australia, and a close call in Hawaii to start the year. He is longer than people realize and a clean iron player. Putting has long been his nemesis, but remember, few would have thought Vijay Singh could win the Masters. It’s all about timing.

Hunter Mahan

Age: 27

Country: United States

World ranking: 21

Worldwide victories: 2

Majors: None

Best Masters: He tied for 28th as an amateur in 2003 and tied for 10th in 2009 as a pro.

Backspin: He picked up his second career victory in Phoenix this year, although more is expected. Mahan brings accuracy off the tee and is among the top ball-strikers in golf, which should serve him well. What has held him back is his chipping, which will hold the key to his success at Augusta National.

Getty Images

Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...


2017 Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia


And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title


Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open


Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59


Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63


Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut


Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club


Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth


The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ


Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year


And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win


Photo Galleries: Best of ...

Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 12:30 pm

Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.