Jay Townsend is a European Tour analyst who is in Augusta, Georgia for the 76th Masters Tournament. Rory McIlroy is one shot back after 36 holes and many people think that he is now the favorite to win the 2012 Masters. Townsend doubts that McIlroy even remembers the final round 80 from 2011 as he is playing well on a course that fits his eyes. He sees Rory as a favorite to win and notes that he is putting better this year than he did in 2011.
Sergio Garcia’s putting has held him back in years past at Augusta National but he is putting very well this week. Garcia seems very comfortable this week and while we know how gifted he is, this may the week where he shows everyone what he can do.
While Rory has not done anything to intimidate people the way that Tiger did early in his career, Townsend thinks that players are paying attention to Rory and that they take notice when he is at the top of the leaderboard.
While Lee Westwood started Friday with the lead, he lost the lead by the end of the day but Townsend is not worried. He thinks that Westwood is striking the ball so well that he will give himself many opportunities to make birdies and while he will not make all of them, he will make enough of them if he is playing well.
Jimenez’s greatest strengths include understanding his weaknesses and playing to his strengths. He knows that he is not a long hitter so he does not try to be. It is great to see him contending at the age of 48 and Townsend thinks that if he continues to play his own game, we will be Jimenez contending late on Sunday.
Among international players, Townsend thinks that Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood have the best chance to win this week. He adds that Henrik Stenson is also in contention, he doubts that the Swede has much of a chance to win. Paul Lawrie is very comfortable right now as he is under the radar and playing well. Townsend doubts that Lawrie will be able to win this week but that he will be in contention.