John Hawkins - March 28, 2012


After reading “The Big Miss,” he said that having known Hank for many years and having covered Tiger for many years the fact that there was so much stress and tension when working with Tiger was very surprising. There seemed to be a lot of unrest and turbulence around Tiger and that is something that is disconcerting.

Outside of the Major wins, John ranks Tiger’s win on Sunday at Bay Hill the  third most important non-Major win behind the 2000 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and his first win in Las Vegas in 1996. This win has effectively kick started Tiger’s comeback because the comeback could not truly begin  until he won on the PGA TOUR and now he has.

Among various Masters scenarios, John said he would be shocked if Tiger did not win The Masters if he had a two shot lead standing on the 14th tee on Sunday. His favorite at Augusta National this year is Phil Mickelson and we all know what he can do on that course. He does not think Rory McIlroy will win this year as the fact that he is returning to the scene of real heartache could be too much. Tiger is the best closer of all time so it would be very surprising if Tiger did not win if he grabbed the lead. In his mind, Abu Dhabi was an aberration where he lost to Robert Rock.

When it comes to Masters favorites, you can mention a lot of players but in his opinion there are really only five top favorites if you add both Luke Donald and Lee Westwood to the trio of Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, and Phil Mickelson.