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PGA TOUR CONFIDENTIAL
Michael Bamberger
May 05, 2009
WHO'S MOST LIKELY TO WIN THE PLAYERS AND WHY
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May 05, 2009

Pga Tour Confidential

WHO'S MOST LIKELY TO WIN THE PLAYERS AND WHY

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ANONYMOUS PRO: If you're going to complain about something at Augusta, you can't complain about the greens. They're perfect. We don't play better greens all year. If you're going to complain about greens, complain about the bermuda-grass greens at the Stadium course. They're too inconsistent for a great championship.

GARRITY: Am I the only one who thought there was a little psychic damage done when Sergio missed that short birdie putt on 17 in the playoff against Paul Goydos? It didn't matter with Goydos in the water, but I thought it was a negative that might bang around in Sergio's skull.

SHIPNUCK: I don't know that it was meaningful, but it was symbolic. Sergio is the poster boy for guys who have been beaten down by Tiger. There is only a five-year difference in their ages, so Sergio knows that Tiger is always going to be there and be better than him. It's taken away a lot of his fighting spirit. When Sergio talks about Tiger now, he's kind of sarcastic, like, Oh, we can't all be Tiger Woods. He has serious Tigeritis.

VAN SICKLE: To me, Sergio sounded like a guy who has hit rock bottom with his putting, maybe some form of the yips, although I hope not. If you can't putt, Augusta National is the worst place to be in the world. And if you can't putt, you can't play golf and you get despondent.

GARRITY: Are we talking about Sergio or Charles Barkley?

BAMBERGER: I'd hate to see Sergio think himself out of a major. Lee Trevino should have won the career Grand Slam, except he had such a poor attitude about playing Augusta—These people don't want me, he'd say. The course doesn't suit my fade. Of course Trevino could turn it over when he needed to. I didn't think Sergio's quotes were that bad. It's more worrisome that a guy under 30 is going back and forth between the long and short putter.

HACK: Every time I think Sergio has matured, he pulls a stunt like this. To have that outburst on a week when so many thoughts were with Spanish great Seve Ballesteros, who is fighting brain cancer and sent José María Olazábal a note to be read at the champions dinner, smacked of complete selfishness.

NO. 1 AND NO. 2

VAN SICKLE: What did that thrilling Sunday round at Augusta do for Phil and Tiger going into the Players? Where are they now?

GARRITY: Phil created a ton of excitement out there. Going into that round, everybody was taking bets that, playing with Tiger, Phil would wilt. Tiger steps up and hits the first tee ball a hundred yards left. Phil did all the miracle stuff. He didn't complete what might have been the greatest comeback in a major, but he came close. Of those two guys that day, Phil was the one who had more magic.

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