What If Tiger Woods Doesn't Win?
No, I'm not talking about the simple concept of Tiger Woods not winning the Masters this weekend. I don't think him winning is a truly realistic expectation, nor should it be. I'll be much happier to see a Tiger Woods that hasn't let his personal life seep into his professional one.
However, what better time than now for someone not named Tiger Woods to truly step up and make a name for themselves? Sure, everyone is talking about the "good but just missed" guys like Lee Westwood or Paul Casey, perhaps even Jim Furyk, but is there a truely dark horse out there primed for a strong run?
(Current PGA Tour money list rank in parentheses):
Kenny Perry (84)
Nobody seems to be bringing it up, but Perry seems like one solid choice, if only because the man has been the closest most recently. Perry had the title in the bag last year until he finished Sunday by going bogey-bogey on 17 and 18 to wind up in a three-man playoff with Chad Campbell and Angel Cabrera. This year Perry hasn't been as strong in the events leading up, but lots of players play their best here at Augusta.
Chad Campbell (88)
Campbell has the same edge as Perry, with that "so close" feeling from last year as well as a third place finish from 2006 to build on. Campbell hasn't been great so far this year, but that could be at least partly due to having a pregnant wife while simultaneously adopting a second child. With that out of the way, his game could be cleared for a takeover.
Anthony Kim (4)
Fresh off his win at the Shell Houston Open, Kim is the player I'd most like to see win it. He has the same kind of youthful exuberance, strength, and high talent level that used to get everyone excited about Sergio Garcia. He has a thumb injury, so a win may take some serious grit on his part, but achieving it would certainly do a lot to boost his reputation around the golfing world.