Okay, so it might seem a stretch to do a page layout of the Masters inspired by the heavy metal group Metallica, but honestly Augusta will be tougher and more harsh than anything the Bay-area thrashers have put out in their storied career. Unfortunately there won't be any Metallica on the television as they cut to commercial. Just the standard prim and proper piano and the soothing voice of Jim Nance.
So far in 2009 some veterans have made their presence felt, and it's only a matter of time before they get things going. Here are my top five contenders to win this year at Augusta.
1. Tiger Woods -I don't have to explain this one, do I? He's back. Whenever he wants to win, he will win. And he will take another major this Sunday.
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2. Fred Couples -Freddy almost pulled out a win in Houston last week and has been playing solid golf. He's also consistently played well at Augusta over the years. He's just a couple good shots away from stepping in the winner's circle again.
3. Rocco Mediate -Same deal with Rocco. Mediate has made the cut in every event this year and has been near the top of the leaderboard in all of those events. He's just had an ugly round in there that throws him to the middle of the pack. Four steady rounds, and Rocco could be right back in the spotlight.
4. Phil Mickelson -Phil has got it going again and has stepped up his game since Tiger came back. Assuming he avoids the "oh no" slice and barring any other meltdowns, he should be in contention come Sunday.
5. Sean O'Hair -The last guy to finish second to Tiger, the young O'Hair is slowly adding to his resume and his bank account. He's getting better as he matures and isn't far off from claiming golf's top prize.
E-mail B.J. Lisko at firstname.lastname@example.org