Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Aging contenders for 2011 Masters

Jack Nicklaus was 46 in 1986 when he won his 18th and final major championship. He is the oldest Masters champion, but there are a few 40-somethings in this year's field not named Phil Mickelson who have a shot at contending.

Jim Furyk, 40 He is what professionals call a "ball striker." Furyk is not off to a fast start this year, but he usually rounds into shape in early April. He won three times in 2010, and it would not be a long shot to see him on the board this year.

Retief Goosen, 42. He has two seconds at Augusta, the last in 2007. Goosen had 10 top 10s last year and has the accuracy and putter to survive 72 holes.

Davis Love, 46. He has a pair of second-place finishes at Augusta, but that was back in the 1990s. Love tied for sixth at the U.S. Open last year to get into the Masters, and he knows time is running out on earning a green jacket.

Vijay Singh, 48. He won the Masters in 2000 and seems to be rounding into shape this year after a dry spell. He already has a tie for third and a second this season. When Singh gets hot, he stays hot.

Tom Watson, 61. Okay, he's not a 40-something, but never count Watson out. He contended at the British Open two years ago and has won at Augusta. Can you imagine the roars if Watson is in contention on the back nine Sunday?

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