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Augusta Green: Day One at the Masters

Masters 2009 -- The heaters are out, the flowers and now artificially blooming and everyone is picking Tiger to win.

Masters 2009 -- The heaters are out, the flowers and artificially blooming and everyone is picking Tiger to win.

Of course there’s lots to read about the first day at the Masters while you’re waiting for the telecast to start. ScoreGolf editor Bob Weeks caddied the Par-3 contest yesterday — and learned something about his loop, Stephen Ames, that perhaps you don’t want to know:

Before I left Dean, I asked for any last-minute advice. He told me to stay up-wind from Stephen as he had some funny stuff coming out of his body that week which I wouldnt want to experience. Too much fibre he said. To much information, I said.

Here’s a question for readers: If you are Canadian and want to watch online, how do you do it? The much maligned Canadian feed (Mastersgolf.ca) now refers you back to the main page of the Masters. Does that mean there’s no Canadian feed? It appears TSN is back with “Live from Amen Corner.” TSN’s Masters page is located here.

PGATour.com “experts” pick their choices for winner of the event. I wonder why they bother since if Tiger is in the field, they all make him their primary choice.  Thirty percent of the time they’ll be right. Interestingly, not one picks Mickelson over Woods, though two would have picked Ogilvy as their top choice, with one figuring the struggling Padraig Harrington might pull it off. My money? Fred Couples. Maybe I’m crazy, as they putter of his gets pretty rocky on the short putts later in rounds, but he’s been playing well of late and always does well at Augusta.

The odds makers favor — hold your breath — Tiger Woods:

Odds for the U.S. Masters starting on Thursday at Augusta National Golf Club, according to British bookmakers William Hill (U.S. unless stated):

Tiger Woods 5/2

Phil Mickelson 9/1

Padraig Harrington (Ireland) 18/1

Geoff Ogilvy (Australia) 20/1

Retief Goosen (South Africa) 25/1

Paul Casey (Britain) 25/1

Rory McIlroy (Britain) 28/1

Sergio Garcia (Spain) 40/1

Henrik Stenson (Sweden) 40/1

Nick Watney 40/1

Robert Karlsson (Sweden) 40/1

Ernie Els (South Africa) 45/1

Zach Johnson 45/1

Sean O’Hair 50/1

Camilo Villegas (Colombia) 55/1

You’ll be pleased to know Gary Player, in his last Masters, is a 1000-1 longshot. Get your bets down now.

Oh yeah — John Daly is pitching his crappy signed hats and such emblazoned with that terrible lion logo outside the Masters. Just sad.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

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