Masters Countdown: Injury report is foreboding for Augusta
Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jason Day, and Hunter Mahan. And that's just the beginning of the list of golfers who have been injured in the last few weeks.
The team of golfers on the PGA Tour pseudo-disabled list right now could probably win a Ryder Cup if given the opportunity.
Of the top contenders for the 2014 Masters title, four of the top seven betting favorites have withdrawn from a tournament in March.
Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson currently have more cuts missed (one, two if you count Woods' missed Saturday cut at Torrey) and more WDs (three in-tournament, one pre-tournament) than top 10 finishes.
It's not 2002 anymore, folks.
The disconcerting thing, though, is how many other golfers are falling by the wayside. This is supposed to be happening at the end of the year, not in March.
Is that cause for concern or will everyone be 100 percent when Augusta starts. Let's take a look at the injury report (number of 2014 WDs in parentheses):
Tiger Woods (WDs: 2) -- This is the big one. I think everyone in the world of golf can agree that even if Woods plays he'll be more of a question mark than an exclamation point.
Still, it's really, really difficult for me to see him not playing a tournament he hasn't missed since 1994. Odds of playing: 90 percent
Phil Mickelson (WDs: 2) -- An oblique strain took Lefty out of the Texas Open and might keep him from the Houston Open.
I'm pretty certain he'll play the Masters but he might not be able to bang it all over the yard like usual. Which, when you think about it, is probably a good thing. Odds of playing: 99 percent
Jason Day (WDs: 2) -- This seems to be the most severe of the injuries on this list. Day pulled out of the Cadillac Championship as well as the Arnold Palmer Invitational with a bum thumb.
Remember Day pulled out of the 2012 Masters with a bad left ankle so he's struggled in the past with injuries at this tournament but I expect him to at least give it a go. Odds of playing: 70 percent
Hunter Mahan (WDs: 1) -- Mahan removed himself from the Arnold Palmer Invitational in the third round with a bad back. He seems fine though and is in the Houston Open field this weekend. He said he'd be shocked if he had to pull out of that. Odds of playing: 99 percent
Bubba Watson (WDs: 1) -- Honestly, whether or not he plays depends on the pollen in Augusta. Bubba pulled out of the Arnold Palmer Invitational a few weeks ago with bad allergies after a first-round 83.
Augusta forecast looks good, though, so he should be all right! Odds of playing: 100 percent
Nick Watney (WDs: 1) -- He pulled out of the Cadillac Championship a few weeks ago and said he was "shattered."
I'm guessing that script flipped quickly because his wife Amber gave birth to their daughter Harper a few days later. Nick should be a go for Augusta. Odds of playing: 99 percent
Really the big ones are those first three who, coincidentally, are three of the six biggest favorites to win the tournament this year.
If one or more of Tiger, Phil, and Day don't play or aren't fully ready to go next Thursday when the Masters starts there will be a shake up a the top of the betting favorites, not to mention the leaderboards.
Day is the one I'm most concerned about. I think Mickelson can get to 90 percent or somewhere close and I think Tiger is going to do heroic Tiger things but if Day can't go that would be a huge bummer for the tournament as well as its patrons, especially after his Match Play Championship win earlier this year.
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