2011 Masters Bold Prediction: Tiger Woods Will Not Win

Todd PatakyCorrespondent IApril 10, 2011

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 09:  Tiger Woods hits a shot from the pine needles on the 17th hole during the third round of the 2011 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 9, 2011 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Tiger Woods finds himself in a less than enviable position heading in to Sunday's final round in Augusta, GA.

He is seven strokes back of tournament leader Rory McIlroy, but there is more than just strokes separating Woods from his fifth Green Jacket. There are a dozen other players and a lot of history.

On the face of it, If he shoots a 65, he ties the lead, but that is assuming everyone else, especially McIlroy, makes par.

That is where the second thing in his way comes into play. When Nick Faldo chased down Greg Norman in 1996, when Norman took a six-shot lead into Sunday, Faldo didn't have any players to worry about other than Norman. Faldo was alone in second place, meaning that other players would have to play even better than he would to snag a piece of the lead.

Tiger is seven back, but also has 11 players tied with or above him on the leader board. There is no defense in golf, so Woods has to not only play an incredible round, but he has to hope none of the players in front of him shoots an incredible score, too.

Three of the men in front of Woods have shot 67 this week: K.J. Choi, Angel Cabrera and Adam Scott. McIlroy himself shot an opening-round 65, and Jason Day has a 64 on his resume. Every one of those men stands between Tiger and history.

Then there is the history of the place. In 19 of the last 20 playings of this event, the eventual winner has played in the final group. The only exception to that rule was four years ago when Zach Johnson came from three back, tied for fourth, to win his first Green Jacket.

And then there is Woods' own personal history of never having won a major in come-from-behind fashion. All 14 of his major championships have come when Woods has had a share of or the outright lead going into the final day.

Not to mention the fact that Woods isn't exactly firing on all cylinders this week.

The simple answer to the question is no, Tiger will not win his fifth Masters today.

But if he is going to do it, it is going to take an epic round by Woods and an epic collapse by the players around him.

So, don't look for Woods to end his winless streak, which is pushing two years in length now, this week. Even a man with a sense of the moment like Tiger Woods will not be able to summon the kind of round it is going to take for him to win this week.

I expect the McIlroy to shoot a comfortable three-under today and win his first Masters at 15-under.