It is hard to argue the man who, alongside Rory McIlroy, is the best player in the world right now is a “left field” pick, but the Augusta National course has traditional been a long-hitters course, Molinari is no-one’s idea of a bomber.
But if it rains as forecast, the long-hitter’s advantage of being able to reach the par-fives in two will be mitigate, leaving the door open for the Italian. If Zach Johnson can win a Masters, so can Molinari.
The Englishman has to win one of these at one stage, right. Strategically, he plays the course wonderfully well. He’s long and straight. He has learned to putt the crazy greens. He has five top-10 finishes. He has been runner-up twice. This place owes him one. He’s earned it.
Mind you, the same could be said for Ernie Els, Greg Norman, Lee Trevino… and on and on.
Why not? The great man hasn’t exactly been in sparkling early season form but, remember, he returned from months away following his infamous personal scandal, tee it up at Augusta and finished fourth. Never write off Tiger at this venue. He owns the place.
Probably not your winner this week but Li looks like the kind of player who will give him supporters a sporting run through until Sunday. He has a perfect game and temperament for Augusta National. He played for the first time last year and finished in a tie for 28th so he has proved he is not over-awed.
His form is trending nicely after a run of missed cuts, so a top-10 finish (or better) wouldn’t be completely out of the blue.