Conventional wisdom has it that big hitters who also can putt have the best chance to win the Masters.
The oddsmakers apparently have bought into that hypothesis, making Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson the favorites for the first major of the year, which starts Thursday at Augusta National.
Woods has earned four Green Jackets, Mickelson three, and the 22-year-old McIlroy is expected to be in that exalted company someday.
"There are four (reachable) par-5s on this course, so that means the long hitter is 16 strokes ahead of the average hitter before he even tees it up for four rounds of play," Gene Sarazen, who captured the second Masters, in 1935, once said.
Said Mickelson: "The thing about Augusta is that length is a big factor here. Even though you can win no matter how far you hit the golf ball, length is a factor and is an advantage.
"To be able to keep the ball in smaller sections on the green can be very advantageous."
And since the course has been lengthene...