I'll have pieces on this strange Masters, Bryson DeChambeau and Tiger Woods in the Thursday paper and at startribune.com
As Augusta National shuts down for the day, and rain continues to fall, I'll offer a few players to watch when play begins early on Thursday morning:
-Jon Rahm. He seems loose and relaxed and has a game that should handle any and all weather conditions. He's primed to be the next great golfer and to win multiple Masters. He's finished fourth and tied for ninth in his last two Masters, and finished third at the U.S. Open this year. Is this the week he wins his first major?
-Rory McIlroy: Still searching for the Masters win that would give him the career grand slam, McIlroy this week is admitting that he's tried to lessen the pressure on himself by acknolwedging that he may never win at Augusta. Maybe that helps. But to me he sounds like someone who is happy with his life and doesn't expect to win here.
-Brooks Koepka: He could win this week or any week but his strengths - bulk, power, raw ambition and mental toughness - seem to be present more notably in DeChambeau.
-Dustin Johnson: He's hitting the ball as well as anyone in the world with the possible exception of DeChambeau, and he's won a major, but...do you trust him? Do you trust him to read these greens and make big putts with the tournament on the line? That's probably unfair. He finished in a tie for second last year. But I don't trust his putter.
-Justin Thomas: As Brandel Chamblee keeps saying, Thomas has the ability to ``pick'' the ball off this turf, which is an advantage. So it his ability to hit the ball high and far and work it both ways. He has the game to win anywhere at any time, but is his putter prepared to win here?
If I had to bet my own money, I'd bet it on DeChambeau, or maybe Rahm.
Here's why I don't bet: The last four Masters champions: Aging Tiger Woods, and three first-time winners - Patrick Reed, Sergio Garcia and Danny Willett.