There is little doubt that Phil Mickelson enters the final round of the 2012 Masters as favourite to slip his arms into the Green Jacket this evening, after a third round of 66, six-under-par, left him a shot behind third-round leader Peter Hanson.
Bernhard Langer, Masters champion in 1985 and 1993, shared his expectations for the final round in an exclusive interview with Golf Monthly last night.
“The fourth round promises to be very exciting,” starts Langer, who himself shot an excellent 72 in the first round here on Thursday, before misfortune struck in the second round and a score of 80 left the 54-year-old German on the wrong side of the halfway cut.
“Looking at the leaderboard, the favourite to win has to be Phil Mickelson, simply because he has played very well over the last two days, he has won here three times before and he will be the crowd favourite.
“Peter Hanson is playing fantastic golf but I just don’t know if he will be able to keep it going under the circumstances, so my other pick from the leading group would be Louis Oosthuizen. He has already won a major, but then Bubba Watson could sneak in there.”
Sweden’s Hanson, 34, shot the low round of the 2012 Masters so far with his 65, seven under par yesterday, and so he will tee-off last today, in the final group with Mickelson. South African Oosthuizen, who won the 2010 Open Championship at St Andrews, sits a shot behind Mickelson, and he will play in the penultimate group alongside American Watson, who is three shots off Hanson’s lead.
“Oosthuizen has a wonderful swing, great technique, although Bubba is the longest out of the players on the leaderboard,” adds Langer. “Oosthuizen has a pretty nifty touch with the putter too, and that is what actually wins the tournament – the player who can make the crucial six or eight-foot putts.”
Article courtesy of Mercedes-Benz, International Partner of the Masters Tournament