Golf Digest editors picks
The Masters

Fantasy Fix

We discuss the Mega Millions jackpot, compare Tiger Woods to Ron Burgandy, and of course, make picks for the year's first major

PGA Tour: Fantasy Fix: Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy learned a lot at last year's Masters. Like, don't hit it here, for one thing...

Major championship challenge

Golf Digest is pleased to present our first fantasy golf contest: Major Championship Challenge. Predict this week's winner (and score) for a chance to win one of several incredible golf trips. Do the best over the course of the major championship season (the four majors plus the Players) and you will win a grand prize bucket-list buddies trip five nights in Killarney, Ireland, and includes golf at Ballybunion, Tralee, Waterville, Dooks and Killarney. For more details, visit the contest's homepage.

The Masters

Where: Augusta, Ga.

Course: Augusta National Golf Club

Defending champion: Charl Schwartzel birdied the final four holes to hold off a pair of Aussies, Adam Scott and Jason Day.

Purse: $8,000,000

This Week's Fix Six

1. Tiger Woods
2. Rory McIlroy
3. Phil Mickelson
4. Luke Donald
5. Brandt Snedeker
6. Bill Haas
April 3, 2012

Welcome to another edition of Fantasy Fix, where we learned a long time ago that no good can come from actually putting out one-footers. I.K. Kim's stunning miss got the 2012 major championship season off to an interesting start, but we are hoping to see a more heroic ending on the guys' side. There's also a chance for you to be a hero by entering our new fantasy challenge (see the neat little box to the right for details). So before the the bloom of Augusta's azaleas wear off even more, let's get to our predictions.

ON TAP

The Masters is here! The Masters is here! The Masters is here! In general, the excitement level for this year's Masters has been turned up a notch. Like the men's NCAA Championship game, the hope is to get some brand names competing late on Sunday. Augusta National is obviously a fantastic course, but what makes it even better is that these guys get to see it every year. As a result, there's even more of a chance we'll see the best players separate themselves from the rest of the pack.

Random tournament fact: Nick Faldo has three career top-10 finishes at the Masters. He also happens to own three green jackets. Talk about taking advantage of the times he was in contention. The guy is like the Florida Marlins of golf.

THE DEFENDER

Charl Schwartzel. If a slight South African wearing a green jacket falls in Augusta's dogwoods, does he make a sound? Seriously, the defending champion (he birdied the final four holes to win last year, people!) isn't getting much attention with everyone fawning over golf's "Big Three," or Four, or Five, or however you happen to see it. But Schwartzel has just as good of a chance as... Sorry, I can't make it through that sentence. Schwartzel is a great player and he'll have other major moments, but his chances of winning back-to-back years at Augusta are about as slim as, well, he is.

STUD OF THE WEEK

Tiger Woods. Duh. Yes, this is the obvious pick, but that doesn't mean it's not the right one (See: Kentucky, NCAA men's basketball). Like Ron Burgundy for an Anchorman sequel, Tiger is back! OK, so that's the 1,368th time my poor boss has had to hear me say that, but this time, it seems for real. Despite all his "putting struggles," Woods is first on the PGA Tour in scoring average by nearly a full shot and he leads by even more in all-around ranking, thanks in large part to being first in total driving for the first time since his mythical 2000 season.

Related: Ten ways for Tiger to win the Masters

But above all that, this is Augusta. A place where Jack Nicklaus once predicted Woods would win more times than he and Arnold Palmer combined. He has won four green jackets so far and has only finished out of the top 10 three times as a pro. Something tells me he could go through a huge sex scandal, not play competitive golf for half a year and still finish in the top five at Augusta. Oh, wait...

KNOCKOUT PICK OF THE WEEK

See above. As Ron Burgundy would say, "It's science."

Also, check out Golf Digest's Major Championship Challenge page. I've got Woods winning with a final score of 12-under par. Of course, since I'm an employee, I'm not eligible to win any of the prizes. This on the heels of me not winning the $640 million Mega Millions jackpot. Is there no justice in this world?!

THE USUAL SUSPECTS (OTHER THAN TIGER)

Luke Donald. Like Schwartzel, Donald has managed to stay under the radar despite the fact he's currently the top-ranked player in the world. He also finished T-4 here last year and T-3 in 2005. I was a bit worried the magic from his 2011 season had worn off, but his recent win at the Transitions proved he's a threat on a weekly basis.

Rory McIlroy. The biggest threat to Woods getting back on track to catch Jack Nicklaus' mark of 18 majors, the 22-year-old Northern Irishman has been on an absolute tear. He has finished in the top five in 11 of the past 12 events he's played worldwide and his start to the 2012 PGA Tour season has been just as good, with a win at the Honda, a runner-up and a solo third at the two World Golf Championships. How good is this guy? We aren't even factoring in what happened here last year...

Phil Mickelson. Lefty opened the Shell Houston Open with a 65 and finished T-4, but did you know that's his only time breaking 70 in his last 15 rounds? But all that gets thrown out the window this week. Mickelson is a perennial contender at Augusta National and there's no tournament more suited to him adding to his career total of four majors. Plus, he's currently No. 2 on tour in strokes gained-putting meaning he's played better on the greens this year than people think.

FAN MAIL BREAK

"Hey Alex, love the column! Would you do me a favor, though, and not pick my student, Tiger Woods, to win? I'm worried you might jinx him with your cold streak. Thanks, Sean Foley."

Too late, Sean. And why don't you try picking the winner of a golf tournament? It's a little harder than coaching the greatest golfer of all time... OK, so Foley didn't write me and I'd never poke fun of him after the last couple months he's had with Woods, Hunter Mahan and Justin Rose. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't contact me. Be bold and email me at Alex.Myers@GolfDigest.com or tweet at me (@AlexMyers3) for a chance to appear in next week's column. Or if you just feel like making fun of my picks or discussing the one-year rule in college basketball.

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