Masters Q&A With Golf World's John Hawkins
John Hawkins has been covering the PGA Tour for Golf World and Golf Digest magazines since 1996. We asked him for his take on the 72nd Masters.
How could Trevor Immelman win the Masters?
John Hawkins: Because this tournament has changed dramatically in just the last few years. The Masters has become a control player's golf tournament. There are power tournaments and there are control tournaments, and it's not very often that the character of a tournament shifts as much as this one has. The combination of the length, the rough they've added, the firmness of these greens . . . It's not a power player's course anymore.
Where was Trevor Immelman on your list of potential winners before the week began?
Never crossed my mind. My next-door neighbor was looking for a sleeper pick, but there was absolutely no reason to think Trevor Immelman had a shot here. OK, he tied for fifth here in '05, the year he made the hole-in-one at 16 on Sunday. But Trevor Immelman hadn't done anything lately, and he had never contended in a major.
Does this officially end talk of a Grand Slam in 2008?
It has to. This guy isn't going to win all four. Listen, it was a long shot to begin with. Tiger's bad golf is a lot better than most people's good, and that impresses me more than anything. I still can't believe he finished second here. They tried to give it to him, but he wasn't good enough this week to take it. That happens sometimes.
Zach Johnson and Trevor Immelman have won the past two Masters. Is that good or bad for golf?
I think it's good, overall. It's easy to get caught up in how good a guy plays and how popular he is, but it's good for other guys to win once in a while. Both Zach and Immelman are great people, fairly new fathers, good guys. Trevor Immelman was a great player before today, but he wasn't even in the second tier until now.
That makes three consecutive Masters that Tiger hasn't won. Why can't he win here anymore?
The changes here have actually hurt him. Woods can win anywhere anytime, but he can't win when he putts poorly. He hardly made anything all week. Didn't even hit the hole from four or five feet on 13 today, then he three-putted 14. Don't worry: Tiger is only halfway to his green jacket collection. He'll win four more before he's done.