FORE! Examiner Weekend Golf Guide - April 5 

A year ago at Augusta, Tiger Woods knew his ailing father, Earl, was not going to be around much longer. That is why Woods resorted to frantic tactics during the fourth round and wound up tied for third, three shots off the pace. But majors are where Tiger shines, what he was built for. He won the last two majors of 2006 and a Masters win would put him three-quarters of the way to a second Tiger Slam. While Woods downplays his opportunity for a third straight major, he is also very keenly aware of his place in history (12 career majors, just six behind Jack Nicklaus’ record). And honoring dad a year later could be just as touching.

How come no one’s talking about Lefty? As usual, Phil Mickelson is the victim of an identity crisis. The defending Masters champ is taking a back seat to his arch-enemy — Tiger. Of course, Woods is the more interesting story (10th anniversary of his monumental first Masters win, winner of last two majors). Maybe it is because Mickelson has just two top-10 finishes in eight starts this season and only four top-25s. But he is fourth in the World Ranking and the FedEx Cup standings.

There is a strong group ready to challenge Woods and Mickelson, beginning with leaderboard regulars Vijay Singh, Ernie Els and Retief Goosen. Add in up-and-comers Charles Howell III, Adam Scott and Aaron Baddeley (paired with Woods and Paul Casey the first two rounds) and sprinkle in veterans Colin Montgomerie, Darren Clarke and Padraig Harrington and the battle should be fierce. Els might be the most interesting to watch. He knows the clock is ticking on him at Augusta after going 0-for-13 so far. But his game is looking to be in great shape.

JACKET FOR NEW BABY?

It could be quite a week for Brett Quigley. Well, it already has been. Quigley’s wife, Amy, gave birth to a girl in south Florida. The newest Quigley arrived at 2:55 a.m. Wednesday, giving pops — who found out Amy was in labor Tuesday afternoon — plenty of time to spend a few quality hours with his daughter before heading back to Augusta in time to tee off today.

THIS WEEK’S TEE TIMES

PGA

EVENT: Masters

WHEN: Today-Sunday

WHERE: Augusta, Ga.

COURSE: Augusta National Golf Club, par 72

DEFENDING CHAMP: Phil Mickelson

LPGA

EVENT: Ginn Open

WHEN: April 12-15

WHERE: Reunion, Fla.

COURSE: Reunion Resort & Club

DEFENDING CHAMP: Mi Hyun Kim

CHAMPIONS

EVENT: Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf

WHEN: April 20-22

WHERE: Savannah, Ga.

COURSE: Savannah Harbor Golf Resort

DEFENDING CHAMP: Jay Haas

NATIONWIDE

EVENT: South Georgia Classic

WHEN: April 12-15

WHERE: Valdosta, Ga.

COURSE: Kinderlou Forest Golf Club

DEFENDING CHAMP: Inaugural event

EURO PGA

EVENT: Masters

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