The Masters

My Pre-Championship Picks: The Masters

A tradition unlike any other, because I just started it.

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Alright friends, its major championship season in golf, and with sports betting now legal, I am here to give you the best and worst picks for each major in 2019. First up, The Masters. Let's do this!


1. Top Pick To Win #1: Rory Mcilroy

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The one major left to complete the grand slam, Rory is the top pick to win this year's Masters. His putting is back to a level that can win major championships, and the win at the Players definitely proved that so. Driving will always be his strength, it just depends on if he can convert with putting on those slick greens.

2. Top Pick To Win #2: Justin Rose

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The current World #2 Justin Rose is always a good pick to make regardless of the major being played. Never really any shortcoming in his game, he will definitely be a threat on this golf course, and after losing to Sergio Garcia in 2017, he's out for redemption out here. His ability to hit greens will serve him well here, but we're not sure what's gonna happen until the Back 9 Sunday afternoon for the 2013 U.S. Open champion.

3. Top Pick To Win #3: Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods

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The Big Cat is looking good heading into the first major of the year. With driver now in control, Tiger can now attack Augusta National however he sees fit, but at the end day, it's whether or not the putter will cooperate. He loves the big moments, as the 14 previous majors show, but is it time he adds #15 to his resume?

4. Top Pick To Not Win #1: Patrick Reed

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The current defending champion Patrick Reed is in a little bit of shambles right now. After a horrid missed cut at Valspar, his performance at the Match Play Championship wasn't much better. Getting some second-hand advice from David Leadbetter, it's gonna be interesting how this year progresses for Reed, but he will not be winning the Masters back-to-back.

5. Top Pick To Not Win #2: Dustin Johnson

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Yes, unfortunately, World #1 Dustin Johnson is also on my list of who will not win the Masters. Nothing against DJ, but Augusta is a draw hitters paradise, and DJ now plays a nice little fade into everything now, which makes the task of winning Augusta just a little bit harder. I predict a good finish from DJ regardless of this fact, but I can assume he will not be winning the green jacket either.

6. Top Pick To Not Win #3: Matt Kuchar

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Matt Kuchar has had himself a hell of a year already, and it's only April. However, with hitting it the average distance with almost a guaranteed fade every time, he will not be winning The Masters either. I can definitely see other majors fitting Kuchar this year, but its a foregone conclusion that he won't be winning this one.

7. Dark-horse Pick #1: Jordan Spieth

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Spieth's disappointing 18 months of golf is starting look more promising, and coming to a place to where you won really helps. He is always a threat at Augusta National, let's just hope #12 doesn't get him again.

8. Dark-horse Pick #2: Brooks Koepka

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The literal definition of what the modern golf game has evolved into, never sleep on Brooks Koepka when a major is going on. He's like Ian Poulter in the Ryder Cup, it just seems he doesn't care until he steps into the big tournaments, and although Brooks is a fader of the golf ball, he'll be able to out power the course regardless.

9. Dark-horse Pick #3: Rickie Fowler

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At 30 years old, is it Rickie Fowler's time to shine in a major championship? I certainly hope so. If he can do what he did at the Waste Management earlier this year, he will be a huge threat coming into Augusta. So many storylines to be made, we just have to wait and see what happens.

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To The Coach Who Took Away My Confidence

You had me playing in fear.
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"The road to athletic greatness is not marked by perfection, but the ability to constantly overcome adversity and failure."

As a coach, you have a wide variety of players. You have your slow players, your fast players. You have the ones that are good at defense. You have the ones that are good at offense. You have the ones who would choose to drive and dish and you have the ones that would rather shoot the three. You have the people who set up the plays and you have the people who finish them. You are in charge of getting these types of players to work together and get the job done.

Sure, a coach can put together a pretty set of plays. A coach can scream their head off in a game and try and get their players motivated. A coach can make you run for punishment, or they can make you run to get more in shape. The most important role of a coach, however, is to make the players on their team better. To hopefully help them to reach their fullest potential. Players do make mistakes, but it is from those mistakes that you learn and grow.

To the coach the destroyed my confidence,

You wanted to win, and there was nothing wrong with that. I saw it in your eyes if I made a mistake, you were not too happy, which is normal for a coach. Turnovers happen. Players miss shots. Sometimes the girl you are defending gets past you. Sometimes your serve is not in bounds. Sometimes someone beats you in a race. Sometimes things happen. Players make mistakes. It is when you have players scared to move that more mistakes happen.

I came on to your team very confident in the way that I played the game. Confident, but not cocky. I knew my role on the team and I knew that there were things that I could improve on, but overall, I was an asset that could've been made into an extremely great player.

You paid attention to the weaknesses that I had as a player, and you let me know about them every time I stepped onto the court. You wanted to turn me into a player I was not. I am fast, so let me fly. You didn't want that. You wanted me to be slow. I knew my role wasn't to drain threes. My role on the team was to get steals. My role was to draw the defense and pass. You got mad when I drove instead of shot. You wanted me to walk instead of run. You wanted me to become a player that I simply wasn't. You took away my strengths and got mad at me when I wasn't always successful with my weaknesses.

You did a lot more than just take away my strengths and force me to focus on my weaknesses. You took away my love for the game. You took away the freedom of just playing and being confident. I went from being a player that would take risks. I went from being a player that was not afraid to fail. Suddenly, I turned into a player that questioned every single move that I made. I questioned everything that I did. Every practice and game was a battle between my heart and my head. My heart would tell me to go to for it. My heart before every game would tell me to just not listen and be the player that I used to be. Something in my head stopped me every time. I started wondering, "What if I mess up?" and that's when my confidence completely disappeared.

Because of you, I was afraid to fail.

You took away my freedom of playing a game that I once loved. You took away the relaxation of going out and playing hard. Instead, I played in fear. You took away me looking forward to go to my games. I was now scared of messing up. I was sad because I knew that I was not playing to my fullest potential. I felt as if I was going backward and instead of trying to help me, you seemed to just drag me down. I'd walk up to shoot, thinking in my head, "What happens if I miss?" I would have an open lane and know that you'd yell at me if I took it, so I just wouldn't do it.

SEE ALSO: The Coach That Killed My Passion

The fight to get my confidence back was a tough one. It was something I wish I never would've had to do. Instead of becoming the best player that I could've been, I now had to fight to become the player that I used to be. You took away my freedom of playing a game that I loved. You took away my good memories in a basketball uniform, which is something I can never get back. You can be the greatest athlete in the world, but without confidence, you won't go very far.

Cover Image Credit: Christina Silies

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The Heart Of A Champion: Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods inspires millions with fifth Masters title and the comeback of a lifetime.

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Tiger Woods. What do you think of when you hear that name?

For me, it is golf, champion, goat. Tiger Woods rose to success and won his first masters in 1997. The hunt was on, and the mission, be the best golfer the of all time. But Tiger's story started long before the 1997 masters it began as a toddler learning the basics of golf from his father at the ripe young age of 3 years old.

At that age, Tiger had one dream. Become a better golfer than Jack Nicklaus. With this win in 1997 Tiger began his quest to be the greatest of all time. He picked up back to back masters wins in 2001 and 2002 and a fourth in 2005 tying that of famed golfer Arnold Palmer. Along the way, he picked up 14 major championships as captivated audiences everywhere. Tiger put golf on the map in the 2000s and brought new energy and a new attitude towards the game.

Suddenly at the pinnacle of Tiger's success and as many thought, he would soon surpass Jack Nicklaus tragedy struck. On Thanksgiving of 2009, Tiger was in a car accident that was caused in part by his wife discovering that he had been cheating on her. This was only the beginning for Tiger's downward spiral. As more and more mistresses came out claiming to have slept with the golfer and being caught driving under the influence, his reputation and image continued to be tarnished.

When Tiger finally returned to golfing he just was not the same.

He lacked passion, excitement enthusiasm. He was just plain bad. He missed putts, drove balls into the woods and was facing competition tougher than ever. He was among a host of new faces in the PGA. Professionals that had grown up inspired by Tiger and not afraid to challenge him. Tiger would go on an eleven-year drought without winning a single major competition and had many believing Tiger would never return to the dominance he once held. With numerous nagging injuries, it seemed that all hope for Tiger's return and his lifelong goal of beating Jack Nicklaus and becoming the best golfer in history seemed utterly unattainable.

However, after five years winless in PGA tours, in September of 2018, Tiger wings a tour and had many speculators wondering if Tiger was on his return. Tiger went into Augusta this past weekend at 12th in the world and from the beginning of the tour on Thursday all eyes were on Tiger. He seemed laser focused and played with a determination we had not seen from Tiger in over a decade.

As the final round on Sunday approached Tiger had placed himself in the running tied for second place. Sunday it was Tiger's day. He came dressed in the classic red shirt that he wears on every Sunday at the Masters and there was a feeling that it was Tiger's show. Sunday he came in poised and determined to win and played with a passion that only Tiger has. He was gaining roars from the crowd with each stroke. Finally, after 11 years Tiger had done it. He won his fifth masters only one behind Jack Nicklaus and first major in 11 years.

On Sunday Tiger taught us to never give up on a dream and that through adversity and hard times you that through hard work and dedication you can still be the best.

Battling through the injuries, the scrutiny and the tarnished reputation Tiger was able to once again inspire millions and show that we are all humans we all make mistakes and he taught us to apologize for our mistakes, learn from them, make you better and that everyone deserves a second chance because nobody is perfect but through hard work, determination, the drive to never give up and having passion for what you do and understanding that you do make mistakes and how you learn from them showed millions of fans young and old that you can do anything you set your mind to.

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