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Sure-fire certainty: My pick to win will lose

Because I have covered the Masters so many times I am now regarded as one of the Augusta National Golf Club's relics, I'm frequently asked who's going to win.

For years now, I've taken the easy route, picking Tiger Woods, figuring if he didn't win he should have. That's worked out pretty well, but no genius has been required in giving him the nod.

I'm stuck on Tiger again this year because I picked him in a pool months ago but the truth is, they've played three rounds and I still wouldn't bet the house on anyone. (Between you and me, after the way Tiger's been reading his putts this week, I think he needs glasses.)

If I weren't a professional journalist and therefore forbidden from showing favoritism to anyone, I would pull for Freddie Couples because he's Freddie, Ricky Fowler because he dresses like Doug Sanders and swings like Lanny Wadkins, Adam Scott because he is using a long putter and I can sympathize. And Tiger.

To say that I have a spotty record as a prognosticator is sugar coating it.

I once picked a guy to win the US Open and he had to withdraw because he fainted in a sand bunker. He may have heard I had picked him and was overcome with despair.

My record in the Masters is pathetic, through no fault of my own. Blame Greg Norman.

Norman, the Shark, played in the Masters 23 times. I picked him every year for about 15 years. He never won. We got robbed in 1987 when Larry Mize pitched in on the second playoff hole. The year before, the Shark birdied the 14th, 15th, 16th and 17th holes but pushed his second shot on the final hole and bogeyed. That would have been good enough if not for a 46-year-old named Nicklaus burning down the back nine with a 30 to win.

And then there was 1996. Norman took a six-shot lead into the final round and people said there was no way he could lose. Those people didn't know I had picked him. Norman stumbled all over the place and Nick Faldo blew by him.

As I survey the leader board going into today's final round, I'm tempted to pick a winner, but word might get back to him and that would be that for him.

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