Dogs' Coach Watney likes nephew's Masters chances

FRESNO, Calif.

"I was especially impressed that on Friday on hole 18 he hit it way right in the rough," said Coach Watney. "On Saturday he hits it left in the water. And he piped it down the middle on Sunday and made birdie, which clinched the victory."

Like his play that weekend in Florida, Nick Watney's results so far in 2011 have been remarkable. Five top-10 finishes in six tournaments, 13th place in the other.

"One thing you don't know as a coach [is] when will a player stop improving?," said Coach Watney. "Because there's usually some point where they've maxed out. And I don't think Nick has found that point yet."

Currently at number two on the PGA Tour money list, Nick Watney will try to put it all together this week at golf's first major of the year: The Masters.

"A couple years ago we're hoping you get into the Masters," said Coach Watney. "Now he's 16-to-1. I'm not telling him that. But he's the fourth-seeded player there."

The Bulldog men's golf coach says putting on Augusta National's treacherous greens will be a key.

"He needs to make almost every putt under 10 feet," said Coach Watney. "The person that wins at Augusta is putting great in that six to eight foot range."

Of course, Coach Watney says Nick will have plenty of competition for his first green jacket.

"I really like the way he's going into the tournament," said Coach Watney. "I would say only Phil Mickelson has better vibes going into a tournament. Phil won, had a fantastic weekend. And plus he's won three times."

That's great company, but Coach Watney still wouldn't be surprised to see his nephew finish on top in Georgia.

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