-- AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Jordan Spieth is among the most popular players on the PGA Tour, but he might not want to ask one of his peers and Presidents Cup teammates for a prediction on who will prevail at the Masters on Sunday.
Bill Haas, a six-time PGA Tour winner, emerged from the second round Friday to say he expects Rory McIlroy to topple Spieth and all other comers to become the sixth man to win golf's career Grand Slam.
Haas was talking about the rough and windy conditions at Augusta National when he mentioned one of his playing partners, McIlroy, the four-time major winner who is searching for his first Masters title and who stands at 3 under after 36 holes, only one stroke off Spieth's lead.
"Now Rory shot ... 1 under, and it could've been better," Haas said of McIlroy's 71 on Friday. "He's giving shots back to be 3 under par. The way he's playing, he's my pick for the weekend."
Asked why he felt so strongly about McIlroy's chances, Haas said, "I haven't gotten to play with him a ton, just a few times. But he's driving it really well, long, and he's swinging as free as I've ever seen him.
"He always does. He's one of the best ballstrikers I've ever seen play. With the conditions the way they are, you've got to give the ball striker the advantage. So I like him. I like his chances every week he tees it up, but he really looked strong out there for two days with us."
Haas stands at 5 over after a second-round 74.