April 8, 2013
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Golfers to Watch at Masters
Tiger Woods (3/1): Woods once again comes to Augusta as the favorite, and a heavy favorite at that. It's important to note that (a) he hasn't won here since 2005, and (b) he didn't break 72 once en route to a disappointing T40 a year ago. Of course, he's looked like vintage Tiger this year, with three wins in his past five starts.
Rory McIlroy (8/1): You still can't be sure what you're going to get from McIlroy right now as he's still just a month removed from an embarrassing WD at the Honda Classic, but last week was a very good sign. He finished alone in second at the Valero Texas Open, including a 66 on Sunday, thwarted only by Martin Laird's final-round 63. He was a disappointing T40 in last year's Masters, and of course two years ago was his historic collapse.
Luke Donald (30/1): The World No. 1 this time last year, Donald had a disappointing week at Augusta but salvaged it to an extent with a final-round 68 (finishing T32). He rallied for a T4 finish at Tampa Bay three weeks ago and could be poised for a big week this time around.
Graeme McDowell (40/1): McIlroy's countryman already has three top-10's among his five starts this year, and his final-round 68 at Augusta a year ago led to a career-best T12 finish. He's one of the better offerings among the longshots this weekend.
Phil Mickelson (10/1): Mickelson hasn't found consistent success this year, but he won in Phoenix two months ago and went T3 at the Cadillac Championship one month back. He also missed a cut two starts ago at Bay Hill. But if it's Augusta, Mickelson will be in the hunt. He's a three-time winner who has gone top-5 in four of the past five years and top-10 14 times since 1995.
Bubba Watson (35/1): It's been more than a decade since Augusta saw a repeat winner, and Watson hasn't won since last year's Masters. He has been solid this year though, with four top-20's in his five stroke-play starts.