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High wattage couples on course at Masters

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AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) - Think of it as power couples instead of Fred Couples.

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Some of the talk Thursday at the Masters wasn't just about what was happening on the tees and greens, but who was outside the ropes looking in. The No. 1 and No. 2-ranked players in the world, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, had entourages that included girlfriends with some pedigree of their own.

For Woods it was Lindsey Vonn, the Olympic ski champion and now his very public companion. She watched from the clubhouse lawn as Woods teed off on No. 1, and lingered around to see him after he came off the 18th green.

In between, she drew a crowd of photographers who gathered around her while Woods played the ninth hole.

Woods and Vonn acknowledged their relationship last month in posts on social media, complete with studio pictures of the couple. The last time Woods won the Masters, he was married to Elin Nordegren. They divorced in 2010 after Woods admitted numerous marital indiscretions.

Caroline Wozniacki, once the No. 1 tennis player in the world, has been linked to McIlroy for nearly two years. She's now No. 10 in world standings.

Wozniacki put on a caddie's bib Wednesday for the Par 3 contest, and McIlroy even had her hit a shot, which she topped in the water. On Thursday, she was in the crowd following the Irish player during the first round.

McIlroy and Wozniacki were prominently featured on television coverage of the Par 3 contest, an informal outing for players and their families.

As far as lingering camera shots on celebrities during the tournament, ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz said:

``The focus of our coverage remains on the competition.''

Celebrity couples aren't new to golf. Sergio Garcia once dated tennis player Martina Hingis, while Dustin Johnson currently dates Paulina Gretzky, daughter of hockey great Wayne Gretzky and actress Janet Jones.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

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The Associated Press
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