Chart: 12 Masters contenders to watch

  • Updated: April 10, 2013 - 9:33 PM
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Bubba Watson reacts after missing a putt on the 10th green during the first round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament in Orlando, Fla., Thursday, March 21, 2013.(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

A look at 12 top contenders going into the 77th Masters, to be played April 11-14 at Augusta National Golf Club:

TIGER WOODS

Age: 37

Country: United States

World ranking: 1

Best Masters: Four victories

Why he can win: He has won six times on the PGA Tour in his past 20 starts, and no one is playing better. Woods has won back-to-back tournaments going into the Masters for the first time since 2001. He won a green jacket that year.

RORY MCILROY

Age: 23

Country: Northern Ireland

World ranking: 2

Best Masters: Tie for 15th

Why he can win: Even as he tries to find his swing, his putting has not left him. Adding the Texas Open at the last minute can only accelerate his return to form, and he has all the components to be a Masters champion.

PHIL MICKELSON

Age: 42

Country: United States

World ranking: 10

Best Masters: Three victories

Why he can win: Mickelson shows more discipline at Augusta than any other major. He manages to contend even when he’s not showing the best of form. Along with his three green jackets, he has six other finishes in the top three.

BUBBA WATSON

Age: 34

Country: United States

World ranking: 14

Best Masters: One victory

Why he can win: He showed last year that “Bubba golf” works just fine at Augusta National. His power and preferred fade are huge for this golf course. And as he said last year, if he has a swing, he has a shot.

BRANDT SNEDEKER

Age: 32

Country: United States

World ranking: 5

Best Masters: Tie for third in 2008

Why he can win: He knows he can contend based on his play in 2008. His driving is vastly improved. If the putter gets going and he’s hitting it reasonably well, look out.

LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN

Age: 30

Country: South Africa

World ranking: 6

Best Masters: Runner-up in 2012

Why he can win: He has one of the purest swings in golf and a calm demeanor, maybe too calm at times. His seven-shot victory at St. Andrews was not an accident, and the runner-up finish last year showed he can be a factor any year at Augusta.

DUSTIN JOHNSON

Age: 28

Country: United States

World ranking: 19

Best Masters: Tie for 30th

Why he can win: He’s the most talented American under 30, and his powerful draw is the perfect shape off the tee at Augusta.

ADAM SCOTT

Age: 32

Country: Australia

World ranking: 7

Best Masters: Runner-up in 2011

Why he can win: After a decade of not seriously contending in a major, Scott has given himself excellent chances in each of the past two years at Augusta (2011) and Royal Lytham & St. Annes (2012). A light schedule is geared around being at his best when he plays.

JUSTIN ROSE

Age: 32

Country: England

World ranking: 3

Best Masters: Tie for 5th

Why he can win: He has a well-rounded game, with vastly improved putting. He also is becoming a regular atop the leaderboard, at least in the opening two rounds. One of these years, he’s bound to push through.

STEVE STRICKER

Age: 46

Country: United States

World ranking: 8

Best Masters: Tie for 6th

Why he can win: He should be fresh from playing only four times this year. He drives the ball well when his game is on. And his reputation as one of the best putters in golf was enhanced when Tiger Woods sought him out for a lesson and then won his next two tournaments.

MATT KUCHAR

Age: 34

Country: United States

World ranking: 9

Best Masters: Tie for 3rd

Why he can win: Kuchar has one of the most well-rounded, consistent games on tour over the past five years, and he held up beautifully on the back nine last year.

LUKE DONALD

Age: 35

Country: England

World ranking: 4

Best Masters: Tie for fourth in 2011

Why he can win: He was at No. 1 in the world for 56 weeks despite hitting rifle shots off the tee in an era of cannons. Chipping and putting became his hallmark, and that goes a long way at the Masters. Just ask Mike Weir or Zach Johnson.

DOUG FERGUSON, Associated Press











  • related content

  • Adam Scott, of Australia, waits to putt on the second green during a practice round for the Masters golf tournament Tuesday, April 9, 2013, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

  • Rory McIlroy, right, smiles with his caddie/girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki at the 1st green during the Par 3 Contest at the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on Wednesday, April 10, 2013, in Augusta, Georgia. (Jeff Siner/Charlotte Observer/MCT)

  • Mike Weir, right, of Canada, watches as Matt Kuchar talks to his son Carson during the par three competition before the Masters golf tournament Wednesday, April 10, 2013, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

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Houston 2 FINAL
St. Louis 5
Washington 9 FINAL
Atlanta 8
Miami 5 FINAL
Boston 3
Minnesota 1 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
NY Yankees 4 FINAL
Philadelphia 1
Baltimore 4 FINAL
Toronto 5
Detroit - LP: J. Mantiply 4 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: C. Torres 5
Cincinnati 5 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 2
Los Angeles 10 FINAL
Milwaukee 1
San Francisco 12 FINAL
Texas 3
Chicago WSox 0 FINAL
San Diego 5
Kansas City 11 FINAL
Cleveland 9
Seattle 4 FINAL
Los Angeles 7
Colorado 0 FINAL
LA Angels 3
Oakland 7 FINAL
Arizona 2
Pittsburgh 2 Bottom 2nd Inning
NY Yankees 0
Chicago 30 2nd Qtr 7:02
Indiana 32
Sacramento 42 2nd Qtr 6:20
Orlando 50
Utah 29 2nd Qtr 7:00
Philadelphia 34
Miami 29 2nd Qtr 6:27
Washington 51
Toronto 34 2nd Qtr 5:56
Charlotte 37
Cleveland 8 1st Qtr 8:51
Atlanta 9
Boston 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Detroit 7:00 PM
Houston
LA Lakers 7:00 PM
Memphis
Phoenix 7:00 PM
Brooklyn
Denver 7:30 PM
San Antonio
Dallas 9:30 PM
Golden State
Columbus 1 2nd Prd
New Jersey 0
Minnesota 1 2nd Prd
Carolina 0
Buffalo 0 1st Prd 13:37
Ottawa 0
Calgary 0 1st Prd 12:40
Detroit 1
Edmonton 7:30 PM
Chicago
Pittsburgh 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Longwood 68 FINAL
Char Southern 60
Ark-Pine Bluff 94 FINAL
Miss Valley St 75
Southern Ill 45 FINAL
Wichita State 56
Winthrop 67 FINAL
Radford 66
Evansville 67 FINAL
Illinois State 71
Towson 59 2nd Half 1:24
Elon 62
Gardner-Webb 62 2nd Half 1:02
High Point 61
Samford 63 2nd Half 5:13
UNC Greensboro 67
Northern Ill 14 1st Half 4:15
Ball State 18
Bowling Green 31 1st Half 3:57
Buffalo 20
Brown 35 2nd Half
Dartmouth 22
Toledo 29 2nd Half
Eastern Mich 31
Akron 29 2nd Half
Kent State 37
Ill-Chicago 25 1st Half 0:21
Oakland 30
Miami-Ohio 30 1st Half 1:42
Ohio 46
Columbia 9 2nd Half
Penn 23
Cornell 25 2nd Half
Princeton 32
Central Mich 21 1st Half 1:10
Western Mich 37
Bradley 22 1st Half 0:52
Northern Iowa 27
Morehead State 15 1st Half 12:19
Murray State 10
UNC-Asheville 7:00 PM
Coastal Carolina
Yale 7:00 PM
Harvard
Furman 7:30 PM
Citadel
Coll of Charleston 7:30 PM
Drexel
Texas Tech 8:00 PM
Baylor
Pacific 8:00 PM
San Francisco
Detroit 8:30 PM
Cleveland State
Belmont 8:30 PM
Eastern Ky
Loyola-Chicago 8:35 PM
Indiana State
Loyola Marymount 10:30 PM
Santa Clara
Chicago 9:00 PM
Los Angeles
Saint Louis 63 FINAL
(21) George Washington 77
Wake Forest 68 FINAL
(16) Duke 77
Furman 55 FINAL
(17) Chattanooga 68
Monmouth 61 FINAL
Quinnipiac 82
Michigan State 60 FINAL
(4) Maryland 70
Belmont 65 FINAL
UT Martin 71
Arkansas 36 FINAL
(3) South Carolina 58
Mercer 56 FINAL
East Tenn St 66
Richmond 45 FINAL
Fordham 46
Miami-Florida 61 FINAL
(2) Notre Dame 77
Siena 61 FINAL
Iona 71
Washington St 48 FINAL
(9) Arizona State 67
Ark-Pine Bluff 63 FINAL
Miss Valley St 51
(23) Rutgers 57 FINAL
(24) Northwestern 62
Tennessee St 71 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 59
Loyola Marymount 50 FINAL
Gonzaga 70
(18) Texas A&M 65 FINAL
LSU 71
Cincinnati 76 FINAL
UCF 66
Saint Josephs 61 FINAL
Dayton 80
UCLA 62 FINAL
(19) Stanford 67
Santa Clara 42 FINAL
San Diego 51
Virginia Tech 36 2nd Half 3:09
(7) Florida State 72
SMU 52 2nd Half 5:32
Memphis 62
Lehigh 75 2nd Half 0:18
Holy Cross 62
Rhode Island 25 2nd Half
Duquesne 29
North Florida 15 2nd Half
(20) Fla Gulf Coast 30
Kennesaw St 29 2nd Half
Jacksonville 27
USC Upstate 10 1st Half 4:07
Northern Ky 20
Lipscomb 22 2nd Half
Stetson 50
Nebraska 33 2nd Half
(14) Iowa 36
Saint Peters 27 2nd Half
Marist 25
Navy 28 2nd Half
Bucknell 22
Lafayette 29 2nd Half
American Univ 34
Colgate 13 2nd Half
Army 22
Georgia 11 2nd Half
(5) Tennessee 32
Dartmouth 37 2nd Half
Brown 23
Penn 22 2nd Half
Columbia 15
(13) Princeton 39 2nd Half
Cornell 19
Kansas 12 2nd Half
Kansas State 23
Harvard 39 2nd Half
Yale 34
(15) North Carolina 7:00 PM
(10) Louisville
San Jose St 7:00 PM
UNLV
Houston 7:00 PM
Tulane
Utah State 8:00 PM
Colorado State
Colorado 8:00 PM
(8) Oregon State
New Mexico 8:00 PM
Wyoming
Minnesota 8:25 PM
Ohio State
(12) Kentucky 8:25 PM
(11) Miss State
San Diego State 8:30 PM
Nevada
Niagara 8:30 PM
Fairfield
Texas Tech 8:30 PM
West Virginia
Boise State 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Washington 10:30 PM
California
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