The essentials

When: Thursday- next Sunday

Course: Augusta National Golf Club (par 72; 7,435 yards)

Purse: To be determined ($8 million in 2014)

Field: 98 (91 professionals, seven amateurs). One spot still open if Shell Houston Open winner is not already eligible.

Cut: Top 50 and ties, and anyone within 10 shots of the lead.

Last year: Bubba Watson won his second green jacket by closing with a 3-under 69 for a three-shot victory over Jordan Spieth and Jonas Blixt. Spieth, at 20 bidding to become the youngest Masters champion, had a two-shot lead with 11 holes to play until going bogey-bogey for a pair of two-shot swings that put Watson two ahead going to the back nine. Watson became the 16th player to win the Masters multiple times.

TV: ESPN and Ch. 4 Live video channels from Amen Corner, the 15th hole, 16th hole and a featured group.

By the numbers

0 Par-3 contest winners to win the green jacket in the same year.

4 Players who have won wire-to-wire.

6 Masters wins for Jack Nicklaus.

13 Playoffs in Masters history.

61 Magnolia trees that line the entrance to Augusta National Golf Club.

270 Tiger Woods' record score in 1997.

289 Zach Johnson's winning score in 2007.

44 Ben Crenshaw is playing in his 44th and final Masters. He won in 1984 and 1995.

Five things to know

1. Look who's back: After missing last year's Masters for the first time since he was a senior in high school, four-time Masters champion Tiger Woods announced he will enter the field. Woods has not played a competitive round since announcing Feb. 11 he was taking a leave to work on his game. Woods won 14 major championships in his first 46 starts as a professional. He's gone 20 without one.

2. Going for the "McSlam": Four years after blowing a four-shot lead on the final day, Rory McIlroy comes to the Masters on the cusp of joining the most elite group in golf history. Only five players have completed the career Grand Slam. Woods was the most recent in 2000, and before that it was Jack Nicklaus in 1966. The others are Gary Player (1965), Ben Hogan (1953) and Gene Sarazen (1935).

3. Lefty is limping: Phil Mickelson had a chance this weekend to make a statement heading into the Masters after suffering back-to-back missed cuts in February. Instead, he shot 3 over on Saturday in the Shell Houston Open leaving serious questions about his game. He's finished no better than T17 in six events this season.

4. Bomb it, Bubba: Bubba Watson, the defending champion, is on the cusp of joining an elite group of his own. Another victory — and yes, the grip it and rip it "Bubba Golf" seems to work quite well at Augusta — would give him three, or as many green jackets as Mickelson and Sam Snead, and one fewer than Woods and Arnold Palmer.

5. Don't forget about: Jordan Spieth nearly supplanted Woods as the youngest champion last year when he had a two-shot lead with 11 holes to play. Jimmy Walker won the Texas Open to become the first multiple winner on the PGA Tour this season. Dustin Johnson returned from a six-month break for "personal challenges" by winning at Doral and losing in a playoff at Riviera. Jason Day finally appears healthy and has the hunger to fulfill his explosive talent with a major championship.