Masters contenders led by favorites Day, Spieth and McIlroy

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Source:   —  April 01, 2016, at 6:17 PM

Country: Australia. World ranking: one. Worldwide victories: ten. Majors: PGA Championship (two thousand fifteen). Masters moment: Losing a two-shot lead with three holes to play in two thousand-thirteenth.

Masters contenders led by favorites Day, Spieth and McIlroy

JASON DAY

Age: 28.

Country: Australia.

World ranking: 1.

Worldwide victories: ten.

Majors: PGA Championship (two thousand fifteen).

Masters moment: Losing a two-shot lead with three holes to play in two thousand thirteen.

Backspin: Coming off victories in the Arnold Palmer Invitational and Dell Match Play, he's taken over as a leading candidate to win a green jacket. Twice a runner-up at Augusta, but still haunted by two thousand thirteen when he'd a two-shot lead on the sixteenth tee and made two straight bogeys. Tiger Woods in two thousand-first was the latest player to win two straight tournaments going into the Masters and capture the green jacket.

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JORDAN SPIETH

Age: twenty-two

Country: United States

World ranking: 2.

Worldwide victories: 9.

Majors: Masters (two thousand fifteen), U. S. Open (two thousand fifteen).

Masters moment: Setting the 36-hole record (one hundred thirty) and tying the 72-hole record (two hundred seventy) by going wire-to-wire to win.

Backspin: In his two appearances at the Masters, Spieth has won and finished second. In eight rounds, he's yet to post a score over par. This time he goes in with the pressure of being the defending champion.

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RORY MCILROY

Age: 26.

Country: Northern Ireland.

World ranking: 3.

Worldwide victories: 18.

Majors: U. S. Open (two thousand eleven), British Open (two thousand fourteen), PGA Championship (two thousand twelve, two thousand fourteen).

Masters moment: Leading by four shots going into the final circular in two thousand-eleventh and shooting eighty in the final round.

Backspin: For the second year, McIlroy goes into the Masters needing to win to complete the career Grand Slam. His 54-hole lead in two thousand-eleventh suggests it can happen. His putting remains suspicious at times, and he switched to a cross-handed grip in March.

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RICKIE FOWLER

Age: 27.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 5.

Worldwide victories: 6.

Majors: None.

Masters moment: Being asked not to wear his hat backward at Augusta National.

Backspin: This is the only major in which Fowler has never missed the cut. He was two shots behind in two thousand-fourteenth but fell back quickly and never seriously contended. Coming off a three-victory season, and he started this year by winning in Abu Dhabi against a strong field.

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PHIL MICKELSON

Age: 45.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 20.

Worldwide victories: 45.

Majors: Masters (two thousand four, two thousand six, two thousand ten), British Open (two thousand thirteen), PGA Championship (two thousand five).

Masters moment: Winning his first major in two thousand-fourth with an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole.

Backspin: Mickelson has become a favorite choice for the Masters because he's been playing well this year, and because he always seems to play well at Augusta National. Along with his three victories, he's five third-place finishes.

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BUBBA WATSON

Age: 37.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 4.

Worldwide victories: tenth.

Majors: Masters (two thousand twelve, two thousand fourteen).

Masters moment: The wedge with a 40-yard hook out of the trees to 10 feet on the tenth hole in a playoff to win his first Masters.

Backspin: Watson moved to the A-list of favorites with his play this year. He won at Riviera and was runner-up at Doral, after ending latest year with a triumph in the Hero World Challenge. When he'south on, he'south tough at the Masters. But his only two top ten were the years he won. That makes the opening two rounds necessary for him.

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ADAM SCOTT

Age: 35.

Country: Australia.

World ranking: 6.

Worldwide victories: 27.

Majors: Masters (two thousand-thirteenth).

Masters moment: Making a 20-foot birdie putt on the eighteenth hole in regulation in two thousand thirteen, and then making a 12-foot birdie on the second playoff hole to beat Angel Cabrera.

Backspin: So much for the ban on anchored putters ending his career. Scott might be the hottest player in golf going into the Masters with a runner-up at Riviera and victories in the first two PGA Tour events of the FL swing. A excellent putting week would seem to be crucial at the Masters, but the year he won, Scott didn't really create anything until the final hole.

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DUSTIN JOHNSON

Age: 31.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 9.

Worldwide victories: 9.

Majors: None.

Masters moment: Tied for sixth at the Masters latest year, his first top 10.

Backspin: He'south had heartache in every major but the Masters, but latest year was a step in the right direction. Johnson started off the year with a lot of rust and looked to be rounding into form. The question is how much scar tissue he's accumulated from losses in other majors. Even so, his skill alone would've to create him a contender.

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JUSTIN ROSE

Age: 36.

Country: England

World ranking: 8.

Worldwide victories: 15.

Majors: U. S. Open (2013).

Masters moment: Leading by two shots going into the weekend in two thousand-fourth, and then posting an eighty-one in the third round.

Backspin: Rose played in the final grouping and was runner-up latest year. He's never missed the slice in 10 previous appearances at Augusta National. He hasn't won since Hong Kong late latest year, but he's been quietly hanging around just about every tournament. A grand driver and iron player, his worst finish in the latest five years was a tie for 25th.

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MATT KUCHAR

Age: 37.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 28.

Worldwide victories: 9.

Majors: None.

Masters moment: Tied for the lead with three holes to play in two thousand-twelfth until making bogey on the sixteenth hole and finishing two shots out of a playoff.

Backspin: First showed his aptitude for Augusta National as an amateur in one thousand nine hundred ninety-eighth when he tied for twenty-first. He was tied for the lead late in the final circular in two thousand-twelfth and went into the final circular in two thousand-fourteenth one shot out of the lead.

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