Five players who are among the favorites this week at the Masters:
Tiger Woods: The four-time Masters champ appears to be healthy and ready to make a run at a fifth green jacket after a two-year hiatus from Augusta. Oddsmakers certainly think so: he’s the betting favorite this week.
Bubba Watson: The left-handed Watson has won twice this season, including a dominating performance at the World Golf Championships-Match Play. Plus, he’s a two-time winner at Augusta National.
Dustin Johnson: Still ranked No. 1, but hasn’t won since he blew away the field in Hawaii in January. He’s eager to get back after missing last year’s Masters because of a freak injury at his rental house.
Rory McIlroy: His final-round 64 to win at Bay Hill proved he’s still a force to be reckoned with. He needs a Masters win to complete the career Grand Slam.
Justin Thomas: The reigning player of the year hasn’t cooled off much from last summer when he won the PGA Championship. He hasn’t done much at Augusta National in two starts, but expect that to change.
Five storylines to follow this week at Augusta National:
New chairman: Fred Ridley takes the helm at Augusta National and the Masters after Billy Payne’s successful tenure. Ridley is the first chairman who competed in the Masters; he played from 1976-78, missing the cut all three times.
Course changes: Augusta National has not had significant renovations to its course since 2006, but plans are in the works to make the par-4 fifth hole longer. The club also acquired land near the 13th tee that it could use to make the par-5 longer.
What’s wrong with Jordan?: Spieth fell to a tie for 11th last year, ending a three-year run where he didn’t finish out of the top two at Augusta. His performance this year hasn’t been up to his standards, but never count him out at Augusta.
Sergio Garcia: The Spaniard broke through last year at Augusta National for his first major win and comes to Augusta as a family man after his marriage last summer and the birth of baby daughter Azalea in March.
Advantage for lefties: Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson have already won this season, and southpaws have won six times at the Masters since 2003. With Augusta National favoring a right-to-left shot shape, that’s a fade and easier to control for left-handers.