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Forget Tiger and Phil, here's who will win the 2018 Masters

07 April 2018

Henrik Stenson, Adam Hadwin, Patrick Reed, Charley Hoffman, Hao-Ton Li, Rory McIlroy and Rafael Cabrera-Bello finished the first round tied for fourth, at 3-under-par.

At age 42, the four-time Masters victor revived "Tigermania" with two top-five PGA tuneup finishes after years of injury struggles, but has been humbled so far at formidable Augusta National.

Tiger Woods felt the love, but it was Jordan Spieth who heard the roars as he surged to a two-stroke lead in the Masters Thursday with a scintillating six-under par 66.

McIlroy's round got off to a poor start when he three-putted the first, but the Northern Irishman holed from 30 feet for birdie on the second and just three feet for another on the third.

McIlroy responded immediately to birdie the next two holes, but bogeyed the fourth and sixth to reach the turn in 37 and was disappointed to play the back nine in only two under par with birdies on the 13th and 14th.

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Hupp noted that Neuendorf is one of around 20 district employees who are on limited contracts, which run year to year. Colton Goldfarb was close behind, with four hits in five at bats, scoring twice and driving in four runs.

Tiger Woods is the talk of the tournament, with the four-time Masters victor looking to be close to his former self and one of the favorites to don the green jacket this year.

Dustin Johnson, the world No.1, stumbled to a one-over 73.

Of course there is Tiger Woods, playing in his first Masters since 2015 and trying to win at Augusta National Golf Club for the first time since 2005.

Both McIlroy and Spieth have suffered notable Masters meltdowns with a green jacket seemingly in their grasp, Spieth in 2016 when leading by five shots with nine holes remaining only to endure a back-nine horror and squander the title won by England's Danny Willett.

"Thomas enjoyed a breakout campaign last year during which he was named the PGA Tour's Player of the Year after a five-win season that included his maiden major at the PGA Championship". He plunked his tee shot at the par-3 12th into Rae's Creek, his bogey dropping him to the 5-over cut line. "I just didn't want to drop it to four (over)".

Several rounds of wet weather moving through islands this week
As far as the winds go, however, Monday's Force 2 winds will quickly be increasing to Forces 4, 5 and even 6 on Wednesday . FRIDAY: Mostly cloudy and turning breezy; a rain or snow shower in the morning; milder, brighter afternoon.

"Absolutely, absolutely", said Kuchar, who shot 31 on the back nine.

Rory McIlroy needs to win the US Masters to complete the grand slam of Major victories.

"I'm going to have to shoot a special weekend, and I need help, " Woods said of his chances of winning. "Last year I shot 72 in that really windy first day and Charley Hoffman had shot 65. I have a feeling that after experiencing the Masters and how tough the course plays, I will now think every other tournament is a lot easier", he said. "It's one of those things".

There is no key to picking the Masters' victor, but there are some things you can look for which can be a good indicator of who will be at the top of the leaderboard on Sunday afternoon. "I didn't control my distance, my shape, spins".

All three of them shot 2 over in the second round and made the cut at golf's first major.

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"It was about six months ago I didn't know if I was going to play again", Woods said. He three-putted from long range on the par-5 eighth.

Forget Tiger and Phil, here's who will win the 2018 Masters