Masters Field 2012: Sang-Moon Bae and Unknowns You Shouldn't Overlook

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Masters Field 2012: Sang-Moon Bae and Unknowns You Shouldn't Overlook
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

The Masters has had its fair share of surprise winners over the years.

There was Herman Kaiser in 1946, who claimed the green jacket after the incomparable Ben Hogan missed a two-foot par putt at the last hole.

In 1979, a Masters rookie named Fuzzy Zoeller defied all odds and won the tournament in his first attempt.

Greg Norman looked like he had the 1987 Masters all sewn up, until an Augusta native named Larry Mize holed a 140-foot chip for the win.

The point is, despite their prowess at Augusta over the years, the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Arnold Palmer and Phil Mickelson haven't been the sole men to wear the green jacket.

Once in a while, there is that player who appears, seemingly out of nowhere, on the Masters leaderboard during Sunday's back nine. There were no such culprits in 2011 (Bo Van Pelt was the closest to this distinction), but in 2012, matters may change.

With deep fields being a key feature of today's game, it is nearly impossible to predict who exactly will be in contention come Sunday afternoon.

We can count on the favorites some years, but they aren't in contention all the time. One can't simply count out the non-elite; after all, who would've ever thought Len Mattiace would be in a Masters playoff?

With all this in mind, here is a list of players who could surprise at Augusta.

Despite not being household names, don't be shocked if one (or more) of them are near the top of the leaderboard come Sunday afternoon.

The favorites are the favorites for a reason, but don't count out the unknowns. Just because a player isn't a big name doesn't mean he can't contend.

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