Masters 2012: Players to Watch During Opening-Round Action
A ceremonial start, with the legends of the game smoothly hitting drives down the first fairway into the mist.
No further introduction needed.
Those questions will be answered as golf's best players take on Augusta National and her familiar trials and perils.
Here are some players to watch during the first round of the Masters.
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Coming off his win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational—his first win since September 2009—Tiger is the favorite to win the Masters.
He is near the top of his game, probably for the first time since his 2008 U.S. Open win.
He is ranked first in total driving, scoring average (68.27) and is ranked sixth in putting. Another reason for improvement is that he's now more accurate off the tee—he's hitting the fairways 68 percent of the time.
Overall Tiger has not played great in the first round at Augusta. Although Tiger has made the cut at Augusta every year since 1997, he has only managed to break 70 once in the first round.
With the course playing longer do to the rain, Woods' length could allow him to post a good score—but only if he gets his putter going.
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Everyone remembers Rory McIlroy's collapse on the back nine on Sunday last year. Posed to win his first major and first green jacket, McIlroy fell victim to a wayward tee shot and never recovered.
McIlroy redeemed himself with a U.S Open Championship, and now he is ready to take on Augusta one more time.
The 22-year-old from Northern Ireland has already won on tour this year and has finished in the top three in the two other tournaments he entered.
Last year McIlroy charged out of the gate with a seven under 65, grabbing a share of the first-round lead.
Whether he captures the early-round magic of 2011 is unclear, but with his booming drives and ability to go low, his name may be atop the leaderboard going into the weekend. .
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After a win last week at the Shell Houston Open, Hunter Mahan sits atop the FedEx Cup standings. With two wins already on tour this year, he may be playing the best golf of his career.
During the 2012 campaign Mahan has been more accurate off the tee. He ranks sixth in driving accuracy while ranking ninth in greens in regulation.
The long layout and damp fairways may challenge him because he doesn't crush the ball off tee. As long as he stays out of trouble, he may be able to pick up some bridles.
Last year at the Masters, he missed the cut, but in 2010 he finished in a tie for eighth, at seven under.
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That's second only to Jack Nicklaus' six.
Does anymore remember when Mickelson was "the best player never to win a major?"
This year "Lefty" enters the tournament with something to prove after shooting a final-round 74 last year.
Mickelson has had success this year, picking up a win at Pebble Beach in February and a second at Riviera.
Keeping the ball in the fairway has been an issue for Mickelson; he ranks only 150th this year in driving accuracy.
If he can keep his ball out of the pine straw in the first round, he could go low because of his length off the tee.
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Luke Donald comes in as the No. 1 player in the world, but it seems like no one is talking about him. With all the hype on Tiger, Rory and Phil, the Englishman is sliding slightly under the radar.
Donald already has a win under his belt this year, winning the Transitions Open with a final-round 66.
He has had success at Augusta, including two top-five performances. Last year he finished tied for fourth after two three-under 69s on the weekend.
Donald has struggled in the first round of the Masters, breaking par only once in 2005 when he tied for third.
If he can put aside his first-round problems he may contend on the weekend.
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Twenty years ago Fred Couples won his first Masters, and since then has been searching for his second green jacket.
At 52 years old, conventional wisdom would tell you Couples is too old to win at Augusta, but two times in the past six years he's finished in the top six.
Couples did win on the Champions Tour this year and is coming off a tie for 47th at the Shell Houston Open.
He did shoot five under (67) in the first round in Houston, and "Boom Boom" is still driving the ball almost 290 yards.
Will Couples win the Masters?
Probably not, but if he puts a couple of good rounds together and stays in contention, it will make for a memorable weekend.