Masters Predictions 2013: Notable Names That Will Be out of Contention Early

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Masters Predictions 2013: Notable Names That Will Be out of Contention Early
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The Masters can be an awfully frustrating tournament.

Just ask one Spaniard who allowed his emotions to boil over last year at Augusta.

Augusta National has a way of getting to even the most experienced and talented golfers in the world. It's just the nature of one of the most challenging courses known to man. It's a reason the green jacket is so glorified.

This year, big names will fall at Augusta, as per the usual. Here's a look at some big names I see being out of contention by Day 4.

 

Brandt Snedeker

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I've seen a lot of experts project Brandt Snedeker as a top finisher at Augusta—or even a victor—but I don't see it. 

Snedeker might be the No. 5 player in the world, but he hasn't finished better than 15th at the Masters since 2008, and he's struggled this season after sustaining a rib injury at Pebble Beach. He might be "100 percent healthy," (per USA Today Sports) but I don't buy that he's shaken all the rust off, especially considering he's missed the cut at his last two tournaments, the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Houston Open.

This pick doesn't have to do with Snedeker's obvious talent level. It has to do with the fact that I don't think he's completely back yet.

 

Steve Stricker

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Steve Stricker hasn't placed better than 11th in the last three years at the Masters, and he finished 47th in 2012.

He's also 47 and coming off a 38th-place finish at the Houston Open. He placed 36th at the Houston Open last year before his disappointing finish at Augusta.

Stricker has the putting game to prove me wrong, but I don't like how he looked at Redstone. He averaged 29.75 putts per round, tied for 42nd in the field.

 

Sergio Garcia

Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

Sergio Garcia had placed third at the WGC-Cadillac Championship and seventh at the Tampa Bay Championship before withdrawing in the fourth round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Why did he withdraw from the Arnold Palmer Invitational?

Well, because he injured his shoulder after hitting his ball out of a tree on the 10th hole.

It's almost a perfect buildup to his Masters appearance. Augusta has frustrated him for years, and in 2012, it boiled over when he said he simply wasn't good enough to win at the Masters

Garcia hasn't finished in the top 10 at the Masters since 2004. I don't expect him to this season, either.

 

Jason Dufner

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Which golfer is most likely to bow out early?

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Jason Dufner just missed the cut at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, and he tied for 24th place last year at Augusta. While he's had a top-10 finish in every other major during his career, the Masters has been a tough tournament for him.

Beyond that, Dufner ranks 94th on tour in putting this season (strokes gained), per PGATour.com. Before missing the cut at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, he averaged 28.75 putts per round at the Tampa Bay Championship (tied for 30th in the field) while going on to a 21st-place finish.

Dufner might be ranked among the top 20 golfers in the world, but he doesn't have great history at the Masters, nor do I like his game right now.

 

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