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Masters 2013: Competitors Who Will Make Up Ground During Friday's Action

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 11:  Tiger Woods of the United States lines up a putt on the 18th hole during the first round of the 2013 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 11, 2013 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
John RozumCorrespondent IApril 12, 2013

The Masters brings out the best golf has to offer, which unsurprisingly will force top stars off to a rough start.

Just check out the leaderboard below, courtesy of PGA.com:

With second round action currently underway there's clearly plenty of time remaining for anyone to catch up. What distinguishes the good from the average and the great from the good, however, is actually making up that distance.

So don't be surprised when the following competitors make a strong run heading into the weekend.

 

Tiger Woods

Woods completed the first day of Augusta this year at two-under, which was four strokes behind Sergio Garcia and Marc Leishman, who both hit 66 in Round 1.

What gives him an excellent opportunity to quickly enter the higher ranks here, though, is notching 14 pars from the initial 18 holes. Only once did he bogey (hole 14) and that was his worst set of swings after a solid performance.

Factor in Woods' overall experience, established talent and success in the Masters alone and he'll easily carve up the course. Any time someone of his ability proves to maintain consistency in a tournament like this astronomically inflates their confidence.


Phil Mickelson

Mickelson's first round this year was the definition of a roller coaster.

He finished with five birdies, four bogeys and nine pars. Despite closing out at minus-1, three of Mickelson's bogeys occurred in holes one through nine. The good news is knowing what to fix and where to adjust accordingly, because he fared much better on the back nine.

Therefore, finding a rhythm in Round 2 will be key. Obviously Mickelson's talent is capable of generating a quick turnaround, not to mention he found some consistency during the first day.

Although we've seen better from him out of the gates, Mickelson will locate his zone on the first half to challenge to leaderboard.

 

Vijay Singh

A steady pace kept Singh even through the first round.

He hit 13 pars and three birdies in his first 18, but it was a bogey and double-bogey that cost him dearly. Instead of sitting at minus-2 or 3 he has a hill to climb with Woods and Mickelson also in front.

On the bright side, Singh was incredibly consistent during holes one through nine, and he didn't lose complete control on the back nine. A quick fix by adapting to holes 10 and 14 will propel him back up the standings, because Singh has performed well enough elsewhere to slide past fellow contenders.

By the same token, Singh finished No. 27 last year in Augusta, which was his best place since 2008. In short, the guy has gradually built momentum for 2013.

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