Under the Augusta Radar: 5 Golfers Not Named Tiger Who Could Win The Masters

Matt Krummel@@InspectorKrumCorrespondent IIApril 2, 2011

Under the Augusta Radar: 5 Golfers Not Named Tiger Who Could Win The Masters

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    With Tiger Woods off his game, the field at this year's Masters is wide open.
    With Tiger Woods off his game, the field at this year's Masters is wide open.Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Everyone knows that when Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson step onto the first tee at Augusta National, they become favorites to take home the green jacket.

    But with neither of them playing championship-caliber golf so far this season, it’s time to look beyond the usual suspects.

    Here are five golfers who might be celebrating come Sunday evening.

Mark Wilson

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    PALM HARBOR, FL - MARCH 17:  Mark Wilson hits a shot on the 14th hole during the first round of the Transitions Championship at Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club on March 17, 2011 in Palm Harbor, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    Pop quiz: Who leads the PGA Tour in wins, money earned and FedEx Cup Points this season?

    Give up?

    It’s Mark Wilson.

    With two wins already this season, Wilson has established himself as a threat to win every time he tees it up. His game isn’t flashy, but his consistency and ability to play under pressure—he won this year’s Phoenix Open in a playoff—are keys to success at Augusta.

Matt Kuchar

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    DORAL, FL - MARCH 13:  Matt Kuchar walks off the 15th tee with his caddie Lance Bennett during the final round of the 2011 WGC- Cadillac Championship at the TPC Blue Monster at the Doral Golf Resort and Spa on March 13, 2011 in Doral, Florida.  (Photo by
    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    Matt Kuchar had an excellent 2010 season.

    After struggling for more than a decade with his game, Kuchar won the 2010 scoring and money titles and earned his first Ryder Cup spot.

    However, 2011 is shaping up to be even better.

    He leads the tour in top-10 finishes and ranks near the top in scoring average, greens in regulation and putting average.

    Look for him to be near the top of the leaderboard on Sunday.

Nick Watney

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    DORAL, FL - MARCH 13:  Nick Watney celebrates his par saving putt on the 15th green during the final round of the 2011 WGC- Cadillac Championship at the TPC Blue Monster at the Doral Golf Resort and Spa on March 13, 2011 in Doral, Florida.  (Photo by Mike
    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    Nick Watney is a golfer on the brink.

    Not yet a household name, Watney seems to be in contention every week. He has yet to finish outside the top 15 this year, and his win earlier this month at the World Golf Championship-Cadillac Championship signals that he is ready to take the next step.

    His game is peaking at the right time, and with his seventh-place finish in last year’s Masters, the rest of the field could be looking up at Watney this year.

Hunter Mahan

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    ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 26:  Hunter Mahan of the USA plays his second shot at the 1st hole during the third round of the 2011 Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard at the Bay Hill Lodge and Country Club on March 26, 2011 in Orlando, Florida.  (Ph
    David Cannon/Getty Images

    With Mahan, the question isn’t if, but when.

    Mahan would be on my short list of the best players to have never won a major. That could change this year at The Masters. His game is seemingly without weakness, and his toughness under pressure makes him a great pick to win this year.

    He has yet to put it all together at a major, but when he does, watch out.

Dustin Johnson

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    ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 25:  Dustin Johnson plays a shot on the 18th hole during the second round of the Bay Hill Invitational presented by MasterCard at the Bay Hill Club and Lodge on March 25, 2011 in Orlando, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    Have you seen this guy hit a golf ball?

    Like Tiger Woods, Johnson has the ability to make mincemeat out of Augusta’s par-fives, which gives him a huge advantage over the rest of the field. If he can keep his ball out of trouble and make some putts, there are few golfers with the game to match him.

    His biggest advantage this year, however? Redemption. After his heartbreaking finish to last year’s PGA Championship, there is no doubt that Johnson has a chip on his shoulder.

    That may make him the most dangerous player in the tournament. 

Five More To Watch

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    DORAL, FL - MARCH 13:  Steve Stricker hits a putt during the final round of the 2011 WGC- Cadillac Championship at the TPC Blue Monster at the Doral Golf Resort and Spa on March 13, 2011 in Doral, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    1. Steve Stricker

    2. Jhonattan Vegas

    3. Spencer Levin

    4. Bubba Watson

    5. Rickie Fowler