Masters Results 2012: 5 Players with 1st Major Win in Their Sights

Mike Walsh@WalshWritesCorrespondent IApril 7, 2012

Lee Westwood is in prime position to make a run at his first major title.
Lee Westwood is in prime position to make a run at his first major title.David Cannon/Getty Images

There is a long list of players in the Masters field who are still in search of the first major victory. What better stage to earn that elusive win than Augusta.

These five men are sitting in fantastic position to make a run thanks to solid early round scores and a consistent effort going through Saturday. Will any of the five here complete their lifelong goal on Sunday, or will someone else best them once again?

Lee Westwood

Westwood would seem to be more desperate than most to get that first major victory. The 38-year-old has been playing in majors since 1995. This is not to say that Westy has not had success in the tournaments. Quite the contrary actually, he has 12 career top-10 finishes in majors, including four in the past two seasons.

Westwood has been on top of his game recently, earning the No. 3 ranking in the world. A Masters win would have to be the maraschino on top of his career sundae.

Jason Dufner

Dufner was not in the conversation of favorites entering the Masters Thursday morning. In fact, the 35-year-old, 11-year pro has only qualified to play at the tournament once before.

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Nonetheless, Dufner finds himself entering Saturday's action atop the leaderboard with a minus-5. He is deadlocked with fellow veteran Fred Couples. However Couples has won his major, and after getting a sniff of victory with 2011's second-place finish at the PGA Championship, Dufner wants to taste Augusta victory Sunday night. 

Watson is in all white now, but could wear green for the first time Sunday
Watson is in all white now, but could wear green for the first time SundayAndrew Redington/Getty Images

Sergio Garcia

Like Westwood, Garcia has come so close so many times that you would have thought he would have broken through by now. The Spaniard boasts 17 top-10 finishes in his illustrious career. That includes three runner-up finishes, but lately, Augusta has been his kryptonite.

He hasn't finished in the top-30 at the Masters since 2004. This could be the year Garcia finally finishes what he started in 1999. Garcia has parlayed a sharp 68 on Friday into a minus-4 overall and stands just one-stroke behind Dufner and Couples for the top spot.

Miguel Angel Jimenez

Jimenez is one of the oldest players in field this year and wasn't granted an easy task to begin with. In both of the first two rounds at Augusta, he found himself paired up with Tiger Woods. Aside from the pressure of playing with Tiger, one would assume the added media coverage of his pairing would also negatively affect his play.

However, the opposite happened to Jimenez. The 48-year-old is playing some of the best golf of his career and has left Woods in the dust. An opening round 69 has Jimenez at minus-3 overall, just two strokes off the leader's pace. 

Bubba Watson

The powerful Watson is still relatively inexperienced at the Masters. This is only his fourth go-round at Augusta, though he does have top-five finishes at the US Open and PGA Championship. Watson is hugely popular with fans and the crowds in Georgia would love to see him succeed and win his first major.

He has put himself in good position to do so, scoring under par in each of the first two rounds. Entering play Saturday, Watson is tied with Westwood and Garcia at minus-4.  

Matt Kuchar 

After starting in two Masters in 1998 and '99, Kuchar went 10 years before appearing at Augusta's tournament again. Now, he finds himself in a decent position to win it all.

It would be quite a Cinderella story for a player with only two career top-10 finishes in majors. At No. 18 in the world, Kuchar does have the skills to pull it off, but to do so, he must remain consistent. He carded scores of 71 and 70 in the first two rounds this week; if he keeps this current pace, there is no reason Kuchar can't make a run at the leaderboard on Sunday.

With Saturday's play underway, an entire field of golfers are making their run at these five players. If one of them is able to fend off all of his colleagues, he will have the greatest moment of his career on Sunday night. If what they say is true, the first one always is the sweetest.   


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