The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

April 10, 2014

Rookies grab early Masters lead, Scott in the mix

(Continued)

"But it's not bad when you think he used to outdrive me by 50," Player quipped.

The "Big Three" combined to win 13 green jackets, including seven in a row at the start of the 1960s.

This Masters is far less predictable. Without Woods or a dominant figure, it's seen as the most wide-open tournament in years.

A bunch of brash Augusta rookies are eager to fill Woods' shoes. And the last 24 major championships have been divvied up among 21 winners.

Jason Day, Sergio Garcia and former Masters champion Zach Johnson are the only players from the top 10 who have won anywhere in the world this year. Only one of the past seven winners on the PGA Tour was ranked in the top 75.

"I think if you're outside the top 50 in the world this week, you've got a great chance," U.S. Open champion Justin Rose quipped.

Among those with afternoon tee times: Phil Mickelson, attempting to join Woods and Palmer with a fourth green jacket, and 2012 Masters champion Bubba Watson.

Even without Woods, the show goes on at a tournament that rarely fails to deliver plenty of drama.

"It's a huge loss," Scott said. "But, as every year here, this event produces something special no matter what. It just has a way of doing it. It's not going to involve Tiger this year, but it will involve someone else and it will be a memorable event anyway."

 

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