Ranked Johnson, Spieth, McIlroy three to beat at Masters

Ross Houston
April 5, 2017

Overall this year's Masters is bound to be a competitive one.

In contrast to Woods, who has not had a top 10 finish since 2015 and is now ranked 757th in the world, fellow American Dustin Johnson, world number one, enters the Masters on a historic streak of three victories in his last three tournaments.

"In terms of learning things, I tried to pick a lot of guys' brains", Thomas said. "There are obviously going to be a few commitments and stuff through the week but in terms of going under the radar, I think it will probably be very similar to a year ago, even as defending champion".

"I've got a lot of confidence in my game right now, especially with the way I've been playing the last few tournaments, but anything can happen". "It doesn't matter how good you're playing, you can still not win". You're going to have to settle for bogeys here and there. For people like me who just turned pro it doesn't get much better than this.

Conversations paused under the oak tree next to Augusta National's clubhouse Tuesday morning when Johnson sauntered toward the tee for another practice round. He also shared second at the USA and British Opens and third in the PGA Championship.

His form has dipped this year, with only one top-10 finish at the restricted-field SBS Tournament of Champions, but the Texas resident is looking forward to embracing his status as a major champion to bounce back to form at Augusta. But if he doesn't banish those demons or win this year, the questions will always still be there. I would have liked to have been there in some more majors. "I could have done better with my putting, and I would have been more proud of myself".

There are six shots that players really need to watch on the course - the tee shots at 2, 11 and 12, both shots at 13 and the second shot on 15, he said. I was not about to say anything.

"I'm extremely excited to get the week under way and really privileged to be here".

Day's time on the course has included work with swing coach Colin Swatton and playing a few holes with compatriot Curtis Luck, the reigning U.S. amateur champion who makes his Masters debut. He's got three consecutive top-10s at the Masters, and he's played well in limited events since returning from a rib injury, so he's far from a long-shot.

Fowler found competition the best warm-up for Augusta and almost added Houston to his title list.

While his workouts among the Georgia pine trees are a good sign he will play this week in the year's first major championship, he said that nothing is certain given his mother undergoing chemotherapy treatments.

"I know when I'm going to try to attack and make birdies based on where the pin is, based on the wind".

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