No Tiger? No problem: Plenty of contenders at Augusta - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

No Tiger? No problem: Plenty of contenders at Augusta

The Masters tees off Thursday at Augusta National. (Source: MGN Online) The Masters tees off Thursday at Augusta National. (Source: MGN Online)
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(RNN) - By now you and all the internet know Tiger Woods is out of the Masters.

It's clearly time to fold up Augusta's famed white caddy jumpsuits and just head on home.

No, no it isn't. Stop panicking, internet.

With Tiger's health woes, he likely wasn't going to be a contender even if he did play. Yeah, I know, when "Tiger isn't a contender" golf absolutely suffers. When he isn't in the field - both from a ratings and a competitive standpoint - the game just isn't the same.

But he needs time to get healthy, and not taking it hasn't helped him, which is presumably why he had back surgery ahead of one of golf's most prestigious tournaments. If he thought he could have played without doing long term damage, he probably would have put it off.

After all, it is the Masters. An event he's won four times. Only Jack Nicklaus has more green jackets than Tiger. (Arnold Palmer also has four).

With golf's reigning No. 1 out at Augusta, it's time to acquaint yourselves with some of the potential contenders – and seriously, these guys are worth watching.

Adam Scott: Scott won his first green jacket last year. He's got good vibes coming back to Augusta, on top of a world No. 2 ranking. The last person to win back-to-back jackets? One Eldrick Tiger Woods in 2001 and 2002.

Jason Day: Day plays like a man who could wear many green jackets in the future. He was in the lead on Sunday at last year's Masters before two bogeys on the final three holes left him in third place. The question is, will he be healthy? Day has been dealing lately with a thumb injury. He says he's feeling better. We'll see come Thursday.

Phil Mickelson: He's as likable as he is unpredictable. Three green jackets don't lie - Lefty can never be left out of the Masters' discussion.

Jordan Speith: Is the 20-year-old too young to win such a lofty major? Especially his first Masters? Maybe. Maybe not. The kid's got game, including four top-10 finishes in 2014, a No. 13 world ranking and a youthful fearlessness. Don't be surprised if he plays above his experience and age – he already has.

Rory McIlroy: Although McIlroy had a lackluster 2013, his game seems to be in better form now. McIlroy shot 65 in his final round of the Shell Open, the last round before teeing it up at Augusta.

The beauty of golf is that anyone, absolutely anyone can catch fire on any given day or week. Which could - and probably will - render all best predictions useless.

Either way, the greatest show in golf is here. It's time for the Masters.

Copyright 2014 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

  • KTRE Online Poll

  • Who do you think will win the Masters?

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

    Adam Scott
    0%
    0 votes
    Jason Day
    12%
    2 votes
    Phil Mickelson
    38%
    6 votes
    Jordan Speith
    12%
    2 votes
    Rory McIlory
    0%
    0 votes
    Someone else
    38%
    6 votes
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