Augusta Masters: Five golfers to watch


It was 6.15 in the evening and there were no other players around, just Woods and his caddie Joe LaCava - oh, and a wall of humanity 20 deep behind the ropes, snaking along the walkway and into the far green distance. "It was a great thing".

Michael Lester was on the prowl at Augusta National, Tiger Hunting.

The 21-year-old from India, a rising star on the European Tour, is making his Masters debut and has his sights set on meeting Woods. Once he gets close, he won't give it up easily.

"I've known the family my whole career here in the fire department and you just couldn't ask for a better person", Chief Williams said.

Sharma hopes to really cross paths with Woods before play begins April 5. He has been away from golf for much of the last few years because of his four back surgeries.

"But it's great for golf, great for him and I'd cherish the opportunity to be potentially going down the stretch with him to win a tournament or a major, so who knows?" he added. If not this week, then maybe in July at the Open Championship. He showed he could contend when he finished second at the Valspar Championship. However, he can quickly play himself out of contention when his putter lets him down. "He's been unbelievable and very inspiring". Johnson also leads the PGA Tour in bounce-back percentage (39 percent), the percentage of time a player is over par on a hole and then under par on the following hole.

"Phil is still competitive and I don't think Phil Mickelson gets the credit he should get", Harmon said. "Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts left behind a legacy of always trying to contribute meaningfully to the game of golf", Ridley said. "He's definitely proven he can win". "Interview him all the time, tire him out".

Through his 79 PGA Tour wins and 14 majors, it is easy to say that Woods was a force to be reckoned with.

But whether Sergio Garcia slips the famous green jacket onto Woods' shoulders or anyone else's, all the signs point to a classic contest which elicits the final-round roars which reverberate around the course on Sunday.

He already has witnessed a shift back home.

Sponsors of all golfers will particularly target the Masters as an opportunity to generate exposure due to its unrivalled global TV audience. Sharma, like many Indian kids, grew up playing cricket and soccer.

A 30-year-old firefighter from Brockton, Mass., Parziale had the honors for the most pressure-packed tee shot imaginable. That's more than double the average of the next 10 golfers when ranked by exposure. It has more junior circuits. "Nah, you know it's fun". At his last two events, the Valspar Championship and Arnold Palmer Invitational, he finished joint-second and joint-fifth - performances which saw broadcast audiences rocket by 150 per cent, receiving almost 2.9m viewers on average. "He's a very good player".

According to a report by Garry Smits posted on, Day, a former world No. 1, had contemplated quitting the game but a near victory at the 2011 Masters changed his perspective.

"Starting to swing it a lot better", Johnson said. But it appears the contest will go on, giving the Masters the nudge across the startling line it should get every year. "So I'll go and talk to him". Now that he seems fully recovered, Woods is coming in hot in the pro golf scene.