Masters 2014 names to watch

Adam Scott talks with the media during a

Adam Scott talks with the media during a press conference before the 113th U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club. (June 10, 2013) Photo Credit: Getty

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One thing did not change with Tiger Woods' announcement that he will miss the Masters this week. With or without him, there is no clear favorite. You can make a case for or against some of the top names on tour:

ADAM SCOTT

For: Defending champion is solid, especially at Augusta and finally has proven he can win.

Against: Still not a sure bet, witnessed by the way he blew a big lead at Bay Hill.

PATRICK REED

For: Three wins since August, including the WGC at Doral; has loads of confidence; starred for Augusta State and his parents still live in town.

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Against: Might be a tad too confident, claiming he's a top-five, world-class golfer.

PHIL MICKELSON

For: Healthy enough to enter and start strongly in Houston this week, The Masters brings out the magic in him.

Against: Has not played well this year, withdrew once with a bad back, once with an oblique strain.

RORY McILROY
For: Supremely talented, beat Scott in Australia at the end of last year.

Against: Still has not proven he is a good closer since equipment change. Did he sell his golfing soul to Nike?

HENRIK STENSON

For: Winner of the 2013 Tour Championship and FedEx Cup, he's an elite player despite being under the radar

Against: He's under the radar for a reason: he has contended in majors (2013 British Open, PGA) but hasn't taken the trophy.

JORDAN SPIETH

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For: Skilled and precocious, last year became the first teenager to win a PGA Tour event in 82 years.

Against: In recent years, the Masters has been kinder to Fred Couples, in his 50s, than any 20-year-old.

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