Who are Masters contenders?

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) A capsule look at 20 players expected to contend at the Masters, to be played April 9-12:

1. MAJOR PLAYERS

RORY MCILROY

Age: 25.

Country: Northern Ireland.

World Ranking: 1.

Worldwide victories: 15.

Majors: U.S. Open (2011), British Open (2014), PGA Championship (2012, 2014).

Masters moment: Losing a four-shot lead with an 80 in the final round in 2012.

Backspin: The prohibitive favorite. A victory would make him the sixth player to complete the career Grand Slam, and the first since Tiger Woods in 2000. He also could join Woods and Ben Hogan as the only players to win three straight majors dating to the creation of the Masters in 1934. Big week for him.

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BUBBA WATSON

Age: 36.

Country: United States.

World Ranking: 3.

Worldwide victories: 7.

Majors: Masters (2012, 2014).

Masters moment: The gap wedge he hooked out of the trees right of the 10th fairway and onto the green to win a playoff for his first green jacket.

Backspin: Maybe it's time to start taking a guy named Bubba seriously. He won in a playoff in 2012. He won in a back-nine snoozer a year ago. He gets another chance to join Woods, Nick Faldo and Jack Nicklaus as back-to-back winners. A victory would give him as many green jackets as Phil Mickelson, Faldo, Gary Player, Jimmy Demaret and Sam Snead.

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ADAM SCOTT

Age: 34.

Country: Australia.

World Ranking: 6.

Worldwide victories: 25.

Majors: Masters (2013).

Masters moment: Screaming ''C'mon, Aussie!'' after making a 20-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole in 2013. That got him into a playoff that he won over Angel Cabrera.

Backspin: Here's the long and short of it. Scott is trying to make the conversion away from a long putter before the new anchoring rule begins in 2016. He tied for fourth on fast greens at Doral. He struggled on slower greens at Innisbrook and Bay Hill. Does he return to the long putter for one week in April?

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MARTIN KAYMER

Age: 30.

Country: Germany.

World Ranking: 13.

Worldwide victories: 13.

Majors: U.S. Open (2014), PGA Championship (2010).

Masters moment: Making the cut in the Masters. On his fifth try.

Backspin: He is a two-time major champion. He is a former No. 1 in the world. And in seven appearances at the Masters, he still doesn't have a round in the 60s and has an average score of 73.6. The changes in his swing to become a more rounded player should be properly tested.

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LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN

Age: 32.

Country: South Africa.

World Ranking: 34.

Worldwide victories: 10.

Majors: British Open (2010).

Masters moment: Making the only albatross with a 4-iron on the par-5 second hole in the final round of 2012, and then losing to Bubba Watson on the second playoff hole.

Backspin: His peers will say there is no better swing in golf. His doctors will not be as flattering about his back. When he's on, Oosthuizen is a delight to watch. He has been staying on top of his exercises this year and he has two top 10s in two starts. Beware.

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2. RISING STARS

JASON DAY

Age: 27.

Country: Australia.

World Ranking: 5.

Worldwide victories: 4.

Majors: None.

Masters moment: Runner-up to Charl Schwartzel in 2011, the first of three close calls in the majors.

Backspin: When healthy and playing a major, Day is dangerous. And so far, he appears to be very healthy and very determined. Finished two shots behind Schwartzel in 2011 and two shots behind Adam Scott in 2013. Already has won at Torrey Pines and had chances at Kapalua and Pebble Beach.

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JORDAN SPIETH

Age: 21.

Country: United States.

World Ranking: 4.

Worldwide victories: 4.

Majors: None.

Masters moment: A two-shot lead with 11 holes to play in his Masters debut last year until finishing bogey-bogey on the front nine and never catching up to Bubba Watson.

Backspin: He was determined to win early this year and did just that in a playoff at Innisbrook. Even though he has played Augusta National only once, he knows he has the game for it based on last year. His short game rates among the best among Americans, particularly his bunker play.

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PATRICK REED

Age: 25.

Country: United States.

World Ranking: 15.

Worldwide victories: 4.

Majors: None.

Masters moment: Making seven straight bogeys in his debut last year - three to end the first round, four to start the second round.

Backspin: Reed rubs some people the wrong way with his words, but he's starting to attract a segment of fans who love his pugnacious spirit and will to win. His first Masters was forgettable - 73-79 to miss the cut. He is in every conversation about best young Americans.

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HIDEKI MATSUYAMA

Age: 22.

Country: Japan.

World Ranking: 16.

Worldwide victories: 7.

Majors: None.

Masters moment: Playing as the Asia Amateur champion twice and both times making the cut.

Backspin: He still doesn't speak English very well, though he fits in with the young stars of the game. He won the Memorial last year and came within a birdie putt of forcing a playoff in Phoenix. He is big and strong and quiet.

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BROOKS KOEPKA

Age: 24.

Country: United States.

World Ranking: 19.

Worldwide victories: 2.

Majors: None.

Masters moment: Getting his invitation in the mail over the winter.

Backspin: Koepka injured a rib at Bay Hill, which caused some concern going into the Masters. He is the prototype power player, works extraordinarily hard and doesn't get carried away by his emotions. His first Masters could go a long way in determining how much of a factor he is in years to come.

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3. BEST WITHOUT A MAJOR

HENRIK STENSON

Age: 39.

Country: Sweden.

World Ranking: 2.

Worldwide victories: 12.

Majors: None.

Masters moment: Attended the `99 Masters with his wife, who played college golf at South Carolina. Took one look at Jose Maria Olazabal and meant to place a bet on him, but he forgot. Olazabal went on to win.

Backspin: Unlike a year ago when he was slow to start the year, the Swede has been in contention just about every week since starting the Florida swing. Lost a chance to win at Bay Hill with a pair of three-putts late in the round. But his ball-striking is superb, and he gets great distance out of his 3-wood.

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DUSTIN JOHNSON

Age: 30.

Country: United States.

World Ranking: 7.

Worldwide victories: 9.

Majors: None.

Masters moment: Missing in 2012 for what he described as a back injury from lifting a jet ski out of the water.

Backspin: Augusta would seem to suit Johnson perfectly, but it's the only major where he has failed to register a top 10. Coming off a six-month break, he already won a World Golf Championship and lost in a playoff at Riviera. Maybe this year will be different for him at the Masters.

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SERGIO GARCIA

Age: 35.

Country: Spain.

World Ranking: 8.

Worldwide victories: 22.

Majors: None.

Masters moment: Declaring to Spanish reporters after the third round in 2012 that he was not good enough to win a major.

Backspin: No one ever knows what to expect from the talented Spaniard. He had a chance to win Riviera this year until a bogey-bogey finish. He was engaged to be married this year, but that has been broken off. Garcia can be moody. But he is good enough to win any major. Even Augusta.

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BRANDT SNEDEKER

Age: 34.

Country: United States.

World Ranking: 35.

Worldwide victories: 7.

Majors: None.

Masters moment: Holing a 35-foot eagle putt on the second hole in the final round of 2008 to tie for the lead. He tied for third, then twice broke down talking about it.

Backspin: He won at Pebble Beach to qualify for the Masters. Snedeker is among those without mammoth power who can contend at Augusta because of his putting. Sometimes the players who aren't sure if they'll be back at the Masters play their best when they are there.

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MATT KUCHAR

Age: 36.

Country: United States.

World Ranking: 14.

Worldwide victories: 7.

Majors: None.

Masters moment: Making birdie on the 15th hole in the final round of 2012 to tie for the lead, only to bogey the 16th and tie for third.

Backspin: The most consistent player in golf - 37 top-10 finishes in the last five years - is that way at Augusta, too. He has been within four shots of the lead going into the final round in each of the last three years. But he was in a bit of a slump leading to this Masters with three straight finishes out of the top 10.

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4. NOT TO BE OVERLOOKED

JIMMY WALKER

Age: 36.

Country: United States.

World Ranking: 10.

Worldwide victories: 5.

Majors: None.

Masters moment: Made four straight birdies at the end of his first round ever for a 70.

Backspin: Walker made a reasonable debut last year with a tie for eighth. He is a complete player who doesn't get enough attention because his wins have come in bunches (2013-14) or early (2015). Had top 10s in three of the majors last year, including Augusta.

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RICKIE FOWLER

Age: 26.

Country: United States.

World Ranking: 12.

Worldwide victories: 2.

Majors: None.

Masters moment: Tied for fifth last year.

Backspin: His notoriety is joining Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus as the only players to finish in the top 5 at all four majors. The difference is the other two won majors that year. Fowler only has two career victories, one of them in Korea. His game has become sharper under Butch Harmon. Now he just needs the results that matter.

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JIM FURYK

Age: 44.

Country: United States.

World Ranking: 9.

Worldwide victories: 19.

Majors: U.S. Open (2003).

Masters moment: In contention late in 1998, his second shot the 15th went over the green and into the water. He tied for fourth.

Backspin: Furyk was a few dollars short of becoming golf's first $6 million man without winning. That speaks to the chances he keeps giving himself. He grinds at Augusta and might get yet another chance. He hasn't missed a cut since the British Open at Muirfield in 2013.

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JUSTIN ROSE

Age: 34.

Country: England.

World Ranking: 11.

Worldwide victories: 13.

Majors: U.S. Open (2013).

Masters moment: He was leading by two shots going into the weekend in 2004, then posted an 81 in the third round.

Backspin: Rose has the iron game for Augusta, and he has a major championship that shows his game can hold up under pressure. His form has been suspect at the start of the year. In his first six events, he failed to record a top 10 and missed the cut three times.

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LEE WESTWOOD

Age: 41.

Country: England.

World Ranking: 30.

Worldwide victories: 38.

Majors: None.

Masters moment: Shot the lowest score of anyone except for Phil Mickelson in 2010.

Backspin: After missing four straight cuts last year, he has at least stabilized. Westwood was runner-up to Mickelson five years ago, and he won in Thailand at the end of 2014 to build a little bit of confidence. Each major, however, the window closes a little bit more.

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