A look at the preview material running for the weekend of April 2-3 in advance of the Masters, which runs April 7-10.
David Owen's opening line in his book on the Masters says, ''The modern golf season never ends, but it does begin.'' That rings particularly true this year. The prelimaries are over. For some, the Masters could not get here soon enough. Defending champion Jordan Spieth opened the year with an eight-shot win. Jason Day won twice in a row against two of the strongest fields to return to No. 1 in the world. Adam Scott won in back-to-back weeks in Florida. Bubba Watson has won. Rory McIlroy appears to be hitting his stride. Seven of the top 14 players in the world already have won this year, with a showdown looming amid azaleas and dogwoods at Augusta National.
By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. 800 words, photos. Will move by noon Friday, April 1.
Jordan Spieth played one last practice round before the Masters with Ben Crenshaw and Tiger Woods. Walking off the 16th green, he noticed Woods putting from a spot behind the hole, and Spieth went back to study him. Five days later, he holed a similar putt that in his mind sealed his victory. ''To me, that shows you that Jordan doesn't miss anything in his preparation,'' Crenshaw said. His intelligence on the golf course might be a big reason that Spieth last year became the youngest player in nearly a century to win two majors at age 21.
By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. 800 words, photos. Will move by noon Saturday, April 2.
The longest par 3 at Augusta National is so daunting that Adam Scott said he might consider laying up each day and taking his chances. The 240-yard fourth hole is the only par 3 to yield just one hole-in-one in 79 years of the Masters. That was by Jeff Sluman in 1992, and he's not surprised no one has made an ace since then. ''I gave the ball to my mother, and she still has it in her grave,'' he said.
By Golf Writer Doug Ferguson. 700 words, photos. Will move by noon Sunday, April 3.
WITH (most moving Friday before 5 p.m.):
- GLF--Masters-Capsules. By Doug Ferguson. Capsules of the 10 leading contenders.
- GLF--Masters-Facts & Figures.
- GLF--Masters-Hole by Hole.
- GLF--Masters-Anniversaries. By Doug Ferguson. Capsules of key moments in Masters history.
- GLF--Masters-Trivia Quiz. By Doug Ferguson. With results of quiz from Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Nick Faldo, Andy North, Jim ''Bones'' Mackay.