Continued from page 1

“So I feel like it is a course that I can win on,” Rose said.

But Rose knows he’s not alone in that belief. With its wide-open fairways and less punitive areas when you don’t land in the short grass, big hitters can wind up and let it fly. Look throughout Thursday’s pairings and there are any number of people like Watson, Rory McIlroy, Keegan Bradley and Phil Mickelson, Rose says, capable of moving on top.

“So I don’t feel like I have any particular advantage over those guys,” he said. “But yes, I do feel like it’s a course that I can do well on.”

Westwood, the oldest of the four top world-ranked Brits who turns 40 later this month, has had the most near misses at the Masters of all his countrymen. He held the second and third round leads in 2010 when Mickelson won and led after the opening round a year ago.

Westwood finished tied for third in 2012. He has struggled at times this year, but made the top 10 in his last event, the Houston Open, two weeks ago.

Donald thinks there’s no rhyme or reason why one group or another has success or falters at an event. Golf is such a singlular mental game, he says, that it’s often the least fragile player that week who have the best chances _ no matter what country they’re from.

“Obviously there’s a bunch of great and good European players right now,” Donald said. “We certainly have as good a chance this year as any other” to win the Masters.