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Fourteen of them are ranked in the top 60, with 20-year-old Jordan Spieth leading the way at No. 13. Jimmy Walker and Patrick Reed each won three times since last summer, and former Georgia Bulldogs Harris English and Chris Kirk won twice. Frenchman Victor Dubuisson, 23, nearly won the WGC Match Play with a short game that turned heads, and he won’t have any cactus to deal with at Augusta.

Odds are higher than ever that Fuzzy Zoeller’s rookie win in 1979 won’t be the last.

Phil Mickelson

It’s true, Mickelson has withdrawn twice this season with injuries (back and strained oblique), and he turns 44 this summer. But forget all that when the left-hander pulls into Magnolia Lane.

No other course in the world is more suited to Mickelson’s aggressive style, and he rises to the occasion even more than Tiger with three green jackets in the past 10 years. While many want to see whether Mickelson can complete the career slam at the U.S. Open in Pinehurst in June, he is not looking past Augusta.

Tree damage

A once-in-a-lifetime ice storm in February decimated trees all over Augusta, but its most prominent victim was the Eisenhower Tree. The 125-year-old loblolly pine dominated the left half of the 17th fairway and frustrated the former president so much that he lobbied to have it cut down.

Nature finally finished the tree, and the club hasn’t replaced it. But the scars of removed limbs are in every remaining tree at Augusta National, and the canopy is significantly thinner. How that will affect the echoes of the trademark roars that define the Masters will be seen this week.