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Devil Ball Golf

Five to watch at Augusta National – No. 5, Rory McIlroy

Shane Bacon
Devil Ball Golf

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Rory McIlroy — Getty Images

These days it seems that the entire field, give or tack a past champion or two, have a chance at the green jacket. Gone are the days of Tiger, Vijay and Phil being the only contenders, but instead of listing them all, we've picked five we think have the best shot at the 2013 Masters.

No. 5 -- Rory McIlroy

Major Championships -- 2

Masters appearance -- 4

Best Masters finish -- T-15 (2011)

Best Finish on the PGA Tour in 2013 -- 2

What he has to do to win -- The season started out quite strange for McIlroy, who was coming off his second major championship win at the 2012 PGA Championship and looked ready to rock the new Nike gear into another fine season as world No. 1. But the bad play appears to be over, and he finally found his form at last week's Valero Texas Open, an event he added last minute to get more reps and one he ended up finishing in solo second thanks to a final round 66 (he would have won if not for Martin Laird's insane 63 on Sunday to edge McIlroy by two shots).

If Rory wants to win this week, he has to hit that driver like he did at TPC San Antonio and not like he had to start the season. He is killing the ball right now (308 yards a drive, tops on tour), but he has to straighten it out if he wants to attack pins at Augusta National and avoid finding himself on the wrong sides of holes. Also, his putter has come out of hibernation over the last month, but it'll have to be really hot in case he does hit the occasional hook that runs into the left rough.

Also, it wouldn't hurt to forget everything that has happened at Augusta National over the years and come in with a fresh mind. Both his major championship wins have been by eight shots but that doesn't seem like something that will likely happen this week, so patience and a short memory will be huge for McIlroy.

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