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Shotgun Start: Previewing the Masters

Jonathan Wall
Devil Ball Golf

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Masters flag/ Getty Images

It's tournament time! We head to famed Augusta National for the Masters. Here's a tournament primer to get you prepared for the week.

The course: At 7,435 yards, Augusta National's par 72 layout is the kind that has to be seen to be believed. Why? You wouldn't know if from watching the tournament on television, but the course has some incredible elevation changes that only show up if you're lucky enough to be on-site. For instance, the elevation change from the second tee box to the green is a staggering 90 feet. However, when you look at the hole from your couch, it looks like a gradual decline. It's just one of the many things that makes Augusta National so unique. You not only have to contend with some of the trickiest greens on tour, but severe undulations as well. "Amen Corner" is usually where the tournament is won or lost on Sunday. It consists of the second shot at the par-4 11th, the par-3 12th, and the tee shot at the par-5 13th hole. It's a stretch of holes that's turned common men into legends and brought even the best players to their knees.

[ Related: Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy set up perfect rivalry in time for Masters ]

The schedule: The tournament runs Thursday-Sunday. It'll be broadcast on ESPN from 3 to 7:30 p.m. ET on Thursday and Friday, and on CBS from 3:30 to 7 p.m. ET on Saturday and 2 to 7 p.m. on Sunday.

The field: The best of the best (96 players, to be exact) are in the field this week at Augusta. The entire OWGR top 10 is here, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald, Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer, Steve Stricker, and the list goes on and on. The one notable WD to mention is Dustin Johnson, who pulled out of the tournament on Tuesday with a back injury ... from lifting a jet-ski. There has to be a joke in there somewhere.

The video: Here's a preview of the top 5 Americans in this week's Masters field.

Your turn. Who are your picks for this week? Swing away!

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