Tiger may be out, but the showdown at Augusta National will still offer some of the best drama in all of sports. The odds are in Rory McIlroy's favor, but anything can happen in Georgia – and frequently does. Here are the 10 players to watch if you're looking for excitement. Whether or not they end up sliding into the green jacket, these guys will definitely put on a show.
The Northern Irishman is this year's odds on favorite. And the former World Number One is already off to a strong start this year. In all five 2014 PGA tour events he has played this year, McIlroy has finished inside the top 25. He closed out his appearance in Houston last week with an impressive 65-shot final round.
Despite his success this year and his meteoric rise through the golf ranks, the 24-year-old McIlroy has had a rough history at Augusta. In 2011, he held the 54-hole lead before carding a final round 80. He finished 15th, his tournament best and the poor result left him in tears.
The gamblers' favorite, McIlroy will arrive in Augusta number nine in the Official World Golf Rankings. As a two-time Major Champion – the 2011 US Open and the 2013 PGA Championship – McIlroy is looking to climb back to his former perch and young enough to ponder the possibility of a career Grand Slam.
Credit: Andrew Redington / Getty Images
Tee Times: Thursday 10:52AM, Friday – 1:59PM