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Lackluster finish to 78th Masters after rich early promise

By Mark Lamport-Stokes AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - The 78th Masters began as one of the most wide open in decades, but it will not go down as a classic after a surprisingly Lackluster finish on Sunday when Bubba Watson clinched his second green jacket. The roars for which the year's first major is famous never materialized on the back nine, mainly due to a scarcity of birdies and eagles, and Watson ultimately eased to victory by three shots.

Spieth emerges as shining light after Masters debut

By Julian Linden AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - Jordan Spieth may have missed his chance to become the youngest Masters champion but the 20-year-old showed he could yet be a champion for the ages. The baby-faced Texan belied his tender years with a stunning debut at Augusta National, finishing tied for second behind Bubba Watson after flirting with history.

Golf: Spieth confident of chance at epic Masters win

Jordan Spieth, a 20-year-old prodigy who could become the youngest Masters champion, is confident he can handle the last-pairing pressure during Sunday's intense back-nine drama at Augusta National. Spieth, making his Masters debut, fired a third-round 70 Saturday to finish 54 holes deadlocked atop the leaderboard with fellow American Bubba Watson at five-under par 211, putting him in the final duo on one of golf's grandest stages with a major title at stake.

Scott's title defense all but over after third round

By Julian Linden AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - Adam Scott's reign as Masters champion was as good as over after the Australian tumbled down the leaderboard in Saturday's third round. The fist-pumps and screams of "C'mon Aussie" that marked his breakthrough victory last year were a distant memory as he was unable to conjure up any of that same magic when he won the coveted green jacket.

Title chasing Fowler salutes Harmon and Mickelson

By Tony Jimenez AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - Rickie Fowler's idea to seek out decorated coach Butch Harmon in December was made specifically to improve his record at the majors and the move has paid instant dividends at the Masters. The American, one of the poster boys of the PGA Tour with a penchant for flamboyant outfits, produced one of the best rounds of the week on Saturday as he fired a five-under-par 67 for a three-under tally of 213.

Golf: Five Things Learned from the 78th Masters

Five things learned from the first two rounds of the 78th Masters at Augusta National Golf Club:

Golf: Scott and McIlroy off and running at Masters

The annual quest for Masters glory moved into full swing on golf's greatest stage Thursday at Augusta National with favorites Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott going out in back-to-back groupings. Defending champion Scott, who last year became the first Australian to win the Masters, headed out first in the 16th grouping of the day alongside PGA Championship winner Jason Dufner and 19-year-old British amateur Matthew Fitzpatrick.

Woods missing but not forgotten at the Masters

By Larry Fine AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - Tiger Woods is missing the Masters for the first time in 20 years, but the 38-year-old American still commands attention at Augusta National, site of the year's first major championship. The four-time Masters winner, stuck on 14 majors for the last six years in his quest to surpass the record 18 won by Jack Nicklaus, is sidelined after undergoing surgery for a pinched nerve in his back.

Golf: Players say Masters magic to prevail without Tiger

Tiger Woods is absent from the Masters for the first time in his career this week, but that has not stopped him from being one of the hottest topics at Augusta National. What will it mean for a tournament he has come to symbolize since first competing as an amateur in 1995? How bad is his latest back injury and will he be fit enough to take part in the US Open at Pinehurst in June and the British Open at Hoylake in July? Will he ever succeed in achieving his lifelong ambition to surpass the records of 18 majors and six Masters won by Jack Nicklaus?

Golf: Palmer 'amazed' but also perplexed by young guns

It has been 50 years since Arnold Palmer won the last of his four Masters titles and he is amazed at what he sees in the modern game. Speaking Tuesday ahead of the 78th edition of golf's most prestigious tournament, the 84-year-old living legend said that he was "very impressed" by the top players. "I've been watching these young guys and it's amazing how they hit the golf ball, how well they play," he said.
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