AUGUSTA — Rory McIlroy is the betting favorite to win the Masters Tournament, but he's anything but an overwhelming favorite.
True to golf's current state, any number of players in this week's field could be considered a relatively safe bet to win. Here are 20 players to keep an eye on at the Masters:
* Paul Casey -- The 41-year-old hasn't finished outside the top 15 in any of the last four Masters, and he's had five top-5s in 12 appearances.
* Tony Finau -- Played about as well as a rookie could last year on his way to a top-10 finish. He could duplicate that success if the putter gets hot again.
* Tommy Fleetwood -- Trending upward, with strong showings at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and Players Championship. Finished T17 last year and led the field in driving distance.
* Rickie Fowler -- Last year's runner-up has four top-12 Masters finishes in the last five years, and he's won already this season at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
* Charley Hoffman -- Makes birdies in bunches at Augusta, and he's been inside the top 10 at the conclusion of nine of 20 career rounds at the Masters.
* J.B. Holmes -- A T4 in 2016 is his only noteworthy finish at Augusta, but he crushes the ball and has a win this season.
* Dustin Johnson -- It's another year of wondering if this could be DJ's week at Augusta. Won yet another World Golf Championship earlier this year in Mexico to go along with four other top-10s.
* Kevin Kisner -- Kiz won't overpower the golf course, but he won't miss many fairways or putts. Coming in hot after the WGC Match Play title two weeks ago.
* Brooks Koepka -- Absolutely bombs the ball and has a strong major championship pedigree. Best finish at Augusta was a T11 last year.
* Matt Kuchar -- Two wins and a runner-up already this year, plus he has four top-8 finishes at Augusta since 2012.
* Marc Leishman -- He doesn't come here to lay up. Two top-10 finishes, including a solo ninth last year, and picked up a win at the CIMB Classic earlier this year.
* Rory McIlroy -- The betting favorite is in the top 10 every week, and his win at The Players was a huge boost. Only needs a green jacket for the career Grand Slam.
* Phil Mickelson -- Can't ever count out Lefty, who won earlier this year at Pebble Beach. The three-time champ played Augusta National in 69-under par in 26 career appearances.
* Francesco Molinari -- The seventh-ranked player in the world won the Arnold Palmer Invitational and reached the Match Play semifinals. Hasn't finished higher than T19 at Augusta.
* Ian Poulter -- Has only missed one cut in 13 tries at Augusta and was strong on the European Tour's Desert Swing.
* Jon Rahm -- Finished fourth last year and ranked in the top 15 in the field in driving distance, accuracy, greens hit and putting.
* Patrick Reed -- The defending champ has seven top-25s, but just one top-10, this year.
* Justin Rose -- The new world No. 1 has never missed a cut at Augusta and has been runner-up twice in the last three years.
* Jordan Spieth -- Has been hard to figure out this year, but his Masters record is incredible. In five appearances, he's finished outside of the top three only once -- and that was a T11.
* Tiger Woods -- Because he's Tiger Woods.
This article is written by Kyle Dawson from Aiken Standard, S.C. and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to email@example.com.
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