Golf

Five Golfers Who Will Benefit From Tiger Woods Missing the 2014 Masters

Five Golfers Who Stand to Benefit From Tiger Woods Missing the Masters

Tiger Woods 2014 Masters
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Tiger Woods announced on Tuesday that he will miss the 2014 Masters after undergoing surgery to repair nerve damage in his back on Monday. His absence will surely be noticed by his fellow golfers, but the event’s tv ratings may also suffer without Woods in the field.

Here are five golfers that stand to benefit most from Woods’ absence in this year’s Masters.

5. Brandt Snedeker

Brandt Snedeker
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5. Brandt Snedeker

Brandt Snedeker
Sam Greenwood-Getty Images

Snedeker has acknowledged what a Masters win would mean to him, and he finished sixth in 2013 despite a final round 75. He may have more focus on him without Woods in the field this year, but if Snedeker can finish better he stands to be in contention late on Sunday.

4. Matt Kuchar

Matt Kuchar
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4. Matt Kuchar

Matt Kuchar
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Kuchar went to Georgia Tech and makes his home in Sea Island, Georgia, so it would be a feel-good story for him to get the first major win of his career at Augusta. He has finished in the top-10 in each of the last two years, including eighth last year despite shooting a 75 in the second round and a 73 in the final round. If Kuchar can string together four rounds of 70 or under, he’ll be in contention all weekend.

3. Phil Mickelson

Phil Mickelson
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3. Phil Mickelson

Phil Mickelson
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Mickelson withdrew from last week’s Valero Texas Open with an oblique strain, but there’s no legitimate concern he’ll miss Augusta even if he sits out this week’s event in Houston. He is out of Tiger’s shadow now, with multiple major wins, but Mickelson would surely like to tie Woods with his fourth green jacket this year.

2. Sergio Garcia

Sergio Garcia
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2. Sergio Garcia

Sergio Garcia
Sam Greenwood-Getty Images

After a dismal run in the tournament, Garcia has finished 12th (2012) and eighth (2013) at Augusta over the last two years. If there was a time for him to get his first major win, this year’s Masters without the shadow Woods has cast over him throughout his career may be it.

1. Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy
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1. Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy
Jamie Squire-Getty Images

McIlroy’s final round 80 in 2011 that took him out of the lead seems to have lingered over the last two Masters tournaments, as he’s only shot in the 60's twice in eight rounds. A strong performance at Augusta this year, even without Woods in the field, would help McIlroy put himself back in the conversation as one of the world’s best golfers.