No women's Masters in Augusta National's future, says chairman

Tiger Woods smiles as he walks off the 13th green during a practice round for the Masters

AP Tiger Woods smiles as he walks off the 13th green during a practice round for the Masters

Li's results at the game's most prestigious tournaments have been a mixed bag to date, with a stunning third-place finish at the 2017 British Open and a tie for 16th at last year's US Open offset by a missed cut at the 2017 PGA Championship and a withdrawal during the second round of the same event last year. "If it doesn't happen this week, that's totally fine, I'll come back next year and have another crack at it", McIlroy said.

The Northern Irishman has five consecutive top-10 finishes at the Masters, yet his defining moment at Augusta remains his final-round collapse in 2011, when he failed to close out the win despite entering the day with a four-shot lead.

"I just feel like I've improved a lot over the past 12, 14 months", said Woods, whose injury return was in its embryonic stages when he teed it up previous year.

"To see the way he played the Open and the PGA Championship, greatness is still in him".

However, McIlroy has been in sublime form this season, culminating in victory in the Players Championship at Sawgrass, and many suspect this is the week he will add to his tally of four majors for the first time since 2014. Just 87 players are competing this year at Augusta National, and you can break that number down further, excluding numerous past champions (seven are over 50) and the six amateurs, not to mention a collection of lower ranking or struggling tour professionals, and you're left with only around half the field who could genuinely claim victory, but even a fair bunch of them can be considered unlikely winners at best. "I just would never rule him out".

"But it's also the chance to bring out your best, and he's had such a phenomenal start to the year. My routine now consists of meditation, juggling and mind training, doing all the stuff to get you in the right place". "I meditated for 20 minutes on the Sunday morning of the Players".

The runner-up will receive $1.188 million.

Ridley described the Masters as the epicenter of Augusta's "competitive tournament administration efforts", which limits how the golf course can be used each spring.

"I think contending here will be a given". I put myself in with a chance of winning the last two majors of past year.

Then there's the powerful Johnson himself, a two-time victor already this year with a best of fourth at Augusta. Nicklaus himself predicted that Woods would win 10 green jackets on his way to obliterating Nicklaus' record of 18 major championships.

Spieth's wire-to-wire victory in 2015 and dominance for three rounds in 2016 suggested he was the new king at Augusta. That's ancient in most sports but not terribly out of place in a tournament Nicklaus won at the age of 46 in 1986.

"I get a rush out of pulling off shots sometimes I've only dreamed of pulling off". "I think it made us a better organization".

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