Five talking points at Masters

Jordan Spieth (AFP)
Jordan Spieth (AFP)

Augusta  - With the 80th Masters set to tee-off at Augusta National, here are five talking points.

How low can they go?

How will the fabled Georgia course fare against the armada of superb shot-makers primed to bring it to its knees? Last year, Jordan Spieth won at 18-under, matching the best-ever score set by Tiger Woods in 1997, after which measures were taken to Tiger-proof the layout.

Power of three

Is there such as a thing as the new "Big Three" of golf? Jason Day, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy are the new annointed ones, ranked 1-2-3 in the world and all in their twenties. Of the old guard, only Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els remain.

Out of the Woods

Tiger Woods misses the Masters, the tournament where he first shot to stardom, for just the second time since his debut in 1995. Will this take take some of the star appeal away from Augusta National or will his absence go largely unnoticed?

Never too late

Will there be a first-time major winner from among the group of big-name contenders like Henrik Stenson, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and Sergio Garcia? All are due a major breakthrough and any one of them would be a hugely popular winner.

Asian horizons

Can an Asian player finally win the Masters? Every other region of the world has tasted success at Augusta National, but none have done so from the most populous continent, where golf is increasingly popular. The top-ranking Asian currently is Japan's Hideki Matsuyama, who is 14th.

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