Tracker: Bubba Watson wins second Masters

Bubba Watson was 3 under on the front nine to take the outright lead at 8 under heading to the back nine.

Jordan Spieth and 2012 Masters champion Bubba Watson started Sunday's final round at Augusta National tied for the lead at 5 under, and a duel ensued.

Taking the lead at the turn, then full control in Amen Corner, Watson – who had led by three after Friday's second round – earned his second Masters victory in three years with a three-shot win over Spieth and Jonas Blixt.

We'll follow the action all day in Augusta, Ga., as we anticipate the next Masters champion – and scroll down to catch up on our previous coverage:

• • •

Update No. 46: 6:51 p.m. EDT

Fairway for leader Bubba Watson. He's perhaps a little misty-eyed already, leading by three as he plays the 18th hole. Then he hits the green, left and long of the left-side pin but on the correct tier for a seemingly certain two-putt at worst. Jordan Spieth also goes fairway-green, while Jonas Blixt finishes with par to head in 5 under and T-2 with Spieth.

Watson strolls up the fairway amid a champion's applause and marks his ball. Spieth will finish out first, two-putting for an even-par 72 that had him frustrated from the eighth hole on. Watson then nearly makes his birdie putt, but taps in and hugs caddie Ted Scott as a two-time Masters champion.

• • •

Update No. 45: 6:37 p.m. EDT

Jordan Spieth stands in a chute of patrons right of the 17th green and discusses his challenge with caddie Michael Greller. Then he floats it onto the green, dead on line with the pin, and the ball stops about a putterhead short. Excellent par save, even if it might be too late. Leader Bubba Watson, ahead by three, hits a fine shot as well but it rolls past the pin to leave him a downhill par putt – but one that has him smiling. Caddie Ted Scott helps him look at this one and Watson pumps his fist as he rolls it in.

• • •

Update No. 44: 6:32 p.m. EDT

Around the 17th green, Jonas Blixt pitches short of the pin and leaves about 8-10 feet for par, a putt that he drains to remain 5 under and three back of leader Bubba Watson, T-2 with Jordan Spieth.

Neither Watson nor Spieth finds the 17th fairway, their shots coming to rest about a yard apart. Spieth hits first and doesn't get the draw he's looking for, hitting into the patrons on the right and almost over them. Watson can play a fade and executes a shot that's just short and right of the putting surface. Advantage Bubba.

• • •

Update No. 43: 6:24 p.m. EDT

Leader and 2012 champion Bubba Watson hits first at the par-3 16th, Redbud, and gets close – just short and right of the pin, in makeable birdie range. Jordan Spieth doesn't like his shot as he hits it, flying right of the target and short, but it rolls down close to Watson's ball. Putting-contest time. Spieth is away and doesn't miss by much, but reacts like a man three shots back and running out of time. Watson follows with an even closer putt, grazing the front of the cup as it breaks low, and pars keep his margin at three.

• • •

Update No. 42: 6:17 p.m. EDT

Jordan Spieth is away at the 15th, pitching on and leaving the ball 4-5 feet short of the hole. Leader Bubba Watson then leaves his chip short as the ball stops near the edge of the green. Watson, still away, knocks this one hole high and leaves himself a short par putt. Spieth then lines up his birdie try, which grazes the edge and runs past; he pars. Watson also makes, still the leader by three and that much closer to the finish line.

Jonas Blixt remains T-2 after two-putting for par at the 16th.

• • •

Update No. 41: 6:08 p.m. EDT

From the left rough at the par-5 15th, Firethorn, leader Bubba Watson watches to see Jordan Spieth's approach from the fairway. Spieth starts it way right and doesn't get enough draw, but has green to work with despite being well above the hole. Watson then takes aim through the trees – seen this before? – and lands the ball on the green; it rolls off the back, leaving a difficult task to get up and down for birdie.

Up at the par-3 16th, Jonas Blixt is on the green but short of the hole with a fairly long birdie try on tap.

• • •

Update No. 40: 6:03 p.m. EDT

Pars at the 14th keep the status quo for Bubba Watson, a three-shot lead over Jordan Spieth and Jonas Blixt, with just four holes remaining. Blixt overshoots the 15th green in two and putts up the slope, the ball getting on the green and somehow stopping short to leave him another downhill roll. That one misses just right and his par comebacker is good to remain

• • •

Update No. 39: 5:51 p.m. EDT

This isn't over, but it also isn't close right now. Leader Bubba Watson steps to the 14th tee with a three-shot lead and drives it long down the right side. Jordan Spieth also hits it in the fairway; he's away, and drops his club as soon as he hits it, long and left of the right-side pin. Watson answers by sticking it close, the ball rolling down toward the pin for a birdie look inside 10 feet.

Jonas Blixt birdies the 14th in the group ahead to get under par for the day and pull even with Spieth at 5 under, keeping his hopes alive.

• • •

Update No. 38: 5:44 p.m. EDT

Easily home in two on the par-5 13th, leader Bubba Watson leaves his long eagle putt considerably short, maybe 4 feet and still facing a downhiller. Jordan Spieth is up next with a birdie try, missing just low but with perfect speed and he taps in for par to remain 5 under. Watson can extend his margin to three here, and he does – moving to 8 under with five holes to play.

• • •

Update No. 37: 5:39 p.m. EDT

"Launch" isn't a strong enough verb for leader and 2012 champion Bubba Watson's drive at the par-5 13th, Azalea. He might have wedge into the green. Jordan Spieth misses right and is in the pinestraw; he pitches out with his second shot and isn't much ahead of Watson's drive. The leader hits his second shot onto the green, but well left of the pin and faces a long eagle putt. Spieth then follows with a short third shot over Rae's Creek, his nemesis at the par-3 12th, and hits it to birdie range but with a downhiller up next.

Rickie Fowler birdies the 14th to move to 2 under and T-5.

• • •

Update No. 36: 5:28 p.m. EDT

Visibly frustrated after missing his birdie try at the 11th, Jordan Spieth hits first at the 12th and misses short – the ball rolling back into Rae's Creek. Leader Bubba Watson misses long, but the ball checks back and rolls toward the pin and in the left rough. Spieth drops in the fairway and wedges it past, looking at a decent bogey try. Watson bumps his chip inside 5 feet. Spieth is next with his bogey try, and he nails it to stay in contention. Watson is also true for his par, extending his lead to two shots.

Defending champion Adam Scott ends his week with a long par putt for a 72, finishing the week 1 over and heading in at T-15.

• • •

Update No. 35: 5:17 p.m. EDT

Away and in the fairway at No. 11, Jordan Spieth starts his approach shot right and lets it come back toward the pin, settling closer than 10 feet and pin high for a good look at birdie. From the edge of the short grass, leader Bubba Watson follows by landing his ball in about the same spot; it doesn't roll as close, and he'll show Spieth the line on their birdie tries. Watson misses low and Spieth does the same, both tapping in for pars to remain a shot apart.

• • •

Update No. 34: 5:08 p.m. EDT

Leader Bubba Watson and second-place Jordan Spieth make their way into Amen Corner down the right side of the 11th fairway, Spieth shorter and closer to the middle, Watson longer and on the edge.

In the group ahead, Matt Kuchar misses badly left but gets a favorable kick from the pine branches to keep the ball in play. He then hits one onto the green – and on a line to hole out, the ball halts a foot or two away. Kuchar raps it in for birdie to get back to 4 under – a boost for the Georgia Tech product, whose Yellow Jackets won the Robert Kepler Invitational on Sunday by 18 shots.

• • •

Update No. 33: 5:02 p.m. EDT

We've got another short-game contest between Bubba Watson and Jordan Spieth, as at the eighth, yet this time the two-shot lead belongs to the 2012 champion. Spieth, from the bunker, hits another beauty to 3-4 feet below the hole. Watson then chips quite strong and rolls the ball to the opposite edge of the green; he's still away with a long par putt, and nearly holes it as the ball comes to rest behind the hole for a tap-in bogey to drop him to 7 under. Next is Spieth, looking to cut the lead in half, and it's on the mark for a sand save to remain 6 under.

• • •

Update No. 32: 4:57 p.m. EDT

Leader Bubba Watson, surprisingly, is outdriven by Jordan Spieth as both hit it left-center at the 10th. Watson's approach misses wide right and long, nearly to the ropes, but he'll have green to work with on his chip. Spieth then misses right as well, but short, slamming his club in frustration; the cool he exuded earlier has evaporated.

Bernhard Langer finishes with three birdies in his last four holes for a 69 and heads to the clubhouse T-9 at even par.

• • •

Update No. 31: 4:46 p.m. EDT

Co-leader Jordan Spieth needs a solid effort from short of the ninth green, and he nearly holes out a pitch; he'll have about a 3-foot downhiller for par. Co-leader Bubba Watson then gives his birdie putt's line a good look and reads it perfectly – sinking the right-to-left breakers to move to 8 under and take the lead. Spieth then must make his par putt to remain a shot back; it lips out and he gives the bogey putt a good look before sinking it to drop to 6 under, two back of the lead.

• • •

Update No. 30: 4:41 p.m. EDT

Albeit three shots clear of Jonas Blixt, the duel between Jordan Spieth and Bubba Watson is back to square one. Meanwhile, a bogey at the ninth drops Kuchar to 3 under, four back of the lead.

Several yards back, the co-leaders drive it down the right side, Watson well ahead of the Masters rookie. Spieth lands it on the green's false front and the ball rolls back to the fairway. Watson then sticks one pin high and maybe 15 feet right, giving himself a chance to take his first outright lead of the day.

• • •

Update No. 29: 4:32 p.m. EDT

Leader Jordan Spieth's third shot at the par-5 eighth, a long pitch from the right side, checks well short of the hole and leaves him a long birdie putt. From behind the green, Bubba Watson follows by wedging on from behind the green – and nearly holing it, the ball stopping just past the pin at what would be tap-in range at most courses; here, Watson marks. Spieth's birdie putt is short, leaving him a short one for par; Spieth's still away, no embarrassment after Watson's excellent chip, but he lips out the putt and makes the comebacker for his second bogey of the round, dropping to 7 under. Watson is true with his birdie roll and rises to 7 under, and the lead is again shared.

• • •

Update No. 28: 4:23 p.m. EDT

Leader Jordan Spieth forgoes driver at the eighth. He then takes fairway wood and misses well right all the way to the gallery ropes, but will have green to work with to the back-left hole location. Bubba Watson, having crushed his drive, goes for the green in two and the ball rolls off the back and down a slope, also with a doable pitch in front of him.

Matt Kuchar cards his fourth straight par at the eighth hole to remain third at 4 under. Jonas Blixt birdies to erase his bogey a hole earlier and pull even with Kuchar again.

Fred Couples' run of six straight pars, a mix of clutch par saves and missed birdie tries, comes to an end with a bogey at the 10th, dropping him a notch to 2 under and T-6 with Thomas Bjorn.

• • •

Update No. 27: 4:13 p.m. EDT

Bubba Watson needs a sand save to keep things close here, and without much green to work with must fly it past the hole then let the ball roll back – and he does that here, giving himself a good look at par. Spieth then takes aim at his birdie try, barely touching it, and it rolls right over the front edge of the cup for birdie. That has Spieth leading by two as Watson makes his par putt.

• • •

Update No. 26: 4:09 p.m. EDT

Bubba Watson misses the fairway, but has a plenty playable lie; his approach is wide right, though, and he short-sides himself in the bunker. Leader Jordan Spieth then hits from the fairway and puts it right over the flag, about 10-12 feet past but facing a downhill birdie putt.

Matt Kuchar pars the seventh to remain third at 4 under, while Jonas Blixt bogeys the hole to drop to T-4 at 3 under alongside Fred Couples and Rickie Fowler. Couples has run off six straight pars as he makes the turn, Fowler has five straight pars after opening birdie-bogey.

• • •

Update No. 25: 3:57 p.m. EDT

Bubba Watson has the honor at the par-3 sixth, and sticks it to the back-right edge to give himself perhaps a 10-footer for birdie. Leader Jordan Spieth answers, hitting it to about 2-3 feet for an even better birdie look.

Watson's putt is a downhiller with some break, and it's no problem; he makes it to climb to 6 under, tying Spieth for the lead at least for the moment. Spieth is next, from close range, putting through his own shadow and making it to get back to 7 under and retain that one-shot lead.

• • •

Update No. 24: 3:48 p.m. EDT

Leader Jordan Spieth is looking for a sand save for par at the fifth, and he plays past the pin then lets the ball roll back to 7-8 feet from the hole. Bubba Watson then chips to par range. Spieth's par try misses low and long, knowing it as soon as he hit hit. Watson's turn again, and he makes his 3 footer for par to remain 5 under. Spieth now has his comebacker of nearly the same length for bogey to keep the lead, and sinks it to slip to 6 under.

At the par-3 sixth, Matt Kuchar misses a birdie try just high and taps in for par to remain 4 under. Jonas Blixt pars as well.

• • •

Update No. 23: 3:43 p.m. EDT

Neither leader Jordan Spieth nor second-place Bubba Watson hits it in the fairway at the fifth hole. Spieth misses long and rolls it into the back of the back-left bunker, while Watson also misses long but his ball stops short of the bunker's lip. Neither angle to the pin is particularly good.

Matt Kuchar pars the fifth to steady himself after his double bogey a hole earlier, still tied for third with Jonas Blixt at 4 under, three back of Spieth.

• • •

Update No. 22: 3:32 p.m. EDT

Leader Jordan Spieth plays from the bunker at the par-3 fourth hole – where nobody birdied Saturday – perhaps needing a sand save to hold onto the lead as Bubba Watson has a good look at birdie here. Spieth takes a long look at it, trying to gauge the carry over the bunker's lip to the back tier of the green. And he gauges it perfectly, holing out for birdie and moving to 7 under. Unbelievable.

Watson now needs this birdie putt to remain two back. From below the hole, he hits it dead center and moves to second at 5 under.

• • •

Update No. 21: 3:27 p.m. EDT

Matt Kuchar finds the green at the par-3 fourth hole – and disastrously four putts to slide to T-2 at 4 under alongside Jonas Blixt and Bubba Watson, two back of leader Jordan Spieth.

Spieth hits his tee shot at the fourth into the front bunker, while Watson takes aim at the flag and hits it to 5 feet or less for a birdie look.

• • •

Update No. 20: 3:23 p.m. EDT

Bubba Watson bogeys the third hole to drop to 4 under, T-3 alongside Jonas Blixt and two back of co-leaders Matt Kuchar and Jordan Spieth.

Rory McIlroy cards his fourth birdie in 5 holes to get to 3 under for the day through 11 holes, T-10 at even par.

• • •

Update No. 19: 3:11 p.m. EDT

Birdie tries at No. 2 for co-leaders Jordan Spieth and Bubba Watson – Watson from just off the left side, and it comes up short inside a foot and he taps in for par. Next, Spieth from short of the hole after wedging on, and he makes his to move to 6 under. That gives him the lead as he heads to the third tee.

But not for long – up on the third green, Matt Kuchar chips one in to earn his second straight birdie and keep pace. So Spieth and Kuchar lead Bubba Watson by a shot, Jonas Blixt by two. [Note: This update earlier misidentified the hole Kuchar was playing.]

• • •

Update No. 18: 3:01 p.m. EDT

Matt Kuchar hits his second shot to the front left of the green at the par-5 second hole, then nearly chips in all the way to the back-right pin. He birdies to move into a share of the lead at 5 under alongside Jordan Spieth and Bubba Watson.

• • •

Update No. 17: 2:53 p.m. EDT

Rickie Fowler wedges it close with his approach at the second hole. He lips out the birdie try, then also lips out a par comebacker. The bogey knocks him back to even for the day and T-5 at 3 under.

Co-leaders Bubba Watson and Jordan Spieth scramble for pars to remain atop the leaderboard, a shot ahead of Jonas Blixt and Matt Kuchar.

• • •

Update No. 16: 2:45 p.m. EDT

The day has begun for co-leaders Jordan Spieth and Bubba Watson – and neither finds the fairway at No. 1, Tea Olive.

Jim Furyk birdies the second hole to jump to T-6 and 3 under.

• • •

Update No. 15: 2:40 p.m. EDT

Defending champion Adam Scott hits one close – oh, so close – at No. 7, looking to atone for bogeys at Nos. 2-3. He taps in for birdie and moves to T-20 at 2 over.

Rory McIlroy birdies three straight at Nos. 7-9 to move to T-15 at 1 over. Not exactly a threat yet, but a strong front nine as he chases his third subpar round of the tournament.

By the way, four of the first seven rounds turned in have been under par.

• • •

Update No. 14: 2:31 p.m. EDT

Rickie Fowler misses the first fairway, but hits his approach shot close – yet is left with a downhill putt, one of the biggest enemies Augusta National can present. He sinks it and makes a quick move to T-3 at 4 under.

• • •

Update No. 13: 2:23 p.m. EDT

Fred Couples starts his closing round with a birdie – and then another – to quickly jump to T-5 at 3 under, just two off the lead. The 1992 champion was wearing a green jacket before co-leader Jordan Spieth was born.

• • •

Update No. 12: 2:17 p.m. EDT

It's not as simple as, "that'll bring you back," not at Augusta National – but Joost Luiten impressively finishes with four birdies on the last five holes for a 67, the second-best score of the week (along with Rickie Fowler's third round).

• • •

Update No. 11: 2:02 p.m. EDT

Jimmy Walker's second birdie of the day comes at No. 6 and lifts him to T-14 at even par. He's five back of the lead, but looking for his first career major and fourth win of the 2013-14 PGA Tour season.

Joost Luiten birdies Nos. 14-16 to get his round to 4 under, rising to T-31 at 5 over as the Masters rookie from the Netherlands looks to break par for the first time at Augusta.

• • •

Update No. 10: 1:51 p.m. EDT

Jason Day jumps on this second-hole-birdie trend to climb to T-17 at 1 over. Fellow Aussie and defending champion Adam Scott bogeys the second, dropping to 2 over, his chances to make a move dwindling a little further as he falls seven shots back of co-leaders Jordan Spieth and 2012 champion Bubba Watson.

• • •

Update No. 9: 1:28 p.m. EDT

Defending champion Adam Scott starts his day with a par to remain 1 over for the week and T-16. He's five back of the co-leaders.

Rory McIlroy opens with three straight pars to remain 3 over at T-25.

• • •

Update No. 8: 1:06 p.m. EDT

Bernhard Langer is making a move, climbing to even par and T-14 with a birdie-eagle start. Similarly, Louis Oosthuizen started birdie-birdie to get to T-17 at 1 over. And Jimmy Walker starts with a birdie to get to that mark as well.

None of them, however, managed to crack our staff's predictions for today's finish at the Masters.

• • •

Update No. 7: 12:49 p.m. EDT

Can you throw the rankings out the window in a major? Perhaps to some extent, as the nine players among the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings' top 10 here this week (with Tiger Woods at home recuperating) have posted a mixed bag. Let's run through the list:

  • 1. Adam Scott: T-16, 1 over
  • 2. Sergio Garcia: Missed cut
  • 4. Jason Day: T-19, 2 over
  • 5. Matt Kuchar: T-3, 4 under
  • 6. Steve Stricker: T-19, 2 over
  • 7. Zach Johnson: MC
  • 8. Bubba Watson: Co-leader, 5 under
  • 9. Webb Simpson: MC
  • 10. Henrik Stenson: T-27, 3 over

• • •

Update No. 6: 12:33 p.m. EDT

Steven Bowditch, who got the next-to-last Masters berth with a win at the Valero Texas Open last month, eagles No. 2. The Australian moves to T-18 at 2 over.

Hunter Mahan and Jose Maria Olazabal join the ranks of players who have birdied No. 2, moving to T-25 at 3 over and T-32 at 4 over respectively.

• • •

Update No. 5: 12:12 p.m. EDT

K.J. Choi, who finished third here 10 years ago, follows his birdie at No. 4 with a birdie-bogey-birdie stretch that bumps him up another notch to T-34 at 5 over. So there's some scoring to be had out here today.

Co-leader Bubba Watson, meanwhile, faces a good friend among the plethora of players pursuing him and Jordan Spieth later today. Rickie Fowler says the two Tour stars have forged a bond that extends past the course and the wacky videos.

• • •

Update No. 4: 12:03 p.m. EDT

A trio of Masters first-timers are having a good front nine as they close out their week.

  • After a birdie-bogey-birdie stretch at Nos. 5-7, Stephen Gallacher is 3 under for his round and T-34 at 5 over.
  • BIlly Horschel birdies No. 2 to get 1 under for the day, also T-34.
  • After six straight pars, birdies at Nos. 7-8 have Joost Luiten looking for his first subpar round in the Masters.

• • •

Update No. 3: 11:41 a.m. EDT

K.J. Choi birdies the fourth hole, a feat nobody managed with Saturday's hole location. Choi is T-38 at 6 over.

Leader Bubba Watson just wrapped up a trivia contest via his Twitter account – let's face it, it's an age in which the game's stars let the world in on their thoughts before a round.

• • •

Update No. 2: 11:24 a.m. EDT

The second hole, Pink Dogwood, might be a birdie hole today. Nick Watney adds his name to the list who have carded a 4 on the par 5 in the early going, as he rises a bit to T-38 at 6 under.

And here are today's hole locations at Augusta.

• • •

Update No. 1: 11:04 a.m. EDT

Brandt Snedeker birdies No. 2 to move to T-43 at 7 over and Stephen Gallacher birdies his first two holes to rise to T-38 at 6 over, but mostly it's the calm before the storm that seems to be brewing amid a crowded top of the leaderboard.

• • •

Saturday's coverage

At 20, Spieth strives for normal life as star rises

Jordan Spieth simply wanted to feel the pressures of contending at a major on Sunday, but he'll be thrown into the pressure cooker at the Masters as the co-leader. His upbringing and circle of family and friends show why he is ready for this moment.

Watson falters, opens gates to wild Masters Sunday

Bubba Watson started Saturday ahead by three strokes. But before he putted out at the 10th, he was in a four-way tie, a shot in front of two others. They say the Masters doesn’t start until the back nine Sunday, but it seemed we were a day ahead as Watson lost his distance control at times, his touch at others.

Saturday 68 brings Kuchar hope of 1st major

With three consecutive birdies at Augusta National's Nos. 13-15 to cap off a 68 in the third round of the Masters, Matt Kuchar has lifted his hopes of winning his first major title

Achie's Awards: From Mr. Elastic to Mr. Polite

Our James Achenbach gives a tip of the cap to Miguel Angel Jimenez, Jordan Spieth, Brandt Snedeker, Thomas Bjorn and Matt Kuchar – most for reasons you would never know by simply watching this tournament on television.

Fowler's swing changes paying off at Augusta National

When Rickie Fowler began to work with Butch Harmon in December, their goal was to be able to compete in the majors. After a 5-under 67 Saturday, consider it mission accomplished.

5 Things: Poulter frustrated; par 3 unbeatable; more

Difficulties during the third round left Ian Poulter, Steve Stricker, Bill Haas and Darren Clarke searching for answers – not to mention the entire Masters field at the day's unbeatable hole. Here are 5 Things to know from Augusta.

• Blixt's roller-coaster ride ends smoothly at Augusta

Jonas Blixt is not a big fan of actual roller coasters, but his up-and-down play on Saturday showed that he can withstand the turbulence to stay in contention.

Woodland's wild ride captivates Masters in third round

With a record-tying front-nine 30 at Augusta National, Gary Woodland sure took advantage of "moving day" at the Masters – "He put a rush into this place," as his father put it.

Jimenez leads charge for 50-somethings at Masters

Miguel Angel Jimenez is one of six players over 50 who made the cut at the Masters -- his tournament-best 66 vaulted the Spaniard up the leaderboard and into contention for his first major title.

McIlroy on 'marker' Jeff Knox: 'He beat me by one'

Rory McIlroy played with a nameless man Saturday at the Masters. But that mystery man's play had people buzzing to figure out who he was -- none other than Augusta National course-record holder Jeff Knox.

Fowler identifies Watson's secret weapon – and he's pretty cute

Rickie Fowler is well aware of Bubba Watson's secret weapon when it comes to his rise on the course since his 2012 Masters victory -- his 2-year-old son, Caleb.

• • •

Friday's coverage

Watson mixes, matches way to Masters lead

Four of Masters leader Bubba Watson’s six birdies Friday at Augusta National came from 4 feet and in, a testament to his length and short-iron accuracy -- as well as a willingness to mix up his approach.

Fortunes at Masters can turn on one bad hole

The beauty of Augusta National, from the standpoint of excitement, is that danger lurks everywhere -- and intervenes when one least expects it. Just ask Louis Oosthuizen, Matt Kuchar or Gary Player.

Spieth benefits from Gentle Ben's advice

Jordan Spieth is a rookie at Augusta National in name only. The 20-year-old, who is tied for third after the second round of the Masters, is running the playbook handed down by two-time Masters champion Ben Crenshaw.

5 Things: Watson's left-hand man; Westie's rise; more

Some can debate the value of a caddie, but Bubba Watson constantly works with his trusted assistant while taking the lead; meanwhile, Lee Westwood found some polish for his game. Here are 5 Things to know Friday from the Masters.

Been there, seen this: Couples, 54, in contention

Behind a second consecutive 71, Fred Couples continues to defy the odds and is once again inside the top 10 heading into Masters weekend.

• • •

Thursday's coverage

Young guns survive Augusta National's wild ride

Rory McIlroy was the elder statesman in his first-round group with Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed. And while that provided an advantage at different points, the entire group gave us a glimpse of golf's future -- and it looks pretty good.

B. Haas charts own path to first-round Masters lead

Jay Haas, a 16-time winner on the Champions Tour, only gets to see his son Bill play a handful of times each year. Thursday, father watched son take the early first-round Masters lead.

A. Scott nearly flawless in posting 3-under 69

Adam Scott refused to get upset about any part of his 3-under 69, but he knows he left a couple of birdies out there after three-putting at two back-nine par 5s.

Wobbly wedge play leads Mickelson to 76

Phil Mickelson shot 76, one off his high in 21 previous Masters. He made a short-game triple bogey on a hole (No. 7) where he had never made worse than bogey. He made a double bogey at 15, where his third shot spun back into the pond.

5 Things: Haas' new caddie; Reed's rough day; more

As Bill Haas found the top of the Masters leaderboard, he had a new source of help. He also avoided the trouble that struck several notables Thursday at Augusta National. Here are 5 Things to know from the first round of the Masters.

• • •

Wednesday coverage

What's weirder: No Tiger, or pre-Masters mystery?

Phil Mickelson said it was “weird” without Tiger Woods on the Augusta National premises this week. One can only imagine what a long, strange trip it could have been if Woods had postponed back surgery and tried to play the Masters.

Masuda: Lessons learned from Par 3 Contest at Augusta

There are those who prepare the lesson plans, and those who execute on them. On Wednesday, a handful of children at the Par 3 Contest provided the perspective necessary to do both.

Toy Box Extra e-magazine: Masters-week edition

We take a deep look at the Masters in this week's Toy Box Extra, from new Masters-related gear, a Q&A with 2007 champ Zach Johnson, a look at the bags of six contenders to David Dusek's take on Phil Mickelson.

Fowler's practice round opens Mickelson's eyes

Rickie Fowler has shined during practice at Augusta National for the 2014 Masters -- but he insists his T-6 in Houston is more telling.

• • •

Tuesday coverage

Masters defense – and bugs – on Scott's plate at Augusta

Yes, Adam Scott is serving up bugs – fancy that – at the Champions' Dinner at Augusta National. But his important jobs this week are to chase the World No. 1 ranking and the title of back-to-back Masters winner.

Players on upward trend coming into Masters

Who is trending in the right direction heading into this week’s Masters? Who's moving in the wrong direction? Patrick Reed, who played collegiately at Augusta State, for one. Check out our comprehensive chart.

Mickelson: Augusta National 'frees him up'

Phil Mickelson is scuffling a bit coming into the Masters, but there is something about the landscape here at Augusta National that makes him feel that he can accomplish anything.

Reunited after 46 years, veteran credits Casper for saving his life

Clebe McClary was ready to give up, lying in a hospital bed in Japan, having lost his left arm and left eye in Vietnam. And then a visit from PGA Tour great Billy Casper changed the course of McClary's life. On Tuesday, they reunited for the first time in 46 years.

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