News for Wednesday, April 9, 2014

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Augusta National’s new look: A tree assessment

Our Bradley S. Klein offers up his perspective on the many changes to Augusta National, all seemingly caused by the harsh, cold winter that hit the area in February – felling the Eisenhower Tree and many others.

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Is he cursed? Ryan Moore wins Par 3 Contest

Ryan Moore hopes to change history this week after winning the Par 3 Contest on Wednesday, as he is fully aware that no Par 3 winner has ever gone on to triumph in the Masters.

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Masuda: Lessons learned from the Par 3 Contest

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

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What's weirder: No Tiger, or would-be 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.

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Tracker: Ryan Moore prevails in Par-3 Contest

For once, "nobody wants to win this thing" might carry some truth -- no Par-3 Contest winner at Augusta National has gone on to win the Masters that year. But it's the warm-up tourney everyone loves. Follow the highlights here!

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Achie's Awards: Metalwoods to milkshakes

Jim Achenbach's award winners for Wednesday at Augusta National include Gary Player, Jose Maria Olazabal, Billy Payne and more -- dig in for the best in the eyes of a 44-time Masters-week journalist.

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The field: 2014 West Coast Junior Invitational

Registration is open for Golfweek’s West Coast Junior Invitational. The 2014 tournament will be played May 17-18 at Mesa Country Club in Mesa, Ariz. Keep track of the field here.

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O'Meara, Alexander, Jones pick up aces in Par 3 Contest

Mark O'Meara got the crowd revved up with an early hole-in-one at the second hole, while UF coach Buddy Alexander would match the feat about 90 minutes later.

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Fowler opens Mickelson's eyes in Masters practice

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

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Denver's Carty, McIlroy hail from same background

Denver freshman Jessica Carty shares several connections with Rory McIlroy.

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Masters rookie English looks to build memories

When Harris English won the FedEx St. Jude Classic in June, the first thought that flashed through his mind, he said, was, “I’m going to the Masters.” And he's already building on memories at Augusta National.

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Payne, Augusta find plenty to smile about

In the afterglow of the Drive, Chip and Putt competition Sunday, Augusta National Golf Club Chairman Billy Payne was in a jovial mood at his annual news conference Wednesday on the eve of the Masters.

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Couples comes to Masters to contend

This marks Fred Couples’ 30th Masters appearance – and in his previous 29 starts at Augusta National, he has missed the cut only twice (2008 and ’09).

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A different tack on predicting the Masters winner

Why should folks from Australia or Northern Ireland feel a bit better about their chances this week? Our Jim McCabe explains . . .

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Niebrugge's Masters plan: Keep it simple

The goals for Jordan Niebrugge in this week's Masters are simple: Earn low amateur honors and finish in the top 12 and ties to get an invite back to Augusta National.

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Notes: '88 loss still stings for Calcavecchia

Mark Calcavecchia isn't shy about his heartbreak over losing the 1988 Masters after Sandy Lyle somehow managed to birdie the 18th hole to win in dramatic fashion.

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Men's Midweek Report: Virginia wins big

Welcome to Golfweek’s Men's Midweek Report. We wanted to use this hump day to update you on all the latest men's college news, April 2-9.

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Goss looking to ride wave of Aussie success

Adam Scott? Defending champ. Jason Day? A perennial contender in all things majors. Steven Bowditch, John Senden, Matt Jones? All coming off wins on the PGA Tour over the last month. So Aussie Oliver Goss has to be liking his chances at Augusta, right?

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Staiano (No. 107, 2015) commits to Colorado State

Jake Staiano, ranked No. 107 by Golfweek in the Class of 2015, has given a verbal commitment to play college golf for Colorado State.

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Faldo on first Masters win: 'It felt like destiny'

On this day 25 years ago, Nick Faldo improvised and hit the first of three Masters high notes.

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Spieth’s scripted apparel for 2014 Masters

Jordan Spieth may be heading into this first Masters Tournament this week, but he is certainly one of the players to keep an eye on.

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Masters 2014: What's on tap for Wednesday

Wednesday is definitely the calm before the storm, but the Par 3 Contest and Billy Payne's annual address still give plenty to look forward to as players get their final preparation in for the Masters.

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Five finalists named for Byron Nelson Award

The Golf Coaches Association of America announced the five finalists of the 2014 Byron Nelson Award April 8.

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Toy Box Extra e-magazine: April 9, 2014

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.

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Women's Midweek Report: USC wins match play

Welcome to Golfweek’s Women's Midweek Report. We wanted to use this hump day to update you on all the latest women's college news.