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Ranking the favorites, 1 through 94

4/7/2004

Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els have yet to win a Masters. Look for one of them to break through this time. They have long been among the favorites to win the Masters, but something always has gone wrong.

Last year Els got off to the best start of his career, hurt himself on a punching bag in March, then opened the Masters with a 79.

Mickelson, despite concerns about the troubled pregnancy of his wife, Amy, finished third for the third straight time.

But 2004 is a healthier and happier year. Els, a habitual world traveler, cut back his schedule by skipping Singapore and La Costa - as well as his sparring - in an effort to be strong for the Masters. Mickelson has concentrated on improving his accuracy and his wedge game, signs he is motivated to win a major.

Which one of them will win the Masters? Sorry Ernie, our choice is Phil.

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