PGA champ Jimmy Walker coping with mononucleosis

PGA champ Jimmy Walker coping with mononucleosis

Back-to-back bogeys to start the back nine followed by a double splashdown quadruple bogey at the par-3 12th doomed Spieth on the brink of defending his title.

It's Masters week, which means the entire sports world will turn its attention to Augusta National for the year's first major.

Last year, Danny Willett took advantage of a collapse by Jordan Spieth and held off a late challenge from compatriot Lee Westwood to become the first Englishman to claim the Green Jacket since Sir Nick Faldo in 1996. I get to the golf course and I just want to sit down.

Dustin Johnson hits on the driving range during practice for the Masters golf tournament Tuesday, April 4, 2017, in Augusta, Ga.

THE DEFENDING CHAMPION - Danny Willett: After captalising on Spieth's collapse to snatch victory past year Englishman Willett hasn't won since while dropping from world No.9 to 17th.

He still tied for fourth, his best finish ever, and it was enough for him to at least see that a green jacket was within reach. "I feel happier to be on the course and enjoying myself out here a lot more than I was the last month or two".

"Certain shots you hit versus others, you obviously feel more comfortable, but I feel like we're freed up because we know where those spots are and where they aren't". "We're all going to go some time". I watched a sensational interview with Phil and David Feherty recently where Phil was explaining all the variables based on his lie, shots he can play and exact yardages based on those factors ...

Rickie Fowler has everything you'd look for in a short-odds candidate.

"What a great tournament it is, because you really never know what's going to happen", he said.

If you were a cynic, you might find the annual Masters reverence just a little bit over the top. I havent had the best year or anything so far - a couple of chances to have some good events - but Ive been banging away, working hard and yeah, definitely would like to win this week. It's such a fun week in Napa, with all the great food and the wine.

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Seventh-ranked Justin Thomas says level par through the three-hole stretch is his goal too. "I feel a lot lighter".

While McIlroy is making a change in equipment this week, the four-time major victor has signed a 10-year extension with Nike to remain in their apparel. He also gets into the PGA Championship in August at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina.

"I've just been totally lethargic", Walker said.

Augusta National, the history, the beauty, and yes, the traditions, The Masters is one special event. He postponed his honeymoon to play at Augusta.

"Oh it's just practice". "There's a lot of positive stuff".

Mickelson believes his experience could show up big in the cool, windy conditions expected during the first two rounds. There's really no place like it in the world.

"My priority and main focus was my mother, and now that's evolved and taken care of I can start to focus on the golf side of things and do the best job I can".

"When it's wet, it's not too bad", Nicklaus told a news conference.

"I don't feel like I can fly under the radar anymore, but at the same time it's sort of felt that way to me and it's been nice to be able to prepare and just go about my business and try to get ready for this tournament", McIlroy added.