Reigning U.S. Open champion Justin Rose plays a practice round Tuesday at Augusta National.
Tuesday, April 08, 2014

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Phil Mickelson was enjoying lunch amid a large gathering on the veranda at Augusta National on Tuesday when the weather turned a little cooler than expected. Not to worry. The three-time Masters champion simply had his green jacket brought up, smiling sheepishly and eliciting laughter as he slipped it on over his shoulders.
Mickelson, who at 43 has looked a bit fragile this season, is coming off an encouraging T12 at the Shell Houston Open last weekend. He would join Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods with a fourth Masters win this weekend, busting out of a logjam of five players with three.
In other words, there’s still plenty to see at the 2014 Masters even in the absence of Tiger Woods, who is recovering from back surgery.
Here are 10 other intriguing storylines to keep an eye on:

Jimmy Walker plays the Shell Houston Open Jimmy Walker plays the Shell Houston Open. (Getty Images)


1. The Rookies:

Rory McIlroy (right) walks across the Byron Nelson Bridge with Patrick Reed during a practice round Tuesday. Rory McIlroy (right) walks across the Byron Nelson Bridge with Patrick Reed during a practice round Tuesday. (AP Photo)


2. Rory McIlroy:
Brandt Snedeker waits to hit a tee shot during his Monday practice round at Augusta National. Brandt Snedeker waits to hit a tee shot during his Monday practice round at Augusta National. (EPA)


3. Brandt Snedeker:
Matt Jones gets some love from former President George H. W. Bush after winning the Shell Houston Open. (Getty Images) Matt Jones gets some love from former President George H. W. Bush after winning the Shell Houston Open. (Getty Images)


4. Come On, Aussies:

“We’re a close-knit group of guys out there from Australia,” Scott said Tuesday. “It’s motivation for all of us [to see one another winning].”


Reigning U.S. Open champion Justin Rose plays a practice round Tuesday at Augusta National. Reigning U.S. Open champion Justin Rose plays a practice round Tuesday at Augusta National. (Reuters)


5. Justin Rose:

Fred Couples (right) and Hunter Mahan chat during their practice round. Fred Couples (right) and Hunter Mahan chat during their practice round. (EPA)


6. Freddie:
Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson tune up for the Masters on Tuesday. Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson tune up for the Masters on Tuesday.(Reuters)


7. D.J.:
Keegan Bradley (AP). Keegan Bradley (AP).


8. Keegan Bradley:
Zach Johnson throws the ball to his caddy during an April 6 practice round at Augusta National. (Reuters). Zach Johnson throws the ball to his caddy during an April 6 practice round at Augusta National. (Reuters).


9. Zach Johnson:
Victor Dubuisson tunes up for the Masters. Victor Dubuisson tunes up for the Masters.


10. The Desert Fox:
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