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78TH MASTERS

When/Where: Thursday-April 13, Augusta (Ga.) National Golf Club

Purse: To be determined ($8.1 million in 2013)

Defending champion: Adam Scott

Field: 96 players (90 professionals, six amateurs)

TV: Thursday-Friday, 3-7:30 p.m., ESPN; Saturday, 3-7 p.m., Ch. 10; April 13, 2-7 p.m., Ch. 10

Online: masters.com

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Top story lines

-Tiger Woods will not be in the field for the first time since 1994. He had back surgery to relieve a pinched nerve last weekend and is out for several weeks.

- Phil Mickelson had to withdraw from the Texas Open two weeks ago due to a pulled side muscle. He returned, playing in the Houston Open this weekend. Mickelson has won three Masters; a fourth would tie him with Woods and Arnold Palmer for second-most all time.

- The Eisenhower Tree that loomed 200 yards off the 17th tee was removed after being too damaged to be saved in a February ice storm. It was named after President Dwight Eisenhower, who hit into it so often as an Augusta National member that he proposed having it chopped down.

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Five to watch:

- Rory McIlroy, a two-time major winner, contended in 2011 before shooting 80 in the final round.

- Adam Scott tries to become the first to repeat since Woods (2001-02).

- Bubba Watson, the 2012 champion, has a win this season.

- Sergio Garcia is known as the best player never to have won a major. He is having an up-and-down weekend at the Houston Open, leading after two rounds but struggling Saturday to fall four back.

- Matt Kuchar, 35, appears to be in the prime of his career. At the Houston Open, he was the leader after the third round.

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