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"I feel like I've been working hard on it and I feel like I'm playing really well".

"If you want to win around here, you're going to have to putt it well".

"I haven't played a lot this year and I haven't played at my best, but my mind this year has been all about peaking here".

"I'm excited about the opportunity ahead, which is now I can go back and really tear this golf course up", he continued about his favorite tournament.

"It is one of the many tournaments I've lost given a certain performance on a hole or a stretch of holes", Spieth said. That was never more evident in his famous "shot heard 'round the world", coming on the par-5 15th hole "Firethorn".

"I tapped it in, Arnie (Palmer) style", he said.

"It will surely be there and it has been there", said Spieth, wearing a green shirt that would be a flawless match for the jacket he hopes to don again on Sunday. He appreciates that spectators cheered and stood for him as he attempted to rally, calling it "one of the coolest moments I've ever had at the Masters".

"I don't know", said Johnson, when asked about the drought.

"I like the elevation changes, the sidehill lies, the pull to Rae's Creek", he said, not even pausing for humorous effect.


"I really thoroughly enjoy this place and this week", he said.

"So far, I would say under. I don't know what kind of an effect that has on other people".

With an early-season victory and many birdies, eighth-ranked Rickie Fowler has renewed confidence he can capture a long-awaited first Major title at the Masters this week. "It's a tough golf course, and everything in your bag needs to be working for you to play well around here".

He's finished no worse than second in three appearances, including victory in 2015, but will have to deal with the mental baggage of his meltdown past year, when he blew a five-stroke lead over the final nine holes.

Tiger Woods will also miss this year's tournament as the four-time champion deals with ongoing ailments, his record-breaking win 20 years ago more a history lesson than a hurdle.

"Solid" is a bit modest for a golfer who has won his last three events and finished third at Pebble Beach.

Spieth missed the cut last week at the Shell Houston Open, but he's carrying a positive attitude into this week's tournament. "I've made that clear", Spieth said. "I seem to have more fun each year when I play this golf course".

McIlroy has made a believer out of 81-year-old South African legend Gary Player.

Sure, this year has its voids - it's the first Masters Tournament since the passing of Arnold Palmer, so we won't get to see the legend sit by the clubhouse and order a "Mr. Palmer" as he called it - a flawless blend of tea and lemonade. "Just in three years of playing it, I've grown as a golfer significantly out here".

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