Masters 2017: Setting the stage for a dramatic final round at Augusta National

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Who will rise to the top at Augusta National on Sunday and slip on the green jacket?

Masters 2017: Setting the stage for a dramatic final round at Augusta National

Who will rise to the top at Augusta National on Sunday and slip on the green jacket?

A tradition unlike any other will come to a close Sunday afternoon, but not before hours of entertainment ultimately produces a winner.

Someone will burst out of the pack to win the Masters and slip on a green jacket after the final round concludes Sunday.

Docile weather conditions should lead to plenty of scoring opportunities, which means birdies could fly off the shelf on the back nine. Of course, heartbreak is never far away at Augusta National, so someone could see their major championships hopes dashed in the final moments.

Here are some of the key stretches of holes, favorites to win, and others to watch as the day unfurls.

Key Holes: Front Nine

Holes 1, 2, 7 and 8 could define this week's winner. The opening hole at any major is key for leaders to get started in a positive manner. Making a double-bogey out of the gates can make the rest of the round an uphill climb. An early birdie, however, can spearhead a winning run.

The second hole is a dogleg left par 5 that is reachable in two shots for most players in the field. It will be tough to make eagle with the normal Sunday pin location tucked behind the front bunker, butbirdie is a must on this hole.

Seven and eight are unique challenges. The par-4 seventh is a make-or-break hole of sorts. It's a tough driving hole with trees lining both sides of the fairway. A hill in the middle of the fairway makes the tee shot play downhill, but the approach shot is back uphill. Sunday's pin location is in a funnel near the front of the green. Marc Leishman has already backed one in for an eagle-2 in his final round. There could be a number of two-shot swings at the seventh hole Sunday.

Eight, another par 5, is longer than No. 2, but still a birdie hole. It's important to keep the ball to the left off the tee in order to avoid the big bunker guarding the right portion of the fairway.

Key Holes: Back Nine

An argument could be made that every hole on the back nine is key. Amen Corner (holes 11-13) presentsthree holes with varying degrees of difficulty, and the course's closing two holes can be tough for leaders with tight tee shots and tricky putting surfaces.

The two most important holes on the back nine are clearly defined, though. It's the par 5s.

Birdies can be hard to come by Sunday at Augusta National, but both par 5s on the back nine are reachable in two shots. Thirteen is a dogleg left that has produced a number of thrilling eagles over the years which has helped catapultplayers into a winning position.

Fifteen has played tougher this week — mainly because it was playing into a stiff breeze during the first two rounds. Calmer conditions Sunday should present an opportunity for players to be aggressive on 15 in their pursuit for a green jacket.

A birdie is a must on both par 5s, but an eagle on either hole could spur a winning run.


Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia hold a one-shot lead over Rickie Fowler heading into the final round, but everyone's eyes are on Jordan Spieth two shots back.

Spieth, 23, has finished T-2, win, T2 in his three Masters. Few have had more success at Augusta National than Spieth, and he is certainly the guy to beat Sunday.

Rose is technically the betting favorite, and Garcia has been solid all week, yet it just feels like Spieth is going to avenge his collapse from last year.

Dark Horse:

Adam Scott is quietly lurking three shots back at 3 under. From 2011 to 2014, he finished no worse than T-14 at the Masters while slipping on the green jacket in 2013 and finishing T-2 in 2011.

Playing alongside Charl Schwartzel on Sunday — the man that beat him in 2011 — Scott should be primed for a charge in the final round. It would not surprise many to see him slip on a second green jacket Sunday evening.

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