Up to 40 players are Masters favorites: Langer

Thu Apr 7, 2016 9:02am EDT
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - Twice champion Bernhard Langer believes that up to 40 players are genuine contenders for this week's Masters, with another 30 quite capable of winning the year's opening major championship.

An elite field of 89 has assembled at Augusta National for the tournament's 80th edition, which started on Thursday, and Germany's Langer loves the fact that virtually all of the world's top 10 have displayed excellent form in recent months.

"Most of the top 10 guys in the world rankings have won lately, or at least have shown some very good form," Langer, 58, told Reuters while sitting in a plush armchair inside the iconic clubhouse at Augusta National.

"You want the best players playing great coming in here and we've got that. The guys in form are Jason Day and Adam Scott. Bubba Watson is also very good around here and there's (defending champion) Jordan Spieth and (Henrik) Stenson.

"You would have to name 30 or 40 guys who are favorites this week, and then there's another 30 who could win the tournament as well."

Former world number one Langer, who this week will be competing in his 33rd Masters, has set himself the target of making the cut at Augusta National for a third time in the last four years and vying for the title.

"It's a tough challenge for me because the golf course is very long but my expectations are always high," said Langer, referring to the heavily contoured layout that measures 7,435 yards off the back tees.

"I would like to be in contention, I would like to be on the leaderboard," added the German, who tied for eighth at the Masters just two years ago. "But length is very important on this golf course nowadays."   Continued...

Apr 6, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Bernhard Langer chips onto the 4th green during the Par 3 Contest prior to the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports