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Masters Countdown: 18 days

By Kyle Porter | Golf Writer

Jason Day will go for his first title at Augusta this year. (USATSI)
Jason Day will go for his first title at Augusta this year. (USATSI)

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The Masters is just around the corner (18 days, to be exact) and we're pretty excited. There's plenty of golf to be played between now and then but we also want to keep you informed about what's going on with Augusta.

Everyone can rattle off the former Masters champions.

Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson, Angel Cabrera, Zach Johnson, Adam Scott -- these are the golfers who have worn green in the last decade or so and they are the usual suspects when it comes to potential favorites in 2014.

But what about guys who haven't won it?

What about those who have come close in the past but come up empty?

These are five guys I expect to be in contention for the 2014 Masters. In fact, these are the top five guys who have never won it before, in my book.

The five guys who have the best chance of putting on green three weeks from Sunday for the first time.

1. Rory McIlroy -- It's not saying much to pick the favorite but I think McIlroy is going to be my pick. He's worlds away from the dude who blew the 2011 Masters and he'll win at least one in his career. I don't think there's a surer future bet in golf.

2. Matt Kuchar -- Kuchar has finished top eight in each of his last two trips to Augusta. He's 35 and running out of time for his first major. Always a fan favorite, I think he'll be in the mix on Sunday once again -- he was three back of the lead going into the final round in 2013 and four back in 2012.

3. Jason Day -- I had him No. 2 on this list until he had to pull out of his last two tournaments because of a bum wrist. Two top threes in the last three years at Augusta, though. He's a big-game hunter.

4. Harris English -- This is my sneaky darkhorse. No first-timer has won it since Fuzzy Zoeller did it in the 70s but English isn't your normal first-timer. He's a two-time winner on tour already and one of the three guys tabbed with the "next great American" label.

5. Hunter Mahan -- I want to stick Brandt Snedeker in here somewhere but he doesn't feel like he's int he groove this year so I'm going with Mahan. He's all or nothing at this tournament, though. Three top 12s in his last five appearances but the other two are missed cuts. I think he has a major in him, just wonder if it'll be this one.

For more golf news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnGolf and @KylePorterCBS on Twitter or Google+ and like us on Facebook.

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