A look at 20 top players going into the 77th Masters, starting Thursday at Augusta National Golf Club (listed in predicted order of finish):

KEEGAN BRADLEY

Age: 26.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 11.

Worldwide wins: 3.

Majors: U.S. PGA Championship (2011).

Best Masters: Tie for 27th.

Why he can win: Raw power, great determination, and his next major will elevate him in status. Plus, the Masters is the only major that hasn't been won by a guy using a belly putter. If it's going to be anyone, make it the first major champion to use one.

Why he might not: Augusta National won't allow a winner using a belly putter.

TIGER WOODS

Age: 37.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 1.

Worldwide wins: 89.

Majors: Masters (1997, 2001, 2002, 2005), U.S. Open (2000, 2002, 2008), British Open (2000, 2005, 2006), U.S. PGA Championship (1999, 2000, 2006, 2007).

Best Masters: Won.

Why he can win: He has won six times on the U.S. PGA Tour in his last 20 starts, and no one is playing better. Woods has won back-to-back tournaments going into the Masters for the first time since 2001. He won a green jacket that year.

Why he might not: Golf is harder than he sometimes makes it look.

DUSTIN JOHNSON

Age: 28.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 19.

Worldwide wins: 7.

Majors: None.

Best Masters: Tie for 30th.

Why he can win: He's the most talented American under 30, and his powerful draw is the perfect shape off the tee at Augusta.

Why he might not: This is the only major he hasn't had a chance to win on the back nine. He hasn't shown anything in his four previous appearances to suggest he'll be wearing a green jacket.

ADAM SCOTT

Age: 32.

Country: Australia.

World ranking: 7.

Worldwide wins: 19.

Majors: None.

Best Masters: Runner-up in 2011.

Why he can win: After a decade of not seriously contending in a major, Scott has given himself excellent chances in each of the last two years at Augusta (2011) and Royal Lytham & St. Annes (2012). A light schedule is geared around being at his best when he plays.

Why he might not: He's Australian. This is the only major that has eluded the Aussies.

PHIL MICKELSON

Age: 42.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 10.

Worldwide wins: 43.

Majors: Masters (2004, 2006, 2010), U.S. PGA Championship (2005).

Best Masters: Won.

Why he can win: Mickelson shows more discipline at Augusta than any other major. He manages to contend even when he's not showing the best of form. Along with three wins, he has six other finishes in the top 3.

Why he might not: He is not what one would consider a sure thing on putts inside 5 feet, and there's a lot of those at the Masters.

JUSTIN ROSE

Age: 32.

Country: England.

World ranking: 3.

Worldwide wins: 10.

Majors: None.

Best Masters: Tie for 5th.

Why he can win: He has a well-rounded game, with vastly improved putting. He also is becoming a regular atop the leaderboard, at least in the opening two rounds. One of these years, he's bound to push through.

Why he might not: He can't seem to get beyond Saturday. His third-round scoring average is 73.4, and his best score on Saturday is a 71.

CHARL SCHWARTZEL

Age: 28.

Country: South Africa.

World ranking: 15.

Worldwide wins: 9.

Majors: Masters (2011).

Best Masters: Won.

Why he can win: He was one of the hottest players in golf at the start of the year, and his form is not far off. Plus, he has done this before. Schwartzel ended one of the most exciting Masters with birdies on his last four holes.

Why he might not: He has not finished within seven shots of the lead in a major since winning the Masters.

RORY MCILROY

Age: 23.

Country: Northern Ireland.

World ranking: 2.

Worldwide wins: 10.

Majors: U.S. Open (2011), U.S. PGA Championship (2012).

Best Masters: Tie for 15th.

Why he can win: Even as he tries to find his swing, his putting has not left him. Adding the Texas Open at the last minute can only accelerate his return to form, and he has all the components to be a Masters champion. A win gives him the third leg of the Grand Slam at 23.

Why he might not: Confidence goes a long way at Augusta. At the moment, Boy Wonder is in short supply.

STEVE STRICKER

Age: 46.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 8.

Worldwide wins: 12.

Majors: None.

Best Masters: Tie for 6th.

Why he can win: He should be fresh from playing only four times this year. He drives the ball well when his game is on. And his reputation as one of the best putters in golf was enhanced when Tiger Woods sought him out for a lesson and then won his next two tournaments.

Why he might not: The last man to win the Masters playing such a limited schedule was Jack Nicklaus.

IAN POULTER

Age: 37.

Country: England.

World ranking: 12.

Worldwide wins: 15.

Majors: None.

Best Masters: 7th.

Why he can win: Even though he lacks big power and is inconsistent with his ball striking, he is efficient around on the greens, a key to winning at Augusta.

Why he might not: Lacks power and consistency with ball striking.

ANGEL CABRERA

Age: 43.

Country: Argentina.

World ranking: 273.

Worldwide wins: 7.

Majors: Masters (2009), U.S. Open (2007).

Best Masters: Won.

Why he can win: He has great strength, experience of winning majors at Augusta and Oakmont, and while the Argentine has disappeared over the last few years, he still has plenty left in his tank.

Why he might not: He needed a great break off a pine tree to win his first green jacket.

BRANDT SNEDEKER

Age: 32.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 5.

Worldwide wins: 5.

Majors: None.

Best Masters: Tie for third in 2008.

Why he can win: He knows he can contend based on his play in 2008. Along with vastly improved driving, his putts go into the hole faster than anyone. If the putter gets going and he's hitting it reasonably well, look out.

Why he might not: He has played only twice in two months, missing the cut both times. If the Masters were in February, he would have been the favorite.

BUBBA WATSON

Age: 34.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 14.

Worldwide wins: 4.

Majors: Masters (2012).

Best Masters: Won.

Why he can win: He showed last year that "Bubba golf" works just fine at Augusta National. His power and preferred fade are huge for this golf course. And as he said last year, if he has a swing, he has a shot.

Why he might not: He hasn't won a tournament since last year's Masters. With so much attention on his shot out of the trees, overlooked is that he drove the ball exceptionally well. Watson hasn't shown much of that this year.

MATT KUCHAR

Age: 34

Country: United States.

World ranking: 9.

Worldwide wins: 5.

Majors: None.

Best Masters: Tie for 3rd.

Why he can win: Kuchar has one of the most well-rounded, consistent games on tour over the last five years, and he held up beautifully on the back nine last year.

Why he might not: Has never won more than one tournament a year. And he already won the Match Play Championship.

LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN

Age: 30.

Country: South Africa.

World ranking: 6.

Worldwide wins: 10.

Majors: British Open (2010).

Best Masters: Runner-up in 2012.

Why he can win: He has one of the purest swings in golf and a calm demeanor, maybe too calm at times. His seven-shot win at St. Andrews was not an accident, and the runner-up finish last year showed he can be a factor any year at Augusta.

Why he might not: Gay Brewer is the only player to win the Masters after losing in a playoff the previous year.

GRAEME MCDOWELL

Age: 33.

Country: Northern Ireland.

World ranking: 17.

Worldwide wins: 9.

Majors: U.S. Open (2010).

Best Masters: Tie for 12th.

Why he can win: He is steadily getting back to form after his dream season in 2010, and last year gave him confidence that he can handle Augusta National. A win would give Northern Ireland the career Grand Slam.

Why he might not: He called his tavern Nona Blue. Not Nona Green.

LUKE DONALD

Age: 35.

Country: England.

World ranking: 4.

Worldwide wins: 12.

Majors: None.

Best Masters: Tie for fourth in 2011.

Why he can win: He was at No. 1 in the world for 56 weeks despite hitting rifle shots off the tee in an era of cannons. Chipping and putting became his hallmark, and that goes a long way at the Masters. Just ask Mike Weir. Or Zach Johnson.

Why he might not: He hasn't been chipping and putting quite as well this year.

ERNIE ELS

Age: 43.

Country: South Africa.

World ranking: 24.

Worldwide wins: 65.

Majors: U.S. Open (1994, 1997), British Open (2002, 2012).

Best Masters: Runner-up in 2000 and 2004.

Why he can win: He has gone through his share of heartache at Augusta National, and if anyone in this field is owed a green jacket, it's the Big Easy.

Why he might not: Augusta National doesn't feel it owes anyone.

LEE WESTWOOD

Age: 39.

Country: England.

World ranking: 13.

Worldwide wins: 37.

Majors: None.

Best Masters: Runner-up in 2010.

Why he can win: Westwood is one of the best drivers, and he's equally strong with his irons, which is why he was runner-up in 2010 and tied for third last year. He believes his chipping and bunker play have vastly improved, and there are small signs he might be right.

Why he might not: His driving and iron play haven't been as great as usual. Besides, he only does well at Augusta in even-numbered years.

SCOTT PIERCY

Age: 34.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 37.

Worldwide wins: 2.

Majors: None.

Best Masters: Never played.

Why he can win: Has plenty of power and can get hot with the putter. No first-timer has won the Masters since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979, so we're due.

Why he might not: He's no Fuzzy Zoeller.