The 2021 Masters Championship starts Thursday, April 8th. Golf“Unparalleled traditions” will look more like their usual self this time, coming just five months after the pandemic moved the 2020 tournament to November for the first time ever. However, the quick switch between the two events shouldn’t do anything to dampen another exciting week in Augusta National Golf Club In Georgia, the home of the event since its inception in 1934.
The November Masters had no spectators – or “sponsors,” as the tournament insists they were invited – in attendance. This time, however, there will be a limited audience of members in the tournament to watch the world’s best players follow it. As for the rest of us, we will have to content ourselves with seeing all the action on the screen. But there should be a lot to see: here are four stories that will shape the first major tournament of the year of golf.
Will Dustin Johnson or Bresson Deschambo beat the track?
Johnson won the November event for his second career title. DeChambeau scored his first major victory at the US Open last fall in Winged Foot. They are the favorites this week.
The Americans are the two biggest feared hitters on the PGA Tour, and are playing better than everyone else in the world right now. They are the only players to have scored two round wins this season, while Advanced stats are like Acquired strokes (Which estimates the number of shots a player gains on the field with each hit) puts them far ahead of the others.
DeChambeau hit some stunning shots on the tee recently, like this 370-yard rocket above the water at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March:
As Johnson explained at Augusta in November, the course favors tall hitters who can shoot. With a short hoe that’s easy to break off, it’s fairly forgiving for players who miss lane too far from the tee. Both Johnson and Deschambeau can hit the ball for a mile and dump their shot, and if DeChambeau in particular has any weakness, he misses more often. If the trajectory stays true to the shape and the pure distance bonus, either of them can easily win.
Could the 2021 Masters Championship Belong to the Next Generation of Young Talents?
Golf has undergone something of a transformation over the past few years: Few players in their early to mid-twenties have emerged among the best in the world. In fact, seven of the top 10 current players are in Official World Golf Ranking Under 30: Justin Thomas (27), John Ram (26), Colin Morikawa (24), Deschambo (27), Zander Shavili (27), Terrell Hutton (29), and Patrick Cantlay (29).
The Masters did not fully embrace this youth movement. Since 2009, only four players under 30 have won the green jacket, and three of the other four champions – Sergio Garcia, Tiger Woods, and Dustin Johnson – have been superstars for more than a decade each. Experience Masters Rewards. We’ll see if this remains true in 2021.
Can Jordan Speth get back to the top of the mountain?
Speth, who is only 27, is another young weapon. But this is easy to forget because it looks like he has already lived several lives in professional golf. He made his debut at the Masters tournament in 2014, when he was only 20 years old, and finished in a second-place tie behind champion Bubba Watson after advancing one stroke in the final round. In 2015, Speth won a master’s award and quickly achieved first place in the world rankings. He added a US Open victory in the same year and an Open Championship title in 2017.
Then it faded. It had fallen to 82nd in the world by the end of 2020 and it looked like a coincidence of its former self.
But Speth put it together recently. During the season’s opening months, he regularly placed in the top 15 on the leaderboards and had a real chance at several events, including the Players’ Championship in March. Last weekend, he won the Valero Texas Open in his home state. Now playing the best golf game in years.
Speth built a solid track record at the Masters tournament – he finished 11th in the top five in a row before dropping to 21st in 2019 and 46th in 2020. It appears his game has largely recovered from recent lows for the moment. From a short story if he managed to climb back in Augusta.
Who will save electricity without Tiger Woods?
The world’s most famous golfer continues to recover from the Serious car accident He will not be at The Masters. Any tournament without Woods is less fanfare in the air than touring with him. This is especially true in Augusta, where he has won five times and has formed a close relationship with the tournament and the people who attend to watch his tours. His victory in 2019 will be one of the most exciting moments in sports history:
His absence means that if Augusta galleries are to lose their minds to a player this year, they will have to be someone else. Lots of players have the opportunity to capture hearts and minds, even if no one can do it quite like Tiger Woods.
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