photo: David Cannon/Getty Images
By Tom Doyle
AUGUSTA, GA — The Masters tournament will begin on Thursday at Augusta National golf course, seven months after it was supposed to start.
This year, the Master’s will have 94 talented golfers poised to wear the coveted green jacket. Tiger Woods will be defending his fifth green jacket, which he won in 2019, while most other golfers will be trying to win for their first time.
Augusta National, known for its beautiful course and roaring crowds, will be on mute this weekend. The club decided that no fans will be permitted due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
This will be intriguing to watch as many players feed off the crowd, including the face of golf, Tiger Woods. Just by listening, players can hear when Woods or many other popular golfers made a great shot. No longer. This will be the third major this year without fans.
Bryson DeChambeau, Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson come into the event as the favorites, leading group of golfers who have yet to win in Augusta.
DeChambeau powered his way to win the U.S. Open in September. He can hit the ball a mile off the tee, and his putting has drastically improved this year.
Rahm is one of the hottest golfers in the world this year, winning the Memorial Tournament in July. He is ranked second in the world behind Johnson.
McIlroy has won in both the British and U.S. Open and multiple PGA championships, while Johnson won the PGA player of the year award, as well as the tour championship in Atlanta.
What about Colin Morikawa? He won the PGA championship in August at TPC Harding Park, edging Johnson and Paul Casey and to become the third youngest winner at the Championship. He is just 23 years old, but is already one of the best in the world.
History says it is difficult to win in Augusta at such a young age. Since 1934, only three first-time players at Augusta have won at the Masters. So, Morikawa, the fourth ranked player in the world, could struggle his first time in the tournament.
For more information on the Masters, go to Masters.com or follow @TheMasters on Twitter. Here are the betting odds to win the tournament, as well as when coverage kicks off each day.
Where to watch/social media to follow:
Round 1—Thursday, Nov. 12
Start time: 7:30 a.m.
TV Coverage: 1-5:30 p.m. on ESPN or Masters.com
Round 2—Friday, Nov. 13
Start time: 7:30 a.m.
TV Coverage: 1-5:30 a.m. on ESPN or Masters.com
Round 3—Saturday, Nov. 14
Start time: 10 a.m.
TV Coverage: 1-5 p.m. on CBS and Masters.com
Round 4—Sunday, Nov. 15
Start time: 8 a.m.
TV Coverage: 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. on CBS on Masters.com