ggood afternoon, and welcome to our coverage of the 2021 Masters Day 1 game in Augusta National, Georgia. If it looks like the last tournament here was just a few months ago, it’s because it was – it was postponed and finally took place in November, with Dustin Johnson the final winner. He’s the favorite again to take the green jacket, but if he doesn’t, then on whose shoulders could he put it on Sunday night?
By his side are a host of usual suspects: Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas and, of course, big hitter Bryson DeChambeau.
Our golf correspondent, James Corrigan, says whoever triumphs this week will have conquered the “real Augusta”, unlike the conditions the course faced in mid-November 2020.
As the governing bodies prepare to subdue the boom squad – the likes of Bryson DeChambeau who, with their 350+ yards, threatens to reduce Amen Corner to a few “Ave Maria” – Mother Nature has taken the lead to make sure. you think it will be rather more intriguing than the drive, wedge and putt that characterized Johnson’s glory in November.
No disrespect to the world No.1 – and it is entirely possible that he will become just the fourth in history after Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Sir Nick Faldo to successfully defend their Masters title – but whoever wins on Sunday will have conquered the real Augusta.
“The fact that Dustin was 20 was a combination of his amazing game and at the same time admittedly the golf course was soft,” said Fred Ridley, Augusta chairman. “But that really has nothing to do with the way the course is going now. We had ideal weather conditions and this is the first year probably going back to 2013, when we entered the week with a firm and fast course, as it is now, where we want it. ”
The game is about to begin and we will have progressive updates throughout the action of the first day and, of course, the following three. One of the biggest competitions in sport is back in its place.