The 2021 Masters begins Thursday at Augusta National, just five months after Dustin Johnson won his first green jacket in the previous renewal last November.
The first major championship of the year will not have quite the same frantic pace but remains eagerly awaited.
Bryson DeChambeau didn’t live up to his bill last year, but is a pre-tournament favorites along with fellow Americans Johnson and Justin Thomas.
Rory McIlroy will need a big turnaround to end the career Grand Slam with a first Masters victory, but Lee Westwood is in good shape and has a solid record at Augusta.
Meanwhile, punters fearing their ante-post Masters bets on Jon Rahm could fall before it even started on Thursday were delighted to learn that the Spaniard’s wife gave birth on Saturday.
Rahm, the world No.3, had previously announced that he would miss the year’s first major if Kelley was likely to give birth. She was due to arrive the second week of April. “I would never miss the birth of my firstborn in a million years,” said Rahm.
But in an Instagram post, 26-year-old Rahm revealed the good news, saying that little boy Kepa was in very good health. “He’s 7.2 pounds and 20.5 inches tall, Basque Country big boy,” Rahm said. “Without a doubt the best day of my life!”
When Rahm will get here isn’t clear, but when he’s sure he’ll be asked about “The Nappy Factor,” the supposed rebound new dads enjoy on the course. In 2016, Danny Willett became the first Englishman to don a green jacket just a week after Zac was born, adding substance to Keith Elliott’s theory.
In “The Golf Form Book 1996”, the betting analyst from Liverpudlian posed his “Nappy Factor” hypothesis. The retired economics professor had carried out years of careful research and cited several beneficiaries, including Jack Nicklaus Arnold Palmer, Greg Norman and Nick Price. “I don’t know why, but it’s more effective with the sons as the first child,” Elliott told the The telegraph of the day.
When is it?
The Masters starts on Thursday April 8.
At what time will the action start?
Last year’s start times were slightly different due to daylight hours in November, but we’ll be returning to a more familiar schedule this year.
When the Masters took place in April 2019, the first round started at 1:30 p.m. UK time. Full TV coverage won’t start until much later, although featured group coverage is available via the red button. The final groups will start at 7:00 p.m. so the victory will end around 11:30 p.m. UK time. It should be an hour or two earlier on Sunday.
What are the departures of the first round?
USA unless otherwise noted, all time BST, (x) denotes amateurs
- 1:00 p.m. M Thompson, H sword
- 13:12 S Lyle (Sco), M Jones (Aus), D Frittelli (Rsa)
- 13:24 I Woosnam (Wal), J Herman, S Cink
- 13:36 S Munoz (Col), H Stenson (Swe), R Streb
- 13:48 B Langer (Ger), W Zalatoris, (x) J Long (Eng)
- 2:00 p.m. B Harman, I Poulter (Eng), B Todd
- 14:12 C Schwartzel (Rsa), Si Woo Kim (Kor), C Conners (Can)
- 14:24 D Willett (Eng), J Niemann (Chl), K Kisner
- 14:36 J Day (Aus), M Wolff, C Champ
- 14:48 H Matsuyama (Jpn), H English, A Ancer (Mex)
- 15:06 B Watson, B Koepka, V Hovland (Nor)
- 15:18 S Garcia (Esp), W Simpson, C Bezuidenhout (Rsa)
- 3:30 p.m. D Johnson, L Westwood (Eng), (x) T Strafaci
- 15:42 X ScHotele, J Rahm (Esp), R McIlroy (NIrl)
- 15:54 P Reed, D Berger, P Casey (Eng)
- 16:06 V Singh (Fiji), M Laird (Sco)
- 16:18 L Mize, J Walker, B Gay
- 4:30 p.m. C Ortiz (Mex), M Hughes (Can), B Wiesberger (Aut)
- 16:42 M Weir (Can), CT Pan (Tai), R MacIntyre (Sco)
- 16:54 JM Olazabal (Esp), M Wallace (Eng), L Griffin
- 17:12 V Perez (Fra), J Kokrak, M Leishman (Aus)
- 17:24 Couples F, F Molinari (Ita), (x) C Osborne
- 17:36 Z Johnson, K Na, G Woodland
- 17:48 S Lowry (Irl), J Rose (Eng), M Kuchar
- 6:00 p.m. B Horschel, T Hatton (Eng), R Palmer
- 18:12 P Mickelson, T Fleetwood (English), S Scheffler
- 18:24 P Cantlay, Sungjae Im (Kor), M Fitzpatrick (Eng)
- 18:36 A Scott (Aus), B DeChambeau, M Homa
- 18:48 T Finau, L Oosthuizen (Rsa), J Thomas
- 7:00 p.m. J Spieth, C Smith (Aus), C Morikawa