Magnolia Lane. Amen Corner. Rae’s Creek. The Butler Cabin. Hello again, old friends, it’s been way too long. It’s taken 19 months to come back round, but the long wait is finally over. It’s the 2020 Masters Tournament! A beam of sporting sunshine at the end of a long dark year. We deserve this.
Metaphor is all good and well, but actual sunshine is not guaranteed. The 84th edition of the Masters is the first to be held in November, and while autumn temperatures aren’t expected to be much different than spring, the forecast is for rain. That’ll make the course play even longer than the 7,475 yards on the card – no wonder Bryson and DJ are favourites – though as former champ Jordan Spieth has pointed out, if you can “throw some darts” in softer conditions, “it could be anybody that wins”.
We’ll desperately miss the patrons. Especially on Sunday, when experienced Masters viewers can unpack each roar and crackle to decipher exactly who’s done what and where. All those pimento cheese sandwiches never made. No pitchers of iced tea poured. Nobody to see Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus cream the honorary opening drives. Bah.
But let’s look on the bright side! We’ll get to see the course in a whole new light. More autumn leaves, less spring azaleas, yes. But also the organisers taking advantage of vantage points where patrons would normally roam, showing us new angles, views, perspectives. The lack of a gallery may also encourage the bigger hitters and more creative thinkers to utilise bits of the course normally best avoided. Let’s see what DeChambeau gets up to on 13, for starters. Oh, and all of this means we’re getting two Masters Tournaments in five months. Every cloud.
So will the new US Open champ continue to redefine golf by booming and wedging his way to green-jacket glory? Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy will harbour similar plans. Brooks Koepka rediscovered some form last weekend, just in time. Xander Schauffele, Patrick Cantlay, Hideki Matsuyama, Tony Finau and Tyrrell Hatton look good for a maiden major. PGA champ Collin Morikawa or tour rookie of the year Scottie Scheffler could become the first player since Fuzzy Zoeller to win on debut. Bubba Watson’s in good nick, and knows exactly how to get the job done here. And then there’s
Tiger. You didn’t think we’d forget Tiger, did you? He’ll tie Jack Nicklaus’s record of six victories if he tames Augusta National yet again.
We could go on. Spieth to end a three-year drought at a place he loves? Phil the Thrill to become the oldest major winner ever? Rickie Fowler, Paul Casey or Lee Westwood to finally earn major-championship vindication? Yep, we could yammer on for ages, but you get the gist. Tee times – split tees for the first two rounds, to make sure we don’t run out of November daylight – are below. But just in case we haven’t already got your juices flowing …
(USA unless stated, all times local, -5hrs from GMT, -a- denotes amateurs)
Starting at 1
0700 Lucas Glover, Corey Conners (Can), Cheng-Tsung Pan (Tai)
0711 Brandt Snedeker, Charles Howell III, Jazz Janewattananond (Tha)
0722 Larry Mize, Andrew Landry, -a- Lukas Michel (Aus)
0733 Matt Kuchar, Lee Westwood, Kevin Na
0744 Xander Schauffele, Jason Kokrak, Henrik Stenson (Swe)
0755 Charl Schwartzel (Rsa), Jason Day (Aus), -a- Abel Gallegos (Arg)
0806 Vijay Singh (Fij), Lanto Griffin, Tyler Duncan
0817 Mike Weir (Can), Rafael Cabrera-Bello (Spa), Matt Wallace
1105 Sung Kang (Kor), Erik Van Rooyen (Rsa)
1116 Danny Willett, Rickie Fowler, -a- John Augenstein
1127 Phil Mickelson, Abraham Ancer (Mex), Bernd Wiesberger (Aut)
1138 Adam Scott (Aus), Collin Morikawa, Tyrrell Hatton
1149 Justin Thomas, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Brooks Koepka
1200 Dustin Johnson, Patrick Cantlay, Rory McIlroy
1211 Zach Johnson, Justin Rose, Cameron Champ
1222 Victor Perez (Fra), Sungjae Im (Kor), Brendon Todd
Starting at 10
0700 Sandy Lyle, Jimmy Walker, Yuxin Lin -a- (Chn)
0711 Webb Simpson, Marc Leishman (Aus), Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn)
0722 Kevin Kisner, Adam Hadwin (Can), Scottie Scheffler
0733 Jon Rahm (Spa), Bryson DeChambeau, Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa)
0744 Patrick Reed, Paul Casey, Tony Finau
0755 Tiger Woods, Shane Lowry, -a- Andy Ogletree
0806 Jordan Spieth, Gary Woodland, Ian Poulter
0817 Graeme McDowell, Nate Lashley, Si Woo Kim (Kor)
1105 Justin Harding (Rsa), Shugo Imahira (Jpn), Nick Taylor (Can)
1116 Chez Reavie, Sebastian Munoz (Col), Byeong-Hun An (Kor)
1127 Bubba Watson, Matthew Wolff, Tommy Fleetwood
1138 Francesco Molinari (Ita), Billy Horschel, Cameron Smith (Aus)
1149 Bernhard Langer (Ger), JT Poston, Christiaan Bezuidenhout (Rsa)
1200 Fred Couples, Max Homa, Dylan Frittelli (Rsa)
1211 Jose-Maria Olazabal (Spa), Andrew Putnam, -a- James Sugrue