It’s officially Masters week, and while the 84th edition is going to feel more unusual than maybe any Masters in history, the last major of 2020 is still overflowing with storylines according to Kyle Porter from CBSSPORTS.com.
Much will be missed about this Masters — no Par-3 Tournament, no patrons, no merchandise tents — but there is also much to celebrate. Let’s start with the fact that, even amid a global pandemic, Augusta National was able to safely arrange for the Masters to be played at all.
Here’s a look at a few of the intriguing storylines entering what should be a fun week at Augusta National.
1. Bryson DeChambeau flexes:
This could (and maybe should) be among the top storylines to follow. It’s still unlikely that DeChambeau wins back-to-back majors (because it’s unlikely that any single player wins any event), but this week is less about whether he wins and more about how he goes about trying to win.
If DeChambeau plays Augusta the same way he played the U.S. Open at Winged Foot, not only will he be a two-time major champion, but golf will have a much more public and pressing problem on its hands when it comes to distance and how the most classic of all the golf courses handle the modern game.
2. Tiger Woods returns as defending champion:
In his four prior Masters title defenses, woods finished T8, 1st, T15 and T3. That bodes well for this year even if the state of his game does not. Tiger is more likely to cater Wendy’s for the Masters Champions Dinner than he is to win the golf tournament based on how he’s been playing. But the Masters isn’t complete somehow without a certain Mr. Woods!
3. Rory McIlroy goes for the slam … again:
It seems that, over the years, the attention paid to McIlroy winning all four majors has probably waned a bit, but that doesn’t make the potential accomplishment any less historic. McIlroy comes into the Masters playing … fine but probably not at the level required to win. His big issue has been iron play, which is currently at one of the lower points in his career in terms of strokes gained.
Still, if he sniffs the lead on the weekend and there are no other huge stories (Tiger, Brooks Koepka etc.), his bid to join Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan and Gary Player as the only golfers to win all four majors will completely take over the event.
One tradition remains Jack and Gary will tee off, as usual, this Thursday. Whatever happens we golfers are in for a treat…. what a great way to avoid Covid 19 and stay at home glued to the TV.
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