The 2021 Masters Preview
By George Watkins
Only five months since the 2020 Masters event, 2021 is set to see the event return to its original date of the 8th to the 11th of April after last year’s event was delayed because of COVID-19 reasons. Unlike last year, the 2021 Masters hopes to hold a limited attendance at the Augusta National Golf Course as the best players in the world compete for one of golf’s most notorious majors.
Last year’s Masters saw world number one Dustin Johnson put on an incredible performance as he finished on 20 under par and five shots clear of second placed Cam Smith and Im Sung-Jae. Johnson will be looking to win back to back Masters but the wealth in talent he will be competing against means this task is not straight forward plus it is very rare to see a player win consecutive green jackets. Only 3 players have ever won back to back Masters, the last player to do so was of course Tiger Woods in 2001 and 2002.
Players to Watch
The Masters always has a few unexpected front runners amongst the much recognisable faces of the game. Given the difference in conditions since last year’s event the course will have a totally different feel to it, but who will the conditions best suit. Previous winner Patrick Reed had a top ten placing last November and if it was not for a few key missed putts he may well have put a little more pressure on the runaway leader. Four time major winner Rory McIlroy is still in search for his first green jacket and knows more than anyone that this is the one major that has haunted him for so long, with a player of McIlroy’s ability you must say that it is surely a matter of time before he can add a win at The Masters to his wonderful career.
You expect many of the top ten players to be in for a shout and the usual big names to be up there on the Sunday afternoon such as; Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, Xander Schauffele and Webb Simpson. The likes of Bryson DeChambeau and Tyrell Hatton also in the top ten places did not have their best showing at the previous Masters and I am sure they will not make the same mistakes they made only a few months ago. Both players finished well down the leaderboard which came as a surprise to many however they have shown previous examples of brilliant golf and I would not rule them out despite a miserable time last November.
It is hard to look past the brilliant Dustin Johnson at this year’s Masters who is playing in such fine form over the past year or so. A number of other American’s also playing in such fine form, Brooks Koepka who recently won the Phoenix Open and Jordan Spieth is in red hot form in 2021 thus far. It will certainly be an interesting watch with a huge year of golf ahead, can a fourth consecutive Masters be won by an American in their homeland or will an imposter from overseas cause an upset?