What to expect from The 2021 Masters at Augusta National

Rory McIlroy has a one shot lead going into the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. Credit: Getty Images.

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After the sporting year of 2020 was turned on its head, like so many other aspects of our lives, things are becoming a bit more normal in 2021 and the return of The Masters to its traditional April slot has golf fans the world over licking their lips.

The traditional host of the first major of the year, Augusta National rounded off the schedule in 2020 after Coronavirus led to the tournament being postponed.

That means the stunning course in Georgia will be fresher in the players’ minds than usual and could lead to some thrilling action.

Here’s everything you need to know about the first major of 2021.

When is The Masters?

The Masters will be held at Augusta National from April 8-11. It is the 85th time that the world’s best will make their annual pilgrimage to compete for a green jacket.

Who are the frontrunners?

Reigning champion and world number one Dustin Johnson is the favourite after his record-breaking five-stroke triumph here last November.

The familiar names of Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Brooks Koepka are all well-fancied, while the resurgent Justin Thomas may be finding form at just the right time, having pipped Lee Westwood at the Players’ Championship recently.

There will be plenty of attention on Bryson DeChambeau as the American tries to convert his scientific approach into major success again following last year’s U.S. Open triumph.

Golfbidder presenter Donal Hughes is looking forward to a tense fight to the final flag: “As the world gets back on its axis the 2021 major golfing calendar is going to be a feast of golf. Augusta back in its April slot with all the sights sounds and colours will be a delight.

“Then add in a field of in-form talent and this one is wide open. Will Brooks or DJ dominate? Will Bryson find a formula and outmuscle everyone? And what about Spieth returning to form? Or the wily old stager Lee Westwood?”

The stats you need to know

Johnson’s winning score of -20 in November was a course record, surpassing the previous benchmark of -18 set by Tiger Woods (1997) and Spieth (2015).
There will be just 145 days between the end of last year’s Masters and the first tee of this edition.
Champion in 1991, Ian Woosnam is set to come out of retirement for a third time at the age of 63 to play this year.

How has Coronavirus impacted the tournament?

Although last year’s tournament was played out behind closed doors, patrons are expected to return to the fairways this time around, albeit in limited numbers.

The par-3 competition will once again not go ahead, as was the case in 2020, in order to maintain social distancing across the event.

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