AUGUSTA, Georgia – The Masters, the first major golf tournament of the year, begins on Thursday at Augusta National Golf Club, offering a plethora of captivating storylines.
From Scottie Scheffler’s pursuit of a second consecutive green jacket to the extended 13th hole, the Masters will surely captivate golf fans.
Notably, Tiger Woods, a five-time champion, returns to the competition, demonstrating his enduring prowess despite physical challenges.
The tournament is also seen as a showdown between the established PGA Tour and the upstart LIV tour.
The rivalry between players who remained with the PGA and those who joined LIV, backed by Saudi investors, is undeniable.
All eyes will be on the scoreboard, with 18 LIV entrants competing against the rest of the field.
A win for a LIV golfer could reshape the golf landscape.
Scottie Scheffler, currently the world’s top-ranked player, is seeking to join an elite group of players who have won consecutive Masters titles, including Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo, and Woods.
Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm, the next two in the world rankings, are expected to challenge Scheffler.
The 13th hole, nicknamed “Azalea,” has changed, with the tee box moved back 35 yards, making it more challenging and restoring the element of risk and reward intended in the original course design.
Tiger Woods, now 47, is considered a part-time player but remains a formidable presence at Augusta National.
Despite physical limitations, his swing remains smooth, and he is still a force to be reckoned with on the course.
The unpredictable weather of early April could also play a significant role in the tournament, with temperatures expected to vary dramatically throughout the week.
The golfer who best adapts to these changing conditions may be the one donning the green jacket on Sunday evening.