Everything you need to know before they tee it up in April
With The Masters set to tee off in less than three weeks, there is no shortage of storylines. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest ones:
Patrick Reed: It’s hard to remember a time when last year’s winner received as little attention as Reed has in the lead-up to this year’s tournament. With all the noise surrounding Tiger, Dustin, and Rory, Reed has, in a lot of ways, remained in the shadows. His play of late has not been fantastic, but he certainly wouldn’t be the first defending champion to re-find his game at Augusta National.
D.J. Finds His Form: It was just two years ago that Dustin took a tumble down the stairs and saw his chances in the tournament tumble along with him. This year, the South Carolina native has returned to the level he achieved in 2017, a form that some consider the best anyone has ever played the game (sans Tiger’s legendary 2000 season). Dustin has a chance to win every time he shows up, and that includes The Masters. He’s that good.
Rory’s Incredible Hot Streak: 2014 be damned! Metrics say that Rory is playing the best golf of his entire career right now, and that’s a very good thing for a man who returns to The Masters in 2019 eyeing the career grand slam. With a new attitude and the same picture-perfect golf swing, Rory not only is chasing the career grand slam, but also seeks to become the only player other than Tiger to win The Masters and THE PLAYERS in the same season.
The Man in Red Chasing #15: The hype surrounding Tiger’s return to Augusta this spring is certainly more subdued than it was last year. There exists a more practical, realistic expectation about his chances to win, a trend that should help his mindset going into this year’s tournament. Tiger has, for the most part, been entirely healthy for more than a year now. If he’s going to start winning majors again, now seems like an optimal time to do so. The golf course is one he loves—he is clearly familiar with it. And if he can find his driving accuracy and putt as well as he is capable of, he will have a chance on Sunday afternoon.
Spieth … The Dark Horse? It’s hard to call any past Masters champion a dark horse. But, let’s be honest, it hasn’t been an easy go of it for Jordan for a while now. The three-time major champion must relocate the internal comfort he clearly is struggling to find within himself. Maybe the air of major championship golf is just what he needs.
It’s sure to be an excellent 2019 Masters Tournament, just as it is sure to be a wonderful spring of golf here on the Grand Strand!