For pro golf fans, this is one of the best times of the year. It’s Masters Week!
The best week of the year usually occurs in early April just when spring is reaching its peak in Georgia and the Dogwoods and Azaleas are coming into full bloom.
They will be missing this year however as The Masters had to move its annual tournament from April to this week due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The good news is the unusually warm start to fall is expected to continue with temperatures forecast to be near 80, which should be just perfect in the shade of the pines at the beautiful Augusta National Golf Club.
And with the elusive green jacket up for grabs, the best golfers on the planet will be on the hallowed ground this week searching for immortality that only a Masters win can bring.
Even though Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are no longer the top golfers in the world, they both will be there along with many of the talented youngsters on tour who are looking to make a name for themselves.
No fans will be allowed due to the pandemic and it will be unusual not to hear the roars on Sunday afternoon but it should still be exciting to watch.
As I do each year, I am selecting the five players I think have the best chance of sitting in Butler Cabin with Jim Nance on Sunday night for the jacket presentation.
My five favorites:
Xander Schauffele seems like he has been in contention in majors for decades but he is just 27 years old and in search of his first major title. Schauffele has proven since he arrived on tour that he has the game and the moxie to win multiple majors. He has played in 13 majors and finished in the top six, six different times, and tied for second at Augusta last year. There is no time better than the present for the rising star and he is one of my favorites to win it all this weekend.
Justin Thomas has one of the most complete games in the world and he always seems to be around the lead in big tournaments. JT has one major win to his credit, the 2017 PGA championship. I’ve got a hunch that JT is primed to add his second major title and it could easily come as soon as this weekend in Augusta. One thing I have learned about Thomas is don’t doubt him in the big ones.
Bryson DeChambeau is a man on a mission. No one used the pandemic break more effectively than DeChambeau who added a ton of muscle to his frame. He is coming off of his first major win in the 2020 U.S. Open in September. DeChambeau posted a video several weeks ago showing him hitting drives that carried over 400 yards in the air. His goal is to tame Augusta much like Tiger did when he was in his prime. I can certainly picture DeChambeau putting the green jacket on come Sunday evening.
Dustin Johnson is the No. 1 ranked golfer in the world and it seems like only yesterday when he arrived at Augusta on top of the golf world and was almost assured of winning before a fall down the steps at his rental house forced him to withdraw. DJ, fresh off of his FedEx Cup title in August, has recently endured a bout with the COVID-19 virus but looked fine in Houston last week even if his game was still a little rusty after a four-week break. I think DJ will win a green jacket before all is said and done and this might just be the time.
Jon Rahm is one of those players that can dominate in any given week at any given tournament. He has the great one-two punch of length off of the tee and a great touch on the greens, two things that will be at a premium in Augusta. His temper was an issue in his early years on tour but Rahm seems to have gotten that under control and should be around the top of the leaderboard come Sunday afternoon.
There is nothing better than watching the best golfers in the world on the hallowed ground at Augusta. It will be fun!