The final day of prep work on the range, putting green and maybe even a quick nine or so brought brilliant sunshine in the familiar spot of April for the 85th Masters. It’s the last time to feel really good about your pool selections before the first grouping goes off No. 1 on Thursday morning at 8 a.m.
Over the next handful of days, I hope to provide a fun and informative look at the first (and favorite, for most golf fans) major of the season.
2021 Masters notes: Wednesday edition
- Honorary Starters – Thursday morning on 1st tee at 7:45 a.m. Lee Elder joins Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player to unofficially start the tournament with a drive off of the first. Elder, the first African-American man to play in The Masters, joins multiple Masters champions in Nicklaus and Player.
- Didn’t We Just Do This? – Dustin Johnson won November’s version of The Masters in a rout for his first green jacket. Johnson shot 20-under-par 268 and shot two rounds of 65, both Masters records.
- There’s No Gambling At Bushwood! – The Masters will debut its official fantasy golf game on Thursday with a chance to win some very nice Masters swag, but no badges are up for grabs. In the official rules, they outline in bold and all-caps that this is a skill and knowledge based game and not a gambling game. You can also create your own Masters fantasy league to play against your family, friends or the gang at the driving range.
- It’s In The Game – Tournament chairman Fred Ridley, who should run for public office, announced the club's part in a new golf video game in his yearly presser. Augusta National will once again pair with EA Sports to produce the word salad game called EA Sports PGA Tour: Road to the Masters. It sounds like golf nirvana. Among other things, the game presents the Drive, Chip and Putt competition, the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, the Par 3 Contest as well as the actual golf course.
- Picks, Picks, Picks – It’s the 10th anniversary of when I selected Charl Schwartzel to win The Masters. This is true and I have witnesses. This year, I’m also going off the board with the gentleman who has the longest name in the field: South Africa’s Christiaan Bezuidenhout. He made the cut and finished T-38 in his first Masters last year. There’s nothing jaw-dropping in his current form that make him a fashionable pick (hi, Jordan backers!) Sometimes it’s just a gut pick. It worked out with Charl.