The First Look: Masters Tournament
April 04, 2021
By Adam Stanley, PGATOUR.COM
PGA TOUR – The CUT
Driving down Magnolia Lane
Dustin Johnson returns to defend his title after a dominating performance in November and Augusta National will welcome a limited number of patrons to watch the action unfold.
FIELD NOTES: Reigning FedExCup champion Dustin Johnson will look to defend his Masters title after his record-breaking effort in 2020. Johnson finished at 20-under in the fall, eclipsing the all-time scoring mark by two shots… All of the golfers inside the Comcast Business TOUR TOP 10 will be teeing it up at the Masters, led by FedExCup leader Bryson DeChambeau… Eighty-eight golfers are currently in the field of the Masters, with one last spot open to the winner of the Valero Texas Open (if he is not already exempt)… Brooks Koepka is currently in the field. The former PGA TOUR Player of the Year is looking to return from a knee injury… Three amateurs are playing in 2021 including Joe Long of England and Americans Charles Osborne and Tyler Strafaci… Masters professional rookies for 2021 include Carlos Ortiz, Will Zalatoris, and Robert MacIntyre… Eighteen Green Jacket winners are teeing it up in 2021.
FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 600 FedExCup points.
COURSE: Augusta National Golf Club, 7,475 yards, par 72. The Bobby Jones/Alistair McKenzie classic is back being played in its ‘regular’ time of the year, and early reports indicate it will be playing much firmer and faster than in November. Augusta National’s layout will be unchanged from the November Masters.
STORYLINES: Rory McIlroy is once again looking to win the career Grand Slam. He was over-par after the opening round in November but shot three rounds in the 60s to climb to T5… Jordan Spieth is hoping his fine play of late will translate at a place he knows very well. Spieth, who was T2 through 36 holes at the Valero Texas Open, has finished inside the top-10 in four of his last six PGA TOUR events… Plenty of notables are looking for their second major triumph including FedExCup leader Bryson DeChambeau, past FedExCup champion Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa, and Patrick Reed – winners on TOUR this season, all… On the flip side, there are plenty of notables looking for their first major win, including Jon Rahm, Xander Schauffele, and Tyrrell Hatton – ranked in the top-10 in the world, all… After Dustin Johnson’s scoring-record performance in November, he’s now looking to become the first golfer since Tiger Woods in 2001-02 to defend his Masters title.
72-HOLE RECORD: 268, Dustin Johnson (2020)
18-HOLE RECORD: 63, Nick Price (3rd round, 1986), Greg Norman (1st round, 1996)
LAST TIME: Dustin Johnson captured his second major by winning a Masters unlike any other – contested in November. Johnson fired rounds of 65 on Thursday and Saturday and never took his foot off the gas, closing with a 3-under 33 on his final nine holes to stroll into the Masters record books. To show how impressive Johnson’s performance was, Cameron Smith (who tied for second with Sungjae Im) was the first golfer in Masters history with four rounds in the 60s – and he lost by five. Justin Thomas finished fourth while Dylan Frittelli and Rory McIlroy – who opened with a 3-over 75 but rallied from Friday onwards – rounded out the top five. Defending champion Tiger Woods made a 10 on the tricky par-3 12th on Sunday but went on to birdie the par-5 13th and Nos. 15-18 to finish at 1-under for the tournament and T38.
HOW TO FOLLOW
Television: Thursday-Friday, 3 p.m.-7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN); Saturday, 3 p.m.-7 p.m. (CBS); Sunday, 2 p.m.-7 p.m. (CBS)
Radio: Thursday-Sunday, 2 p.m.-7 p.m. ET (CBS Radio; Sirius 208, XM 92)
Stream: Featured Group coverage, Amen Corner and holes 15 & 16 will be available to stream via Masters.com (Thursday, 7:30 a.m. ET; Friday, 8:30 a.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 10:15 a.m. ET on Saturday-Sunday)
Editor's note: Augusta National, which owns and operates the Masters Tournament, controls all digital streaming and broadcast rights to this event. PGA TOUR LIVE coverage will resume next week at RBC Heritage.