The Green Jacket, the ultimate symbol of success.
Yes, you’d be forgiven for thinking I may be talking about a Marvel character but no, it’s that time of the year when dad takes over the TV and talks of a Tiger Woods fairytale finish are mooted, it’s Masters time.
The Masters Tournament or, as most commonly known The Masters, tees off this Thursday just before 10am Augusta, Georgia time, so, that’s 21.58pm Thursday evening here in Thailand.
The Masters is one of the four annual major men’s golfing tournaments along with the US Open, The Open and the PGA Championship.
However, unlike any of the other three The Masters is unique in being the only tournament to be held at the same location every year… Augusta National Golf Club in the city of Augusta, Georgia.
Not forgetting the winner also gets to don the brilliant rye green jacket. Traditionally, the year’s previous winner presents the jacket to the new champion at the end of the tournament.
So, how will it all pan out this year? Who’s your favourite? If gambling/betting were legal here in LOS, who would your baht be on?
As always Tiger Woods is much talked about.
The winner of four previous Masters tournaments in a lethal spell from 1997 to 2005 as well as finishing out of the top six only three times in 10 attempts since he last was seen wearing a green jacket only add to the talk or hope.
A win this week would see Tiger just one Green Jacket behind record holder Jack Nicklaus, whose mark of 18 majors Woods is also chasing.
Another, much talked-up golfer is Rory Mcllroy, not since Tiger Woods in his prime has a player been so fancied, or perhaps feared, to win The Masters.
A lot of focus will be on Rory in Thursday’s first round, particularly as he has been drawn in the group immediately behind Tiger Woods. The 14-time major winner will tee off at 11.04am local time (22.04pm here in Thailand) alongside China’s Haotong Li and Jon Rahm, while McIlroy is following alongside last year’s runner-up Rickie Fowler and Australian Cameron Smith.
Thursday’s selected list (Thailand times):
• 21:58pm – Sergio Garcia, Tony Finau, Henrik Stenson
• 22:04pm – Tiger Woods, Haotong Li, Jon Rahm
• 00:38 Friday morning – Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Jason Day
• 01:00am Friday morning – Jordan Spieth, Paul Casey, Brooks Koepka
If you can’t wait till Thursday, then don’t forget The Masters Par 3 contest starts today (well here in Thailand around 1am on Thursday morning).
The Par 3 contest gives players past and present an easy chance to enjoy the day at Augusta National before the competition really tees off.
A much-loved tradition, the par 3 contest is a family event with wives and girlfriends, children and grandchildren, nieces and nephews all happily serving as caddies.
Last year’s event was a special one for the Nicklaus family as Gary Nicklaus (grandson of Jack, the greatest golfer the Masters has ever seen, having won six times at Augusta National— two more than any other player) who stole the show, hitting a hole-in-one on the final hole.
However, fans favourite Tom Watson came out on top last time, winning the Par 3 for his second time, his first being in 1982.
No winner of the Par 3 contest has gone on to win the Masters in the same year, will this year being any different? We’ll know soon enough.
By Paul Johnson