2021 Masters Preview

Story posted April 7, 2021 in Sports, CommRadio by Austin Groft

The Masters will mark this year’s first major of the PGA Tour. It has only been a short five months and the best golfers around the world are coming together for the best golfing outing of the year. Dustin Johnson, the 2020 recipient of the green jacket, will attempt to repeat his impressive 20-under par performance.

This year’s 85th Masters will feature 18 former green jacket winners. Tiger Woods, the 2019 Masters winner, will not be in attendance after getting into a car accident. Nonetheless the card is filled with talent and it should be another eventful weekend in Augusta.

Early Favorites

Dustin Justin is obviously the number one favorite to win the tournament after winning the 2020 Masters alongside being ranked No. 1 in the world. Justin Thomas and Jon Rahm are ranked No. 2 and No. 3 respectively in the world. Typically, the Masters’ winner comes from one of the topped ranked golfers.

Bryson DeChambeau has gained a lot of attention with his powerful drives, which is a huge advantage at Augusta National. He is the top-ranked golfer off-the-tee on the PGA Tour. He also has been fairly consistent with his irons and putting. After a poor performance in the last Masters, DeChambeau is determined to make a statement this year.

Jordon Spieth has been making noise after winning this past Sunday at the Valero Texas Open. Is Spieth back to his prime self from 2015 when he won two majors at the age of 21? He now has five top-10 finishes in his past seven tournaments.

Sleepers

The Masters typically favors people who have played the course many times. It’s not common when we see a veteran golfer make a resurgence and take away the green jacket.

Cameron Smith has notched second and fifth place finishes in two of his past three Masters performances. His short game is unreal, and he has been consistently at the top. Smith will be hungry to take the green jacket home after coming so close recently.

Some other veteran golfers who have performed well at the Masters in the past couple of years include Xander Schauffele and Patrick Reed. Both are known for their short game, gaining a lot of strokes using their putting skills.

Schauffele has been the runner up 8 times on the tour in the past two years. He also tied for second in the 2019 Masters. Six of his past eight rounds at Augusta have been under par.

Young Golfers to Watch

Collin Morikawa won the PGA Championship in 2020, but then went on and performed poorly in his first ever Masters. Now ranked No. 4 in the world, Morikawa has played at Augusta once and hopes to play comfortably this time around.

College teammates at Oklahoma State, Viktor Hovland and Matthew Wolff, have had several strong performances in their young careers. Hovland has had huge success as an amateur and will play in his first Masters after reaching the top 15 in the world.

Masters 2021 Prediction: With the way Jordan Spieth has been playing it is hard not to pass up on him. He will go out there this weekend and earn himself his second green jacket.

Austin Groft is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, please email him at atg5271@psu.edu.