Augusta National, Georgia, April 5-8
The first major of the year is special for so many reasons. It has the longest build-up of all the big four, there’s the familiarity of one of the greatest pieces of golfing real estate on the planet (we can all play through the 18 holes in our mind’s eye), the wonderful memories of Masters gone by and the fact it signals the start of the golfing season and improving weather here at home, as well. A social round in the morning before settling in to watch the drama unfold in the evening. It’s perfect.
The 82nd edition can’t get here soon enough. It will be Rory McIlroy’s fourth crack at completing the career grand slam, but our best home hope comes in the form of Justin Rose, who lost last year’s play-off to Sergio Garcia and has four top 10s and four top 25s at Augusta since 2009.
Four-time champion Tiger Woods should have more competitive rounds under his belt by the time he drives down Magnolia Lane and Jordan Spieth will be keen to cement his position as the new ‘Mr Augusta’. If the weather co-operates, his record total of -18 from 2015 could be under serious threat.
March 2018 Golf World 57