Golf Asia


- Hubert Tang

AMasters void of spectators isn’t truly the Masters, so expect the return of patrons and pent-up demand to rock the decibel meter. According to an Augusta resident, this year will be something extra special with a higher level of excitement.

Will all that commotion bother the reserved Hideki Matsuyama who returns to defend? And what of his back injury? The last time a Masters title was successful­ly defended was in 2002 by Tiger Woods.

Bookmakers say Jon Rahm is next most likely to don the Green Jacket. But if Rahm himself couldn’t figure out recently how and why he yipped a putt only a few inches inches forward instead of the one foot needed, it leaves questions.

Collin Morikawa looks a good bet. His iron game suits Augusta, and he hits approaches closer to the hole than most pros with a pitching wedge. He’s also the fastest player to two majors proving he can handle pressure.

Cameron Smith is Paige Spiranac’s pick for his short game and the way he played the last two holes of the Players championsh­ip. Smith is also the only golfer to card four rounds in the 60s in a single Masters.

One to watch is Scottie Scheffler, the new world No. 1 after winning three big tournament­s in quick succession. Scheffler is firing on all cylinders right now.

Or will Tiger Woods be the miracle man yet again? If he plays. Ex-coach Hank Haney said if Tiger can walk, he can win. Woods’ has achieved the impossible more than once, yet even his win in 2019 took months of preparatio­n.

Will logic dictate, or will we see another fairytale ending?

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