The Masters is back, just five months after Dustin Johnson claimed the green jacket at last year’s coronavirus-delayed event.
The first major golf event of the men's season takes place 8-11 April 2021, and there is plenty to be excited about in an Olympic year.
For starters, there will be fans! Last year, Augusta National was for players, caddies and officials only due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While there still won’t be full grandstands at Augusta in 2021, the limited number of patrons in attendance will provide a far more vibrant atmosphere.
The 2021 Masters is shaping up to be one of the most competitive in some time, with the top ten ranked players in the world headlining a star-studded overall field.
Unfortunately there will be no Tiger Woods. The 2019 champion is continuing his rehabilitation following a car crash in February. Woods’ name is synonymous with The Masters, and he shall be greatly missed.
With the Tokyo Olympics only months away, many golfers will also be hoping to build some momentum at the Masters that they can take forward into Japan.
Check out our preview for the event below, including players to look out for, schedule, where to watch, and more.
The top contenders for The Masters 2021 at Augusta
Dustin Johnson is the early favourite to defend his title, and become the first back-to-back winner since Woods in 2001-02.
With five-consecutive top-five Masters finishes, it’s clear that the king of consistency has figured out how to play this course.
However, he’ll have one eye on compatriot Jordan Spieth.
The 2015 Masters champion is the name on everyone’s lips, having won his first event in nearly four years last week at the Texas Open.
He may have hit form at exactly the right moment, and the Masters has a habit of producing amazing comeback stories.
Big-hitting Bryson DeChambeau could finally be set to fulfil his promise. The U.S. Open champion flopped after being named favourite for the 2020 Masters, but has slimmed down and looks to be back to his best.
Elsewhere, keep an eye on Justin Thomas. The 27-year-old has made a fantastic start to 2021 with victory in the Players Championship and will hope to carry forward that momentum.
Rory McIlroy has changed coaches, and with a few minor tweaks, the Irishman could finally complete his career grand slam by winning the one major to have eluded him so far.
Two-time runner up and current Olympic champion Justin Rose will be looking for an improvement in the event after struggling with his game in 2020, but if he finds form the Englishman will be one to watch.
Finally, Jon Rahm is another with a Masters record that means he cannot be overlooked. The Spaniard hasn’t been at his best in 2021, but knows how to raise his game, and is a top-10 finisher at the last three Masters tournaments.
There was a chance that he would miss the event due to the birth of his first child, but his son arrived safe and sound on 5 April, and Rahm is all set to play.
Where to watch The Masters 2021
The first men's major of the year will be available via online streaming and live broadcast television coverage in various territories around the world.
USA: There will be two host broadcasters. ESPN will show the action on Thursday and Friday, before CBS takes over on Saturday and Sunday. You can find more detailed information on the Masters event website here.
Canada: The Masters is available in its entirety in Canada on TSN and RDS. In addition, CTV will also air the final two rounds.
UK: Fans in the United Kingdom can follow the action live on Sky Sports, while highlights will be aired on BBC 2 every evening.
Australia: The Masters is being shown on Gem, Fox Sports, and Kayo with an early start of 5 a.m. each day.
India: For those watching the action from India, Star Sports Select 1 is the place to be. You can find more details here.
Elsewhere, You can watch some of the event via Masters.com, which will have featured Group coverage, Amen Corner, and holes 15 & 16 will be available to stream live.
The official Masters website will also be showing highlights, and has a score tracker throughout the event.
And you can also listen to radio coverage of The Masters through the PGA Tour website.
The Masters 2021 Schedule
The 2021 edition of golf's Masters sees the tournament return to its traditional April slot.
The tournament consists of 4 rounds of 18-holes, from Thursday 8th April to Sunday 11th April, with a mid-way cut after round two to reduce the number of players.
Thursday 8th April - First group start at 08:00 local time (EDT, which is 12:00 GMT). Final group tee off for their first hole at 14:00 local time.
Friday 9th April - First group start at 08:00 local time (EDT, which is 12:00 GMT). Final group tee off for their first hole at 14:00 local time.
Saturday 10th April - Timings to be confirmed following the cut after 36-holes.
Sunday 11th April - Timings to be confirmed following the cut after 36-holes.
If there is a tie for the lead after all players have completed the 72-holes, a play-off will take place on Sunday evening.
The winner is due to be presented with the trophy and ceremonial green jacket immediately after their victory is confirmed.
** Note - all timings are subject to change.
History of the Masters
The Augusta National was opened in 1933 by Bobby Jones, a multiple winner of the Open Championship and US Open, with the first Masters being held a year later.
The Masters features more amateurs than the rest of the majors with former champions allowed to return every year.
Since 1949, the winner has been formerly awarded the Green Jacket with the previous year's champion placing it on his shoulders.
The tournament enjoyed its heyday in the 1960s and 70s when Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus dominated the event.
Palmer won in 1958, 1960, 1962 and 1964 with South African Player becoming the first overseas Masters champion in 1961 and claiming his third title in 1978.
Nicklaus won his first Masters title in 1963 and became the first golfer to secure consecutive triumphs in 1965 and 1966, putting on the Green Jacket himself.
'The Golden Bear' claimed a record sixth title in 1986 at the age of 46 making him the oldest winner in Masters history.