Highlights Tours

US Masters 2022: Scheffler, McIlroy, Woods – The records and statistics of the Major

At the US Masters 2022, Scottie Scheffler sets several records with his first major victory. Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods and others should not be missing from this list of records set or tied at the prestigious major.

Scottie Scheffler in outstanding form

Scottie Scheffler unstoppable! In recent weeks, hardly any professional on the PGA Tour could stand a chance against the Texan. In mid-February, the 25-year-old won for the first time since his rise on Tour in 2020 at the Phoenix Open. Fifty-seven days have passed since then and three more trophies have gone into the world number one’s trophy cabinet. He won the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the WGC-Dell Match Play and now his first major with the 2022 US Masters. No one before him has managed the first four tournament wins in such a short span of time! The last time someone won four tournaments in six starts was Jason Day in 2015.

Four wins in one season is already a great achievement, but to win at least one Major and one WGC event highlights the exceptional form of Scottie Scheffler. There’s only one guy who’s done that, too. You will guess: Tiger Woods. The superstar, who made his comeback at the US Masters in 2022 after a serious car accident, was even able to achieve these results a total of eight (!) times in two periods of four seasons in a row – incredible! For the sake of completeness, however, it should be mentioned that greats such as Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus certainly had seasons with four tournament victories including majors, but the WGC events did not yet exist at that time (introduction in 1999).

Scheffler is also the sixth player to win the Major at Augusta National as the world number one. In doing so, the American does it like Ian Woosnam, who also won the US Masters in his first start as the world’s No. 1 golfer.

After an outstanding Friday, Scheffler had built a five-stroke lead in difficult conditions. The shared largest halfway lead at the Masters.

With his fourth victory, Scheffler now not only clearly leads the world ranking and the FedExCup, he also obviously cashed in a lot of prize money. In the meantime, the professional has earned over ten million US dollars with his results this season alone. This already puts him in sixth place in the ranking of prize money earned in a PGA Tour season. By the way, Jordan Spieth leads this list with just over twelve million dollars earned in his fabulous 2014/15 season with two major victories (Masters & Open) and Tour Championship (bonus not included). Scheffler, however, still has half the season and three majors to play and will probably climb up a few places in this ranking.

US Masters 2022: Rory McIlroy ties record

But enough about the Masters winner, others also set records at this major. Rory McIlroy ran hot on the final day, working his magic with flight partner Collin Morikawa at Augusta National. McIlroy’s closing 64, the only bogey-free round of the entire tournament, set the record for the best closing round at the Masters; in fact, it was the second-best round ever at one of the four majors for the Northern Irishman. It was a pity for the four-time major winner that he was already too far away from Scheffler before the final day and it was again nothing with the career Grand Slam for McIlroy.

On the final day, it was a duel between two players in good form with the better end for Scheffler. But Cameron Smith also has two victories this season (including the Players Championship) under his belt and has been playing incredibly consistent golf lately. However, the triple bogey at the 12th sank any hopes of winning the Masters at Rae’s Creek, and that after Smith had fought his way back in with a birdie at the hardest hole (11th). The three-stroke loss was the worst score on a hole in almost ten months for the Australian.

Previously, the Players Champion had carded a 68 in Round 1, although he conceded double stroke losses on holes 1 and 18. Only Ricky Fowler played a round of 68 or better including two double bogeys at the Masters.

Tiger Woods keeps series alive

It’s not a record yet, but Tiger Woods kept his streak of made cuts alive and could set a record next year. Despite his extreme suffering since his serious accident 14 months ago, the 46-year-old Hall-of-Famer made the cut at the 2022 US Masters for the 22nd time in a row.

On the weekend itself, the 15-time major winner was clearly feeling the strain and the strain, twice coming back into the clubhouse with 78 strokes. He had never needed so many in 92 rounds before to master Augusta National.

Highlights Tours

US Masters 2022: Tiger Woods on “a thousand putts” on Moving Day

Tiger Woods has made it into the weekend at the US Masters 2022. On the third day of his comeback, he visibly had problems on the greens and conceded several three-putts and one four-putt, as he reflected in the subsequent interview. Woods’ conclusion after his botched moving day: “Never give up. Always chase your dreams.”

Tiger, how has the challenge changed physically the last three days?

Changed? It hasn’t changed. It’s been hard. Today was a challenge with the conditions. The conditions were tough today. They were tough yesterday starting out, but at least we got a little bit of a lull at the end.

Today it’s just been blustery all day. You add in the temperature difference, it was cold starting out. The ball wasn’t going very far.

I thought it was tough. Some of the other guys may not say that, but for me I had a tough time. I felt like I didn’t really hit it that bad, but I had four three-putts and a four-putt.

I mean, it’s just like I hit a thousand putts out there on the greens today. Obviously it’s affected the score. You take those away and I have normal two putts, I made even par for the day.

I did what I needed to do ball striking-wise, but I did absolutely the exact opposite on the greens.

Was putting an issue of reads, or were you not executing it?

I just could not get a feel for getting comfortable with the ball. Posture, feel, my right hand, my release, I just couldn’t find it.

Trying different things, trying to find it, trying to get something, taking practice strokes and just trying to feel the swing and the putter head, trying to get anything, and nothing seemed to work.

Even as many putts as I had, you’d think I’d have figured it out somewhere along the line, but it just didn’t happen.

Tiger, you know how to play (indiscernible). What’s the approach?

The way he’s been playing, it’s kind of what we were talking about on the practice rounds with — Joey was caddying for Fred in ’92, right? He had a little hot streak right before this. He won Bay Hill, lost in a playoff to Corey, ended the West Coast hot, played Florida hot, ended up here, and won the Masters.

Scottie’s doing the same thing. He took care of it from the West Coast through Florida. Coming in here he’s doing kind of the same thing. We all wish we had that two, three-month window when we get hot, and hopefully majors fall somewhere along in that window. We take care of it in those windows.

Scottie seems to be in that window right now.

Tiger, how much is the weather bothering your back today maybe even more than the other days?

It’s not as limber and as loose as it normally is, that’s for sure.

There are millions and millions of people watching what you’re doing. You may not think this way, so if you don’t, forgive me. But what do you hope you’re showing so many people who watch the Masters about never quitting and never giving up?

Exactly what you just said, never give up. Always chase after your dreams.

And I fight each and every day. Each and every day is a challenge. Each and every day presents its own different challenges for all of us. I wake up and start the fight all over again.

Highlights Tours

Tiger Woods at US Masters 2022: “I’m right where I need to be”

It’s hard to believe: after weeks of speculation and days of hoping, Tiger Woods actually made his commitment to the US Masters 2022. He completed his first round with a score of 1-under-par and is visibly satisfied with it. In this interview, he talks about the ups and downs before and during his round.

Tiger, what are you happiest with, and what are you most disappointed with?

I’ll start off with disappointment. Just making bogey from 50 yards on the 8th. Lack of concentration on the first one. Second one, lack of commitment. Then a blocked putt. So just three bad shots in a row.

But as far as the good stuff, to finish in the red today after as long a layoff as I’ve had and not being in competitive golf – I don’t really consider a scramble in the PNC – it is competitive, but it’s not like this. This is totally different.

But to play this golf course and to do what I did today, to make – to hit the shots in the right spots – I know where to hit it to a lot of these pins, and I miss in the correct spots and give myself good angles. I did that all day, and I was able to make a few putts and end up in the red like I am now.

I’m only three back. We’ve got a long way to go. This golf course is going to change dramatically – cooler, drier, windier. You can hear the SubAirs on out there. This golf course is going to change, and it’s going to get a lot more difficult.

How are you feeling compared to how you expected to feel?

I am as sore as I expected to feel, but it was amazing to have – like I was telling the team all week, come game time, it will be a different deal. My adrenaline will kick in. I’ll get into my own little world, and I’ll get after it. It’s about the training that we’ve done to have the stamina to go.

I’m going to be sore, yes. That’s just the way it is. But the training cycles that we’ve had to make sure that I have the stamina to keep going – and this is only one round. We’ve got three more to go. There’s a long way to go and a lot of shots to be played.

Tiger, after so long away, did it feel like business as usual once you got to the 1st tee, or did you kind of have to get into the mindset of competition again?

No, it was – you know, I was alluding to in there, I had a terrible warmup session. I hit it awful. I went back to what my dad always said. Did you accomplish your task in the warmup? It’s a warm up. Did you warmup? Yes, I did. Now go play. That’s exactly what I did, I went and played.

I forgot whatever I did on the range and just go ahead and play shot for shot, hit the ball in the correct spot, commit to what I’m doing, leave myself in the right angles, hopefully make a few putts, and let’s get after this thing. Yeah, I was able to do that.

I was able to finish up in the red. I’m only three back. I’m right where I need to be.

In that shot from the pine straw on 14, do you have to convince yourself you can pull that off? Or are you just so in the mindset that health-wise there’s no trouble doing that?

I was going to pull it off. I was going to hit – I had a gap. I had a window. I was going to hit it. The next shot was not very good. I tried to bump around a 4-iron through there and hit it way too hard. I give it a little extra juice because it was into the wind, and I made a mistake and hit too hard and misread the putt just a touch.

The challenge of walking the course, did it get harder, or was it —

No, it did not get easier, let’s put it that way. I can swing a golf club. The walking’s not easy, and it’s difficult. As I said with all the hard work, my leg, it’s going to be difficult for the rest of my life. That’s just the way it is, but I’m able to do it.

That’s something I’m very lucky to have this opportunity to be able to play, and not only that, to play in the Masters and to have this type of reception.

I mean, the place was electric. I hadn’t played like this since ’19 when I won because in ’20 we had COVID and we had no one here, and I didn’t play last year. So to have the patrons fully out and to have that type of energy out there was awesome to feel.

Tiger, can you overstate what you accomplished today, a round in the red after your layoff and your injury? Can you put into words what you just did?

Not easy (laughter). People have no idea how hard it’s been. My team does. They’ve worked with me every single day. I’ve said this before, we haven’t taken a day off since I got out of the bed after those three months.

Granted, some days are easier than others. Some days we push it pretty hard, and other days we don’t. But always doing something.

So it’s commitment to getting back and commitment to getting back to a level that I feel that I can still do it. I did something positive today.

What part of your game needs more time? What have you just not been able to get up to the standard that you need more time?

Just hitting more golf balls, just working on my game. I can chip and putt, but it’s going out there and hitting like – you know, like all these young kids, like I used to. Go out and hit a ball for four or five hours, go out and hit a thousand golf balls a day. That doesn’t happen anymore.

I can’t do that anymore, and I have to rely on, okay, pick one thing to work on, and hopefully that works out today. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be able to work on it again, and sometimes that doesn’t happen. Sometimes it may be two or three days before I’ll be able to work on it again. We’ll just try and keep progressing, keep picking it off.

But in the meantime, if you can’t hit balls, let’s keep that body getting stronger. Let’s keep getting it as mobile as possible given the circumstances that I have and keep working at it.

Tiger, I realize you only define victory one way and that’s winning the tournament, but was this the equivalent of a victory to you, just showing up and being able to compete like you did?


Why? Why does it feel that way to you?

If you would have seen how my leg looked to where it’s at now, the pictures – some of the guys know. They’ve seen the pictures, and they’ve come over to the house and they’ve seen it. To see where I’ve been, to see – to get from there to here, it was no easy task.

Tiger, what will you go through over the next 18 hours or so to get yourself prepared for the second round? What’s your treatment like?

A lot. A lot. Lots of treatments. Lots of ice. Lots of ice baths. Just basically freezing myself to death. That’s just part of the deal. And getting all the swelling out as best as we possibly can and getting it mobile and warmed up, activated and explosive for the next day. Those are two totally different ends of the spectrum.

Most sports, if you’re not feeling very good, you got a teammate to pass it off to, and they can kind of shoulder the load. Or in football, one day a week. Here we’ve got four straight days, and there’s no one that’s going to shoulder the load besides me. I’ve got to figure out a way to do it.

My team’s been incredible at getting me into this position so that I can compete. I’ll take it from there. I know how to play. I’ve just got to get out there where I can play.

Highlights Tours

US Masters 2022: Matthew Wolff destroys his club after only four holes

Matthew Wolff and the Masters – a story all of its own. In his third participation in the prestigious Major at Augusta National Golf Club, things once again did not go entirely the way planned for the young American. The 22-year-old destroyed his club after only four holes of the US Masters 2022.

Matthew Wolff had a disastrous start to the US Masters 2022

Wolff had already started the tournament with a double bogey after he got stuck on the edge of the fairway bunker, only reached the green with his third shot and holed out from long distance with a three-putt. The one-time winner on the PGA Tour also recorded a 6 on his scorecard on the following hole – this time for a bogey. After another bogey, Matthew Wolff was already four-over-par after three holes of the US Masters 2022. Then, as his tee shot on hole 4, a par-3, landed in the greenside bunker, Wolff let off some steam – the club had to suffer.

At least for a few holes, the action obviously helped, because the American managed the par save from the sand and three pars followed. But things got even worse for Wolff as the round progressed. The three-time Masters participant collected six more bogeys and was only able to make two birdies at Augusta National. With nine strokes over par, Wolff is at the bottom of the leaderboard.

Wolff and the Masters – it’s complicated

For Wolff, this continues a string of frustrating performances at Augusta National. He missed the cut in his first appearance at the November Masters in 2020, and last year Wolff was disqualified after the second round. The reason: the then 21-year-old had registered an incorrect score on hole 17 and was therefore excluded from the tournament. Now the 45th in the world rankings is in danger of missing the cut again after a nine-over round.

Highlights Tours

He’s back! – Tiger Woods confirms participation in US Masters 2022

Just 14 months ago golf legend Tiger Woods suffered a serious accident, now he’s back at the US Masters 2022!
After he already traveled to Augusta last week and completed some practice rounds together with Justin Thomas, he now announced, two days before the start of the tournament: “As of right now, I feel like I am going to play.”

Tiger Woods is back in Augusta

In the press conference on Tuesday morning, Tiger Woods confirmed the hopes of his fans:

Sixth title for Tiger Woods?

But his participation is not enough for the GOAT (Greatest of all Time). Asked if he believes in a sixth victory in this edition of the Masters, the record-breaking winner replies simply: “I do.”

Already in his practice rounds, Tiger Woods appeared confident. His flight partners reported that he had no more signs of injury and was playing at his high level. Find out how Tiger Woods will fare in the coming days in our live scoring and live ticker!

Highlights Tours

Who are the favorites for the US Masters 2022?

The first major is just around the corner this week. The starting field is relatively small with 91 players and the venue is Augusta National Golf Club, as it is every year. With the help of the performances of the past weeks as well as the statistics of the past years we can identify the biggest favorites. At the same time, some players can also be excluded as favorites. However, it should not be forgotten: “Unexpected often comes”…

Especially in focus at the US Masters 2022

Future hope Viktor Hovland already proved several times in his young years that he has what it takes to become a champion. Hovland leads the DP World Tour Rankings this season with just three tournaments played, and he currently sits seventh in the FedEx Cup rankings thanks to one win and four top-10 finishes. He finished the 2019 Masters as the top amateur and just missed the top 20 (T21) last year.

Australian Cameron Smith has already prevailed in two significant tournaments this year. Tournament number 1 of 2022, the Tournament of Champions in Hawaii, was won by Smith with a record score of 34 strokes under par. He also took the winning prize money in the unofficial “fifth” major, the Players Championship. With these two victories, he is currently in third place in the FedEx Cup. Smith is definitely a dangerous competitor in this form.

Since the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, no one has been able to get past the name Scottie Scheffler. With his third win in six weeks, he reached the top of the world rankings two weeks before the Masters. There is no denying that the American is in absolute top form. Although he “only” finished T18 at the last Masters, he made it into the top 10 at the other 2021 Major tournaments.

The absolute favorite is, among others, Jon Rahm, who until last week had been at the top of the world rankings for a total of 43 weeks. Major tournaments seem to suit him particularly well: The Spaniard has finished in the top 10 in each of his last four Masters appearances, while he also played his way into the top 10 twice in the other three majors last year and achieved his first major victory at the US Open. Based on these results, Rahm is not the top favorite for no reason.

Collin Morikawa is the high-flyer of 2020/21. At just 25 years of age, he is already a two-time major winner and has worked his way up to second place in the world rankings thanks to numerous victories and placings. The Masters is the major at which he has been least successful in his still young career. His best result so far was a shared 18th place last year, which he will try to beat this year.

Looking at the Masters stats

In addition to the five favorites listed, there are several other players who, according to various statistics, will have the best chance of winning the 2022 US Masters. For example, each of the last ten Masters winners was in the top 25 of the official world golf rankings in the week of their victory. Patrick Cantlay, Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele, Billy Horschel, Louis Oosthuizen, Abraham Ancer, Tyrrell Hatton, Brooks Koepka, Jordan Spieth, Bryson DeChambeau, Joaquin Niemann, Daniel Berger, Tony Finau, Harris English, Matt Fitzpatrick and Paul Casey also have good chances.

Two players were excluded in this enumeration: Sam Burns and Hideki Matsuyama. Sam Burns is competing at the Masters for the first time, making him a newcomer to Augusta. At 86 Masters, only one rookie has managed to win the tournament so far, so the chances for players competing for the first time are pretty slim. This also applies to Harold Varner III, Sepp Straka, Tom Hoge and JJ Spaun, among others. Hideki Matsuyama will start as defending champion at the 2022 Masters, which is why he is denied a favorite position. Only three players have managed to defend the title in the entire Masters era.

Looking at the Strokes Gained statistics, some players get another plus point. Eight of the last ten Masters winners were at least 1.5 strokes per round better from tee to green than their competitors in the three months leading up to the Masters. Jon Rahm, Joqauin Niemann, Justin Thomas, Scottie Scheffler, Matt Fitzpatrick, Rory McIlroy, Daniel Berger, Paul Casey and Viktor Hovland all figure in that trend.

Highlights Tours

US Masters 2022: Bryson DeChambeau plays despite injuries

In recent weeks and months, headlines have not reported Bryson DeChambeau’s strong performances, but his numerous health problems. Among them his wrist problems and hip pain. On Monday, he spoke about his health condition and how he is dealing with it at the 2022 US Masters. An important message for his fans: He will compete, but he is not yet back to 100 percent performance.

Bryson DeChambeau: “I’m at 80 percent performance”

DeChambeau is back in Augusta and training together with his coaching team. But due to his injuries, he can’t follow his usual training path. “I can give about 80 percent right now,” he answered in an interview when asked about his form. “That’s why I can’t do swing speed training and I have to train smarter in general. I have to be careful and effective in the things I practice.” But DeChambeau also sees improvement in recent weeks, just in time for the 2022 U.S. Masters. “I’m proud that I made it here in such a short time. I’m pleased with that,” he said. ““Hitting golf balls on the range today, I was able to sustain practice for a good amount of time,” he said. Despite his weaker form, he still manages a ball speed of around 190 miles per hour.

US Masters 2022: Doctors advise against participation

DeChambeau’s hip injury developed two years ago, he explained in an interview. The small tear in his hip labrum first became relevant when he slipped “Charlie Brown-like” during a table tennis match against Sergio Garcia and Joaquin Niemann in front of the Saudi International and fell on said hip, as well as his injured hand.
After that, DeChambeau underwent CTs and MRIs resulting in a hairline fracture of the hamate bone. This common injury, especially among baseball players, could also stem from his excessive workouts at the driving range, according to DeChambeau. Back in November, he was probably struggling with problems in his hand: “Last November, before I played against Brooks, I felt something. There was something on my hand that kind of popped, and I was like, ‘Ah, this isn’t normal.’ It didn’t really feel good either. It was hard to hit balls.”
The American’s injuries usually entail a four-month break, but DeChambeau was back on the golf course after just two months. This decision is not without risks and in the worst case could lead to surgery one his left hand. But for DeChambeau, one thing is certain, “the Masters is only once a year and I have to give it a go.”

For “The Hulk,” the last six weeks off were not a punishment. He himself said he used the time to give back to his viewers and to golf. “It’s really made me a different person, and – I hope – a better person who also has a different perspective on the game of golf.” He also learned to listen to his body better and give himself rest breaks, he said.
But despite that positive outlook, his comeback to the golf course was frustrating. After six weeks without playing practice, his rounds were marked by shouts of “Fore.” “It’s just not fun. It’s very difficult on your mental psyche as well.”

Bryson DeChambeau wants to take it slower

For him, the last few months have been a learning phase. He had to deal with the first major injury of his career and (at least partially) revise many attitudes toward sports. “You have to pay attention to every part of your body,” he explained in the interview. Still, he said he continues to enjoy pushing his limits and making improvements as a result. Due to his injuries, however, that approach hasn’t necessarily been possible, “i’ve taken more of a reserved approach now through this season, I’ll start ramping back up when I feel 100 percent again.” For now, he is confident of playing up front again at Augusta, despite his weaker form. “It’s been a bit of unravelling this knot that I’ve had in my game for the past four years,” he said of his search for greater consistency with his swing. “We’re finally moving in a direction that I feel is positive for me being able to win again, hopefully, regularly like I did in 2018.”

Highlights Tours

Comeback at The Masters? – Tiger Woods practices at Augusta National

With the first Major of the year just ahead, speculation is getting fuelled about a return of Tiger Woods to golf’s biggest stage. Will arguably the greatest golfer of all time, recently inducted into the Hall of Fame, make his comeback after his serious accident around 13 months ago at Augusta National, where he already celebrated his sporting revival in 2019? In any case, the 46-year-old is still listed in the field of players for the prestigious major and now the superstar has already flown to Augusta a week before the start of the tournament.

Tiger Woods: Practice round at Augusta National

On Tuesday morning local time, the private jet of the 15-time major winner landed at the local airport, in the afternoon Tiger Woods played a practice round at the legendary golf club at Magnolia Lane. Together with his fellow Justin Thomas and son Charlie, with whom he already excelled at the PNC Championship last December, Woods played all 18 holes at Augusta National. An insider told ESPN: “He looked good to me.”

Prior to that, the five-time Masters winner had also played a few rounds at his home club, The Medalist in Jupiter, Florida (USA), to test out the resilience of the right leg he had injured so badly. Now it’s time for the ultimate test at Augusta National, which not only demands a lot from the player in terms of golf, but also represents a real test of endurance due to its long paths and hilly courses.

“He’s gonna tee it up”

The fact that he was accompanied by his caddie, Joe LaCava, fuels hopes that Tiger Woods will make a comeback soon. “He’s gonna tee it up, I think,” Colt Knost, a former PGA Tour pro, said on “The Drop Zone” podcast, for example. “I know Joe and Tiger are close, but I don’t see Joe flying down to Florida just to carry his bag and hang out.” Knost also believes Woods would have already cancelled his participation in the first major of the year if he knew he couldn’t play.

Brad Faxon, a pro on the PGA Tour Champions, also has high hopes for Tiger, but thinks a return anytime soon is less likely. “I’m continually amazed by the things Tiger Woods can do. And, if he puts his mind together and feels OK, can he, ranked 944th in the world, come back and play at the Masters and then could he contend? It would be an unbelievable Ben Hogan-like success story.” the American said of the speculation. “My emotion wants him to play,” the 60-year-old explained, but “if I had to bet money I would say it’s probably less than 50/50.”

Participation at the Masters 2022?

Whether Tiger Woods will really make his comeback at the US Masters 2022 at Augusta National remains to be seen. As a former champion, the superstar is obviously seeded in the field and can take his time deciding whether or not to play until the tournament begins. The first Major of the year at Augusta National will be played from 7 to 10 April.

Highlights Tours

Tom Watson to be Honorary Starter at the US Masters 2022

Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus are “old hands” as honorary starters at the US Masters in Augusta. For years, the golf legends have opened the legendary Major at Augusta National Golf Club with the first tee shot. However, this year they will live the experience with an old acquaintance and friend, Tom Watson. Watson won two green jackets in his 43-year Masters career. In April, Tom Watson will tee off at the US Masters for the first time as one of the three Honorary Starters.

Fred Ridley: “We are happy that he accepted our invitation”

Fred Ridley, President of the US Masters, said in a press announcement on Tuesday morning (11.01.2022),  “I am honored that Tom Watson accepted our invitation to the US Masters. I look forward to commemorating his love for the game and the impact on the Masters. Watson counts with millions of fans of his across the globe who cannot wait to watch him hitting the tee shot. Specially when he will do so alongside the two other all-time greats, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player.”

The three honorary starters share a long career together at the Masters and the PGA Tour. They faced each other both as competitors and as friends. Actually, Jack Nicklaus was the runner-up in both of the Tom Watson’s victories. On the other hand, Watson gave up the 1978 Masters victory to Nicklaus after finishing with an upsetting bogey.

Tom Watson is looking forward to returning to Augusta

“Augusta National in April is one of my favorite places to be.” Watson said. “With the many fond memories of both watching the Masters as a youngster and then competing in the Tournament for so many years, I am greatly proud to join my friends and fellow competitors, Jack and Gary, as an Honorary Starter in this upcoming Masters. In fact, Jack was on my heels in both of my victories. Furthermore, when Gary won his third Tournament in 1978, I was there to help him put the Green Jacket on. Nowadays, those are the memories stand out in my career when I look back. To have the opportunity to share the Honorary Starter tradition with Jack, Gary and the Masters patrons is very special to me.” 

Moreover, Watson will honour this role double this year. Tom is also going to live up to the recently deceased Lee Elder, the golf legend who became the first black player to open the Masters as an Honorary Starter in 2021.

Highlights Tours

Top Golfers are Getting Younger

T-minus 1 week!

For number seven in our countdown series of golf fun facts and statistics, we’re looking at the players themselves.

The average age of the Masters winners across 85 years is 32. But the players at the top of today’s game are younger than this average.

Last week was the Masters’ qualifying week. We took a look at this week’s OWGR list and found that seven of the top 10 players are in their 20s, making the chances of a younger-than-average winner this year look pretty good.

The seven players are, in order of rank, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Collin Morikawa, Bryson DeChambeau, Xander Schauffele, Tyrrell Hatton and Patrick Cantlay.

Top 10 OWGR list for the Masters qualifying week in 2021.

Morikawa is the youngest of the group at age 24 and is currently fourth in the OWGR going into this year’s Masters.

Hatton and Cantlay are the oldest and — coincidentally — the lowest ranked 20-somethings in the top 10. Both are aged 29 and in ranks 8 and 10 respectively.

Any player who is in the top 50 of the official world golf ranking list released in the week before that year’s Masters tournament automatically qualifies for the event.

What does that mean for this year?

While there is some decent potential in this group of seven for a younger winner this year, they will have some tough competition.

Defending champion and world number 1, Dustin Johnson is still the bookies’ favourite for this year. The 36 year old has got 8-1 odds on him with less than a week to go.

Dustin Johnson, 36, won his first green jacket at last year’s postponed Masters, which took place in November due to the initial COVID-19 outbreak earlier in the year.

However, the younger players still have good chances, it seems. Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm and Bryson DeChambeau are all at 12-1 odds this week.

Jon Rahm, whose wife is expecting their first child during the Masters week, has already warned fans “not to bet on him”. The 26 year-old plans to drop everything if need be in order to attend the birth of his son.

Young stars making their first appearance also include Robert MacIntyre from Scotland who received support on social media this week after expressing his excitement for the event.

This article is part of our Countdown to The Masters series. Join us every day between now and April 7 for fun facts and interesting stories about golf and The Masters tournament.