Golf

Masters 2021 ultimate guide: There are clear favourites and clear flops in the field

The 2021 Masters are a return to glory for the most prestigious event in golf with crowds allowed back in after a bizarre 2020 event.

The Masters field for 2021 appears as evenly-matched as any recent year, but it is already clear who the front-runners are and which players are making up the numbers this year.

Here is everything you need to know about the 2021 Masters – and who is going to walk away on Monday morning (AEST) with the coveted green jacket.

When does the event start

Players have been hitting the famous Augusta National course all week with practice rounds. The first round begins on Friday, April 9, from 5am (AEST). The daily rounds continue through to the final round on Monday morning.

How to watch the event on Australian TV

Foxtel and Kayo have gone all-out for the 2021 Masters with a dedicated pop-up channel and extended live coverage. You can watch every round of the event, beginning at 5am (AEST) from Friday morning live and ad-break free through Kayo. The final round on Monday morning includes special extended coverage, beginning from 4am.

Watch The Masters 2021 at Augusta National on Kayo. Stream Every Round Live Plus Additional Feeds, Daily Wraps & More. Join Kayo Now & Start Streaming Instantly >

The Masters can also be watched on Channel 9 from 5am each day.

Golf: Phil Mickelson is undoubtedly one of the best golfers of all time, but even the greats can have a bad day and lefty had an all-time shocker on the 18th at the Valero Tex…

Golf: Phil Mickelson is undoubtedly one of the best golfers of all time, but even the greats can have a bad day and lefty had an all-time shocker on the 18th at the Valero Texas Open.

Who are the favourites to win the green jacket

Dustin Johnson – $10

Justin Thomas – $11

Bryson DeChambeau – $12

Jordan Spieth – $12

Jon Rahm – $13

Rory McIlroy – $17

Patrick Cantalay – $23

Cameron Smith – $26

Who looks well priced

Dustin Johnson and Paulina Gretzky shared a special moment at the end of the 72nd hole.Source:AFP

Dustin Johnson is the clear favourite to defend his Masters triumph after setting a course record 20 under-par when the 2020 Masters were held in November, delayed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He is hoping to become the first man since Tiger Woods in 2002 to defend his green jacket. Johnson needs to overcome one of the most evenly-balanced fields seen at Augusta National for some time to earn another kiss from fiance Paulina Gretzky – like they famously shared at the end of his 2020 triumph.

Aussie Cameron Smith deserves his place as one of the favourites to win the event after a red-hot 2020 Masters where he finished second with a score that would have been enough to win the event most years. He created history last year as the first man to produce four rounds with scores below 70 at Augusta National.

Bryson DeChambeau and his terrifying swing have been one of the biggest talking points in the build-up to the Masters.

The hulk this week showed off some insane spine contortion during his practice rounds while unleashing his new-look driver.

DeChambeau — who won the Arnold Palmer Invitational last month — has certainly earned his reputation as the most dangerous long-bomber in the sport.

He is now armed with a new version of Cobra’s ‘Radspeed’ driver which has appeared on the USGA’s approved drivers list just days out from the 2021 Masters, with the club’s 5.5 degree angle a giveaway that it’s a unique design for the big-hitting US superstar.

Who looks like they’re kidding themselves

Aussies Marc Leishman, Adam Scott and Matt Jones practising on the 16th hole.Source:AFP

Aussie Adam Scott is always a threat at Augusta, but there are serious question marks about his current form. The Queensland star has finished in the top-10 just once in his 10 events this season. Since his iconic 2013 Masters win, Scott has struggled at Augusta with just one top-10 finish in his last seven tournaments.

American legend Phil Mickelson appears to be making up the numbers. The 50-year-old’s best result this year is finishing 25th. A fairytale win in his 29th Masters appearance appears to be impossible.

Aussie Matt Jones is the biggest wildcard of the Australian contingent after securing a spot in the field of 88 players with his win at the Honda Classic last month where he pocketed a cool $1.2 million. However, the world No. 55 has only played the Masters once previously, when he failed to make the cut after shooting 8-over in 2014.

Where are the US Masters held?

The Masters are held at the iconic Augusta National Golf Club, a two-hour drive from Atlanta in Georgia.

What is the prize money for winning the Masters?

The 2021 Masters has a total prize money pool of $11.5 million (US).

The champion will receive $2,070,000. The runner-up receives more than $1.2 million. Every player that finishes in the top 10 receives more than $300,000.

How will COVID-19 impact the event

It was announced last month fans attending the Masters will no longer be required to provide proof of a negative COVID test prior to entry.

Crowd numbers are expected to be capped at 12,000 per day, a significant reduction from the 50,000 that attended rounds before the pandemic.

There were no fans at the 2020 event.

The safety protocols for those attending the event include mandatory face coverings, social distancing, hand sanitising and cashless payments.

List of recent winners

2020 — Dustin Johnson

2019 — Tiger Woods

2018 — Patrick Reed

2017 — Sergio Garcia

2016 — Danny Willett

2015 — Jordan Spieth

2014 — Bubba Watson

2013 — Adam Scott

2012 — Bubba Watson

2011 — Charl Schwartzel

2010 — Phil Mickelson

2009 — Angel Cabrera

2008 — Trevor Immelman

2007 — Zach Johnson

2006 — Phil Mickelson

2005 — Tiger Woods

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