This Week in Golf: It’s the Masters at Augusta!

How to watch and who to watch among the 89 players in full field

By Nick Tarratt, Khaleej Times Guest Golf Writer

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An eye on the prize - Rory McIlroy - tipped by many to complete the set of the Majors at The Masters this week. - File photo
An eye on the prize - Rory McIlroy - tipped by many to complete the set of the Majors at The Masters this week. - File photo

Published: Tue 9 Apr 2024, 3:32 PM

There is only one place to start this article with – the Masters at the Augusta National Golf Club.

All the debates on who is playing well and who is not are now over and the first Major of the year is upon us.


It will be the first occasion of 2024 where players from all tours - the PGA Tour, LIV Golf, DP World Tour and others - all congregate to test each other’s skills and level of golf.

Defending champion Jon Rahm must be one of the favourites along with World Number One Scottie Scheffler.


Spain's Jon Rahm celebrates with his green jacket and the trophy after winning The Masters in 2013. - Reuters File
Spain's Jon Rahm celebrates with his green jacket and the trophy after winning The Masters in 2013. - Reuters File

It has been interesting to read that Rory McIlroy, still looking for his first green jacket, popped over to see Butch Harmon before playing in the Valero Texas Open. It appears that he is certainly trying to freshen up his build-up to the one Major missing from his distinguished CV.

July 2014 seems a long time ago since Rory won the last of his four Majors in the 2014 PGA Championship, held at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky.

We wish him well as he has played some good golf so far this year – especially when winning the HERO Dubai Desert Classic in January. And a decent finish in Texas in third place means he will not have spent all his energy prior to The Masters week.

It does seem a very open 2024 Masters with no one, apart from Scheffler showing real form over an extended period of time.

The 2023 Champions Dinner portrait. - Instagram
The 2023 Champions Dinner portrait. - Instagram

The field is now set – with 22-year-old Akshay Bhatia (US) taking up the final and 89th spot by winning the Valero Texas Open on the PGA Tour. A nice back story is that he is the first player in The Master's field to participate in the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals hosted by The Masters for junior golfers – he came here 10 years ago and finished sixth in the Boys 12 – 13 Age Group.

A total of 13 LIV Golf players will compete, among them Rahm, Bryson DeChambeau, Bubba Watson, Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka, Adrian Meronk, Tyrrell Hatton, Charl Schwartzel, Sergio Garcia, Patrick Reed, Joaquin Niemann and Cam Smith. With a lot of noise around these players and LIV Golf – they seem to have a point to prove.

To watch The Masters in the UAE and MENA region, tune in to DAZN’s new PGA Tour Pass.

My tip to win at Augusta this week?

Look no further than the OWGR’s Number Two golfer Rory McIlroy – and good luck to all. The world of golf will be watching – let’s hope it is a showcase of all that is good about golf.

We cannot wait until the first shot is hit on Thursday morning! Weather permitting – fingers crossed that the rain and thunderstorms forecast miss this part of Georgia!

Schedule

The Major

Thursday 11th – Sunday 14th April

The Masters

Venue: Augusta National, Georgia

Winner’s prize money in 2023: $3.24 million


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