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Masters 2020: Autumnal Augusta & Other Early Talking Points

For golfers around the world, both professional and amateur, there is no spectacle quite like the annual running of the Masters and, despite the postponement of its usual April start, the final major of 2020 is ready to add some sparkle to an otherwise challenging year.

Here at Hole19 HQ, we've been getting firmly into the spirit of the Masters and have been chewing over some of the most significant early talking points. Check them out below.

Autumnal Augusta Awaits

The Masters in November will bring plenty of welcome familiarity to a public hungry for a little slice of 'normal'. In many other ways, Augusta National in autumn/fall will be unlike anything we've ever seen before.

The golf ball will fly shorter distances, towards softer greens and perhaps new, never-seen-before pin positions. As well as that, the beautifully vibrant backdrop of azaleas, and other colourful blooms, may not be as evident given the seasonal change.

With that said, it's hard to second-guess Augusta National - they will likely find a way to plant a whole array of beautiful flowers to give us all a recognisable Masters scene.

No Patrons? No Problem

In these difficult times, we could have seen the Masters easily go the way of The Open Championship which was cancelled many months ago.

Mercifully, after a lot of work behind the scenes bringing the tournament together, we will get to see the world's best golfers tussle for the hallowed Green Jacket next week, albeit in relatively more restrained and serene surroundings.

While the patrons are an essential part of each and every Masters tournament, it quickly became apparent that having galleries of fans in attendance was an impossible dream for 2020.

Thankfully, the pleasing melody of continuous birdsong and soft piano music - intertwined with an enhanced ability to listen in on player/caddie chatter - will provide a great soundtrack to the 2020 Masters.

Rory's Career Grand Slam?

It's always one of the biggest talking points when it comes to Masters time of year - will Rory finally get his hands on the Green Jacket he needs to complete the career grand slam?

To join Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Tiger Woods in winning each of the four men's major championships, the Northern Irishman will need to find his very best form, and find the mental strength to fend off concerted challenges from all angles.

After 16 events in 2020, he's still searching for a single win. Perhaps the strange surroundings offered up by the season's final major, and the lack of expectant patrons, could settle Rory and play right into his hands.

Catch some great golf tips from the main man below.

Split Tee Times

Due to the Masters being rescheduled for a November start, the fewer daylight hours in Augusta, Georgia this time of year meant that a two-tee start was inevitable for rounds 1 & 2.

Split tee times are a rare occurrence in the history of the Masters; however, last year's final round saw a two-tee start due to the threat of thunderstorms. Tee times will be announced closer to the first round (Thursday, Nov 12), and usually the day before.

Bryson to Bomb to Victory?

Augusta National is not a golf course where you can take liberties. Punishing card-wrecking numbers are possible if you get out of position. Still, Bryson DeChambeau has added so much length - and accuracy - to his long game, that it's impossible to not see it as an obvious advantage over the majority of the field.

Three-time major winner Jordan Spieth talks about Bryson's chances this week below. The 2015 champ thinks Bryson has the Masters in his hands... and it's HIS TO LOSE.

Tiger Defends His Masters Title... Finally

It seems like a lifetime ago when we watched in awe as Tiger Woods returned to major championship glory at the 2019 Masters. By finishing a single stroke ahead of pre-tournament favourites Dustin Johnson and Brooks Kopeka, Tiger closed to within three of Jack Nicklaus' 18-major record.

If he's to close the gap further next week, he will require a season's best performance - by a long way. Post-lockdown performances have been pretty underwhelming, and Tiger goes into the 84th Masters - in the bookies' view at least - as very much the underdog. It would be reckless in the extreme to write him off completely, though.

Let us know who you're rooting for at this year's Masters in the comments below.


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