Roars and wisdom back in style for return of ‘real’ Masters

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New York

It was a November to remember last year at Augusta National, but golfers expect course knowledge to pay more dividends this year as spectators return to the Masters.

The green jacket battle off Magnolia Lane wasn’t the same last autumn after Covid-19 postponed the Masters from April to November and kept spectators from attending, with Dustin Johnson winning in record fashion over a rain-soaked course.

“We knew it wasn’t going to be lightning fast, really firm like it can get in April,” said second-ranked Justin Thomas.

“Just a lot of little things here and there I had a hard time getting used to.
“Everyone knew what the golf course was. It just was about execution. But you had to go about it differently than you do in April.”

Many of the world’s top players will attack the famed layout as they have in past years, seeing last year as a one-off where knowledge accumulated over years at Augusta National had little value.

“Experience is always going to help with certain areas you can or can’t be, but very few years when we play in April where it plays close to those conditions,” Spain’s third-ranked Jon Rahm said.

“When it comes to the greens, it played extremely different to what I’m used to. You had to be very precise with the shots into the green.—AP