Today sees the tee off of the eagerly anticipated 2018 Masters
Rise of Tiger
The big talking point once again going into the week, was the return of Tiger Woods. The golfing icon has made a miraculous comeback to form in the past couple of months. Playing back to backs for the first time in years and showing glimpses of the Old Tiger that brought home 4 green jackets. His short-game seems to be as good as it ever was and you have to feel if he can minimize the wayward drives, hes got a real shot. In his last two outings he has managed two top-5 finishes which will surely boost his confidence in his playing ability.
His comeback has rejuvenated the sport of golf worldwide and there are many hoping and willing him to come out on top this weekend.
Grand Slam at Stake
Another big talking point coming into the week is Rory McIlroy and his quest to be only the 6th person ever to complete the career grand slam. The 28-year-old needs to get his hands on the green jacket to complete the career grand slam, having already won the Open, The US Open and the PGA Championship. But rather than get obsessed by completing the quartet of major victories, McIlroy insisted he is going to head to the famous Augusta course relaxed.
“(Putting yourself under pressure) is the worst thing to do,” McIlroy told The Guardian.
“There is already a lot of that from outside. You don’t want to compound that. The more you can freewheel it, relish it as an opportunity to do something great and enjoy it, the better.”
While it has been long assumed that McIlroy will win the Masters — his game is seen as the perfect fit for the fabled course — he is without a major win since August 2014. But his recent win at Bay Hill ended an 18-month stretch without a title and he is heading to Augusta in a relaxed, confident mood.
A Strong Field
This has been listed as one of the strongest fields at the Masters in recent years with no notable injuries and you can very well make a case for any of the top30 contenders winning. From the American field you have Spieth, Thomas and Johnson. Johnson as the world No.1, Spieth who has won here before and Thomas is one of the quickest rising golfers in the game after his break out year last year. Mickelson and Bubba Watson who have both found form of late, winning titles in 2018 respectively. Then you have Kuchar, Fowler and many more capable of producing a performance to see them contending on Sunday.
Many favor Rose to be out on top this weekend, he has recently hit sensational form and eerily missed out on the title last year to Garcia in a playoff. Other stars include Rahm, Fleetwood, Scott, Garcia, Casey etc.. the list goes on. The latest addition to the field was Ian Poultar who got into the tournament after a sensational victory last week at the Houston Open. A victory that will surely leave his confidence sky high.
A Freak Accident
It wouldn’t be Masters week without a freak accident occurring to one of the players. You may remember Dustin Johnson’s innocuous trip on the stairs last year, which suddenly forced the player out of the tournament on the 1st tee box. Johnson was the inform player and favorite going into the week. In 2018, Tony Finau managed to dislocate his ankle while celebrating a hole in one in yesterdays Par-3 contest. As he was running to the green he turned around and fell awkwardly on his left ankle. He quickly popped back in place and assures people he will still play today. You do have to question how much it will affect his game from the constant walking and striking force he has but delighted to hear he will play.