7 months late, this Masters will be like no other

It may be 7 months late, but the Masters championship is set to return tomorrow night (US time) to Augusta National.

The Masters will be a bit different this year. The lack of fans and the missing colours of autumn are sure to create a different viewing experience than we’re used to.

Tiger Woods Woods celebrates winning his 15th major title (Credit: PGA Tour)

The last time the tournament was played in April 2019, Tiger Woods fired a 13-under to win another Green Jacket to add to this 15 majors and the five-time champ is back again this year to defend his title.

Woods has been nothing short of impressive throughout his career at Augusta National, winning five green jackets and recording a total of 14 top-10 finishes.

However, the former world number 1 has been inconsistent since claiming his 82nd career victory at the ZOZO Championship last year, finishing outside the top-40 six times in his last seven starts on the PGA Tour.

The 44-year-old also missed the cut at the US Open in September.

The first two majors played this year resulted in a pair of first-time major champions, with Collin Morikawa rising to the top of a crowded leaderboard to win the PGA Championship and Bryson DeChambeau overpowering Winged Foot on his way to a six-stroke victory at the US Open.

DeChambeau quite rightly deserves to be one of the favourites at Augusta this year. He was exceptional at the US Open in September and is widely recognised as a player who will revolutionise golf.

The self-appointed ‘golf scientist’ has been hinting about a 48-inch driver shaft for the Masters and says it will make him even longer and if it does, he’ll take some stopping.

Matthew Wolff, who was runner-up to DeChambeau at the US Open, will make his first trip to Augusta and should be considered as a strong prospect.

Dustin Johnson should never be underestimated and as the world’s No.1 golfer has to be considered a serious threat at Augusta.

As well as claiming this season’s Tour Championship, Johnson won the Northern Trust Open and was beaten in a playoff at the BMW Championship.

Johnson’s form in recent majors has also been impressive, with a runner-up finish at the PGA Championship and a tied sixth result at the US Open along with an impressive runner-up finish in Houston alongside Hideki Matsuyama on Sunday.

Sergio Garcia withdrew yesterday after a positive coronavirus test. The Spaniard missed the cut at Houston on Friday and became ill travelling home to Texas and it will be his first no-show at a major championship in 21 years.

Joaquin Niemann of Chile previously announced over the weekend he also tested positive and withdrew.

The announcements brings to 15 the number of PGA Tour players who have tested positive since golf returned in June from the COVID-19 pandemic-caused shutdown. That includes Dustin Johnson, who sat out two events last month.

Jason Day, Adam Scott, Cameron Smith, Marc Leishman and Lukas Michel will make up the Australian contingent.

Michel, one of six amateurs playing, received his start through his win at the US Mid-Amateur and earlier in the week played a practice round with Leishman after bunking up in the Crow’s Nest at Augusta.

Jason Day and Adam Scott look like the strongest chances of the Aussies with Day looking solid in Texas until a final round 71 left him in equal 7th place.

Catch all the action on 9 Gem, Fox Sports and Kayo from 5am (AEDST).