Anticipation Growing for the Return of “A Tradition Unlike Any Other”

Justin Thomas
Justin Thomas won the Players’ Championship, and is a favorite in the year’s first major, the Masters.

After being disrupted in 2020 because of the pandemic, the Masters is returning to its long-time spot on the golf calendar, and the excitement is building.

By Anthony Cotton

The latest stop on the PGA TOUR is an intriguing one, the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, a 64-man, NCAA March Madness-type affair featuring seedings (Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm and Collin Morikawa are the No. 1s) and all the “win-or-go-home” and bracket-busting excitement that you could possibly stand as you ponder the history of golf’s No. 2 versus No. 15 matchups.

But this week’s drama in Austin, Texas, pales in comparison to some of the rumblings coming from a little more than 1,000 miles to the east.

“Lee Westwood visited Augusta National where he played 36 holes on Monday and 18 on Tuesday…” 

“I played it two weeks ago, and the course is in immaculate condition,” said Dustin Johnson…

Justin Thomas
Photo Credit: USA Today

If it seems like only yesterday that we were talking about the Masters, well, you’re not really that far off. Disrupted by the novel coronavirus, the 2020 tournament was pushed back to the fall, with Johnson having the green jacket draped over his shoulders by 2019 champ Tiger Woods. Any question about whether Woods, who was recovering from back surgery, would be able to try and win his 16th major championship this year at Augusta, were scuttled because of his single-vehicle car accident in February.

Even so, there’s no shortage of buzz surrounding this year’s event, which is not only returning to its traditional spot on the schedule (April 8-11), but will also allow a limited number of “patrons” on to the hallowed grounds of Augusta National Golf Club. How the course will play this year, versus last November—and exactly how loud the roars will be on the back nine during the final round—are just a couple of the fascinating story lines accompanying the season’s first major.

In its ramp-up to the tournament, CBS Sports has looked at the Masters from a number of angles. To get an idea of how the conditions at Augusta National may vary from last fall, look HERE:

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