Who might take home the iconic green jacket from the Masters this year?
The weather for the first day of the Masters tournament will be gorgeous and picturesque – just about perfect.
Be forewarned, though, the weekend could bring some type of storms to the area, along with dramatic storylines.
The question asked every single year since 2005 when four-time Masters champion Tiger Woods last slid that green jacket onto his shoulders: what are Tiger Woods’ chances?
“I don’t really need to win,” Woods said. “I really want to.”
Woods in a group alongside Haotong Li and Jon Rahm.
“I just think if you get off to a quick start here, a solid start, it gives us a lot of confidence going forward,” Woods said.
Augusta’s own Patrick Reed is returning to the National on Thursday with his first green jacket. Reed is going to have to get down to business quick if he wants to walk out of Augusta with another jacket. He acknowledged Tuesday that his life has changed since last year’s victory.
“I think the biggest thing would have been, you know, in the very beginning is just really managing my time well. I'm a grinder. I mean, if anything, I probably hit too many golf balls and you know, I'm on the golf course too long. So as later in the weeks come, it can get a little more stressful in my body and on my mind,” Reed said.
“And then with being Masters Champion, now you're adding extra obligations and extra things that come along with it, and it's just trying to in the very beginning was trying to figure out, okay, how do I manage the time and make sure I get everything in I needed to do on the golf course and also off the golf course to be ready Monday through Sunday.”
Reed is in a group with Webb Simpson and Viktor Hovland.
Is this the year we finally get to see Dustin Johnson put on that green jacket?
He’s the No. 2 player in the world. He’s the fifth player in 50 years to win 20 tournaments before the age of 35.
Being there on Sunday, at least in Johnson’s eyes, comes down to his short game.
“If my short game is really good, especially around here, you have to chip and putt it well. If you chip and putt it well, you're going to have a good week,” Johnson said.
Johnson is in a group with Bryson DeChambeau and Jason Day.
Jordan Reed has had two runner-up finishes at the National in the past four years. As of this week, he’s now the No. 1 player in the world – just edging out Dustin Johnson.
But Reed is not looking back on those runner-up finishes recently. In fact, he’s focusing on his 2004 showing where he was leading through two rounds, and faltered on the third day.
“Gave me such great valuable experience and insights into how to play it, how not to play it and how it can kind of trick you and bully you a little bit at times.”
Reed is also firmly aware that No. 1 players in the world routinely struggle at the National. He might be aware of it, but he’s also no letting it dominate his thoughts.
There are some course changes this year.
National Chairman Fred Ridley said at a news conference Wednesday that recent changes to Hole No. 5 “maintains the original design philosophy of Bobby Jones and Alister MacKenzie.”
“We believe it will have a positive impact on pace of play,” Ridley said.