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Hello, Friends: Everything You Need To Know About The Masters

masters

Hello, friends.

Tomorrow begins a tradition unlike any other, the storied PGA golf tournament known as the Masters. Played each April at the beautiful Augusta National Golf Club in front of tens of thousands of “patrons” eating $1.50 pimento cheese sandwiches, the Masters is one of the best weekends in all of sport. (And the best couch Sunday of the year.)

To get you ready for golf’s first major of the year, I have a full primer for you this evening so you’re up to speed when Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player hit the ceremonial tee shots to start the tournament at 7:40 a.m. tomorrow morning.

Give it a read and then stock your fridge for a long weekend inside.


HOW TO WATCH


Save your energy and let me tell you where to find the TV coverage.


THURSDAY | FIRST ROUND

ESPN… 3:00 – 7:30 p.m.
ESPN… 8:00 – 11:00 p.m. (Replay)
Masters.com Live Stream… 7:45 am – 7:00 p.m.

FRIDAY | SECOND ROUND

ESPN… 3:00 – 7:30 p.m.
ESPN… 8:00 – 11:00 p.m. (Replay)
Masters.com Live Stream… 8:30 am – 7:30 p.m.

SATURDAY | THIRD ROUND 

CBS… 3:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Masters.com Live Stream… 10:15 am – 7:00 p.m.

SUNDAY | FINAL ROUND

CBS… 3:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Masters.com Live Stream… 10:15 am – 7:00 p.m.


WHERE TO WATCH


Where you should physically be while golf is on this weekend.


Your Couch

If you’re anywhere but your couch with your cell phone off and a Do Not Disturb sign on your front door, you are doing it completely wrong.


THURSDAY TEE TIMES/PAIRINGS


Here’s your first-round schedule.


8 a.m. Daniel Summerhays Russell Henley
8:11 a.m. Trevor Immelman Brendan Steele Jhonattan Vegas
8:22 a.m. Mike Weir Billy Hurley III Scott Piercy
8:33 a.m. Larry Mize Brian Stuard Stewart Hagestad (A)
8:44 a.m. Soren Kjeldsen Kevin Chappell Jim Furyk
8:55 a.m. Sandy Lyle Sean O’Hair Scott Gregory (A)
9:06 a.m. Zach Johnson Louis Oosthuizen Adam Hadwin
9:17 a.m. Tommy Fleetwood Gary Woodland J.B. Holmes
9:28 a.m. Adam Scott Kevin Kisner Andy Sullivan
9:39 a.m. Francesco Molinari Daniel Berger Thomas Pieters
10:01 a.m. Fred Couples Paul Casey Kevin Na
10:12 a.m. Russell Knox Rickie Fowler Hideki Matsuyama
10:23 a.m. Branden Grace Brooks Koepka Jeunghun Wang
10:34 a.m. Jordan Spieth Martin Kaymer Matthew Fitzpatrick
10:45 a.m. Phil Mickelson Rafael Cabrera-Bello Si Woo Kim
10:56 a.m. Brandt Snedeker Justin Rose Jason Day
11:07 a.m. Rod Pampling William McGirt
11:18 a.m. Mark O’Meara Hudson Swafford Roberto Castro
11:29 a.m. Ian Woosnam James Hahn Brad Dalke (A)
11:40 a.m. Ross Fisher Pat Perez Byeong-Hun An
11:51 a.m. Jose Maria Olazabal Ryan Moore Webb Simpson
12:13 p.m. Ernie Els Jason Dufner Bernd Wiesberger
12:24 p.m. Danny Willett Matt Kuchar Curtis Luck (A)
12:35 p.m. Vijay Singh Emiliano Grillo Toto Gana (A)
12:46 p.m. Angel Cabrera Henrik Stenson Tyrrell Hatton
12:57 p.m. Charl Schwartzel Steve Stricker Mackenzie Hughes
1:08 p.m. Charley Hoffman Chris Wood Yuta Ikeda
1:19 p.m. Sergio Garcia Lee Westwood Shane Lowry
1:30 p.m. Bernhard Langer Alex Noren Patrick Reed
1:41 p.m. Rory McIlroy Hideto Tanihara Jon Rahm
1:52 p.m. Marc Leishman Bill Haas Justin Thomas
2:03 p.m. Bubba Watson Dustin Johnson Jimmy Walker

Friday tee times can be seen here.


THE FAVORITES


One of these three will win it. (So they say.)


DUSTIN JOHNSON

World Ranking: 1
Odds to Win: 11/2 (Although moving with injury news)
Best Finish: T4 (2016)

DJ is dominating the PGA right now having won three consecutive tournaments — the Genesis Open, WGC-Mexico Championship and WGC-Dell Match Play — and earning the No. 1 spot in the World Golf Rankings for the first time in his career. With a sixth and a fourth-place finish in his last two trips to Augusta, expect Johnson to be in the hunt once again on Sunday (assuming this new back issue isn’t a real problem).

RORY MCILROY

World Ranking: 2
Odds to Win: 7/1
Best Finish: 4 (2015)

Rory McIlRoy’s mantle lacks one trophy from holding golf’s career Grand Slam, and it’s the one he and 93 other golfers will attempt to grab this weekend. A win will also serve as redemption for his collapse in the 2011 Masters, when he shot an 80 in the final round after leading through the first three days. It was the worst round by a three-day leader in tournament history.

McIlRoy has three top 10 finishes in his last three trips to Augusta.

JORDAN SPIETH

World Ranking: 6
Odds to Win: 8/1
Best Finish: Win (2015)

Spieth missed the cut last week at the Shell Houston Open in his home state, but you’d be crazy to count him out this weekend. Spieth hasn’t finished worse than second in his three career Masters appearances, and if not for last year’s collapse of epic proportions, he’d be entering this year’s tournament as the two-time defending champion. Instead he has the one in 2015, plus second-place finishes in 2014 and 2016.


THE NEXT THREE


Not the favorites, but close.


HIDEKI MATSUYAMA

World Ranking: 4
Odds to Win: 18/1
Best Finish: 5 (2015)

Will we see our first Japanese Masters champion? Hideki Matsuyama hopes so. The fifth-year pro is off to a good start in the 2017 season, ranking second in the FedEx Cup with two wins and two second-place finishes already this year. He has two top 10s in his last two trips to Augusta; however, his putter has gone somewhat cold in recent weeks, and it’s impossible to win the green jacket without rolling the ball well.

RICKIE FOWLER

World Ranking: 8
Odds to Win: 18/1
Best Finish: T5 (2014)

Never mind the fact he shot an opening round 8-over 80 and went on to miss the cut last year, Rickie Fowler is a contender this year. Think back to 2015 when he finished in the top five in all four majors —  that is the Rickie Fowler we will see this weekend.

The 28-year-old is coming off a third-place finish in Houston and he has the lowest scoring average on tour, while ranking among the top 30 in strokes gained for driving, approach shots, chipping and putting. Puma could be in for a big weekend.

JASON DAY

World Ranking: 3
Odds to Win: 18/1
Best Finish: T2 (2011)

Day has been down by his standards this season but we recently learned he has been dealing with family issues (his mother’s lung cancer) outside of the golf course. With that now known by his peers and fans, expectations for Day are low, which means he will have a little less pressure on his shoulders, along with the motivation of playing for his mother. How he will respond remains to be seen. He could literally finish anywhere on the board.


OTHER PLAYERS TO WATCH


Three more to keep an eye on


JUSTIN THOMAS

World Ranking: 7
Odds to Win: 35/1
Best Finish: T39 (2016)

Justin Thomas finished 39th in his first Masters last year, but who really does well in their first time out at Augusta?

Meanwhile, present day Justin Thomas is riding high in third place in the FedEx Cup standings after firing a 59 in the first round of the Sony Open back in January (the youngest to ever do it) and finishing fifth in Mexico last month. His confidence is higher than ever and he’s ready to jump to the next tier of great golfers in the game today.

The only problem is he is a Louisville fan.

PHIL MICKELSON

World Ranking: 18
Odds to Win: 25/1
Best Finish: Win (2004, 2006, 2010)

With three green jackets in his closet already, it’s hard to not consider Mickelson one of the favorites. He may rank 166th of 213 golfers off the tee this year, but Mickelson is always one to watch at the Masters.

PAUL CASEY

World Ranking: 16
Odds to Win: 40/1
Best Finish: T4 (2016)

Paul Casey was in the hunt in the 2015 and 2016 Masters with a sixth and fourth-place finish in those years. Throw in two other top 10 finishes earlier in his career and there aren’t too many golfers out there who have been in the mix as often as Casey without ever winning one. He’s due. (And at 40/1, he’s a bargain.)


SUPER SLEEPER PICKS


Do you like the longshots? Consider these three


J.B. HOLMES

World Ranking: 40
Odds to Win: 50/1
Best Finish: T4 (2016)

If you’re going to take a longshot, you might as well take the Kentuckian. Go Big Blue.

LEE WESTWOOD

World Ranking: 54
Odds to Win: 80/1
Best Finish: T2 (2016)

In his last seven trips to the Masters, Westwood has three top-three finishes, a seventh-place finish, an eighth and an eleventh. He tied Jordan Spieth for second last year.

The same thing I said about Paul Casey goes for Westwood, maybe even more. He is experienced, proven, and due.

THOMAS PIETERS

World Ranking: 35
Odds to Win: 80/1
Best Finish: —

The 25-year-old Belgian will become a star sooner or later, so why not this weekend?

If you watched him go 4-1 in the Ryder Cup, you know he isn’t afraid of the big stage.


GLOSSARY OF TERMS


Know these words for your Masters conversations


Amen Corner – Nickname for the stretch that includes the second shot at the 11th, all of the 12th, and the first two shots at the 13th hole

Azaleas – The colorful spring shrubbery throughout the course, a signature of the tournament, although this year’s bloom came too early

Butler Cabin – Where the previous year’s winner presents the new champion with the green jacket

Eisenhower Tree –  The 65-foot-tall loblolly pine tree on the 17th hole, approximately 210 yards from the tee on the left side of the fairway

Founders Circle –  The roundabout at the end of Magnolia Lane, in front of the clubhouse, where patrons like getting their photo taken by the flower bed shaped like the Masters logo

Hogan Bridge – The arched footbridge over Rae’s Creek that takes golfers to the 12th green

Magnolia Lane – The entryway to Augusta National, lined by 61 magnolia trees

Nelson Bridge – The stone bridge that takes golfers back across Rae’s Creek as they leave the 13th tee and head up the 13th hole

Pine Straw – If a golfer finds himself out of the second cut (the rough), he will likely be hitting from the pine straw

Rae’s Creek- A creek that flows in front of the 12th green and behind the 11th green

Sarazen Bridge – The flat bridge that crosses the pond in front of 15’s green

White Dogwood – The nickname for the par-4, 505-yard 11th hole that starts Amen Corner; considered the toughest hole on the course


STORYLINES


Narratives to keep an eye on this weekend


Poor Jimmy Walker

Jimmy Walker drew the unfortunate pairing with Dustin Johnson this year. If you don’t know their alleged past, this tweet should give you a decent idea. If you do know their alleged past, do you blame Walker if he puts a putter through Johnson’s face?

Spieth’s Revenge

Spieth held a five-shot lead at the turn in last year’s final round, only to bogey the next two holes and then put two in the drink for a quadruple on the par-3 12th hole. He went on to finish second in one of golf’s biggest choke jobs ever and had to present the winner with the green jacket. So how will he respond in 2017?

Rory Chasing Career Grand Slam

Is this the year he joins Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as the only golfers to win all four in their careers?

Johnson On Fire, Playing Against History

Dustin Johnson has three straight wins entering the Masters, but only one golfer since the 1950s has won four straight PGA Tour events. Also going against him: it has been 12 years since the world No. 1 golfer won the green jacket. Can he end the streak and become the second to win four straight tournaments?


HYPE VIDEO


Cue the CBS promo


Happy Masters weekend, everyone.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

25 Comments for Hello, Friends: Everything You Need To Know About The Masters



  1. dsims0004
    8:18 pm April 5, 2017 Permalink

    Kevin Kisner for the win!



    • syrin23
      10:41 pm April 5, 2017 Permalink

      I was going to say keep an eye on Kisner and Hatton.



  2. shelby
    8:24 pm April 5, 2017 Permalink

    Golf—😴😴😴😴😴😴



  3. Souf beach Lou
    8:28 pm April 5, 2017 Permalink

    Yeah but why do they call it “the master’s”? It’s because of the whole “white frat bro” thing right?



  4. Catlogic15
    8:58 pm April 5, 2017 Permalink

    Like the Westwood angle. He’s a bulldog. Same for Day if he doesn’t whine about any/everything. Shame about Dustins back, he was on cruise control. Speith not playing well. Collapse at 12 last year dooms him. Whatever it is, just no Garcia!.



  5. ukwildcat2323
    1:08 am April 6, 2017 Permalink

    Golf is fine 4 when u get old, but the golf team members in h.s. are 4 the ones who got cut from everything else. takes zero athleticism. skill yes, like playin pool. no respect from me whatsoever. and yes, there were athletes who played golf. athletes beat their a$$



  6. ukwildcat2323
    1:11 am April 6, 2017 Permalink

    golf should’nt be classified as a sport. should never make sportscenter! that requires about as much athleticism as me shootin a squirrel out of a tree!



  7. ukwildcat2323
    1:16 am April 6, 2017 Permalink

    Golf is fine 4 when u get old, but the golf team members in h.s. are 4 the ones who got cut from everything else. takes zero athleticism. skill yes, like playin pool. no respect from me whatsoever. and yes, there were athletes who played golf. athletes beat their a$$ at golf!



  8. ukwildcat2323
    1:17 am April 6, 2017 Permalink

    it’s a Mr. rogers sport!



  9. Angelo
    1:44 am April 6, 2017 Permalink

    If Cal is there recruiting, then I care!!



  10. Ridge Runner
    3:32 am April 6, 2017 Permalink

    Drew, ya forgot one important item sir… It’s the home of Ridge Runner!!!! Ha,

    In reality… although my home for last 25 years after moving from Ky, I do admit our family typically leaves for the week and rents out our home during Masters week.



    • Ridge Runner
      3:34 am April 6, 2017 Permalink

      Ps… we do remain in town for the summer peach jam and attend many of the games😉



  11. nicky
    7:14 am April 6, 2017 Permalink

    Adam Scott…WGR 7…..previous Masters Champion



  12. JTGinter
    9:11 am April 6, 2017 Permalink

    Who really cares about Golf, not anyone that I know.



  13. henderblue
    11:13 am April 6, 2017 Permalink

    ukwildcat2323. You sir or madam are an idiot



    • bacnine
      1:03 pm April 6, 2017 Permalink

      I concur, UKwildcat is an idiot. Dustin Johnson and UK Wildcat J. B Holmes not athletes? Surely, you jest. They could kick your a$$ with both hands tied behind their back. UKwildcat probably could not carry a golf bag from the parking lot to the first tee. Then again. Probably does not know what the 1st tee is.

      To add to Drews post there is a lot of the Masters online.



    • henderblue
      2:11 pm April 6, 2017 Permalink

      Thank you bacnine for your support. You are right about DJ and JB. And that knucklehead kywildcat. I would add Jason Day and Roy McIroy as guys who are athletes and in great shape, among others. And I would say that anyone who wants to compete at the highest level in golf had better be in great shape or they won’t be around long



  14. henderblue
    11:15 am April 6, 2017 Permalink

    If you don’t care about golf then move on to the next article. Why comment? Thanks Drew for the article. Ready for a tradition like no other. I think your first 8 choices are spot on.



  15. postfeeder
    11:17 am April 6, 2017 Permalink

    The Eisenhower tree has been gone since 2014.