Back to its regular April dates, the Masters Tournament will be getting underway Thursday as some of the top golfers in the world look to capture this year's green jacket. And with a stacked field, it's likely to be an exciting weekend of golf coming up.
Last year, the Masters was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, which caused it to not take place until mid-November. When it finally arrived, Dustin Johnson continued his impressive 2020 with a dominant showing, winning it for the first time in his career.
Johnson will look to become the first golfer to win the Masters in consecutive years since Tiger Woods won it in 2001 and 2002. But there will be some strong competition aiming to keep that from happening, as there are several top contenders who could easily end up atop the leaderboard Sunday evening.
Here's everything else you need to know heading into the Masters.
2021 Masters Information
Dates: Thursday, April 8, through Sunday, April 11
TV: ESPN (Thursday 3-7:30 p.m. ET, Friday 3-7:30 p.m. ET); CBS (Saturday 3-7 p.m. ET, Sunday 2-7 p.m. ET)
Tee Times: A complete list of tee times can be found at PGATour.com.
Prize Money: The purse has yet to be announced, but it was $11.5 million in 2020, with the winner earning $2.7 million.
Johnson will enter the Masters as the favorite to win—and for good reason. The 36-year-old shot 70 or better in each of his four rounds at Augusta National last year, finishing at 20 under par to capture his first career green jacket.
However, if Johnson is going to win again this year, he'll have to fend off some tough competitors while also bouncing back from a bit of a tough stretch. At The Players Championship last month (his most recent stroke-play event), Johnson tied for 48th and didn't shoot better than 70 in any of his four rounds.
Johnson has been consistently strong at the Masters, though, as he's finished in the top 10 in each of his past five appearances at the tournament. He finished second in 2019 and has shot a 70 or better in each of his past nine rounds at Augusta National.
Among the other golfers who are likely to contend for the win this weekend include the golfers behind the top-ranked Johnson in the Official World Golf Ranking: Justin Thomas (No. 2), Jon Rahm (No. 3), Collin Morikawa (No. 4) and Bryson DeChambeau (No. 5).
Each of those four golfers will be looking to win the Masters for the first time. And it's possible any of them could break through and do so.
Thomas is coming off his best career showing at the Masters in 2020, when he finished fourth at 12 under and shot a 71 or better in each of his four rounds. He's also been playing well of late, having won the Players last month by finishing 14 under.
Rahm has finished in the top 10 at the Masters each of the past three years, but he's still seeking his first career win at a major tournament. He's finished in the top 10 in four of the six stroke-play tournaments he's played in 2021.
Morikawa made his Masters debut last year and finished tied for 44th. However, he won his first major tournament in 2020 (the PGA Championship), and he could potentially get back on track this week.
DeChambeau hasn't finished better than 21st in his four Masters appearances, but he's greatly improved his game in recent years, which led to him earning his first career major victory at the 2020 U.S. Open. He also won the Arnold Palmer Invitational last month and followed that up by tying for third at the Players Championship.
Another golfer to watch this week is Jordan Spieth, the 2015 Masters champion who has had a resurgence of late. While the 27-year-old hasn't won a major tournament since 2017, he's been playing well recently, finishing fourth or better in four of his past six tourneys. Spieth is also coming off a win at last week's Valero Texas Open, as he finished 18 under by posting scores of 67, 70, 67 and 66.
After finishing third or better in four of his first five Masters appearances, Spieth has ended up tied for 21st and tied for 46th the past two years. But he should play much better this year, assuming he can keep his recent momentum going.