Complete Guide to the 2022 Masters at Augusta NationalApril 6, 2022
Complete Guide to the 2022 Masters at Augusta National
It's a tradition unlike any other.
But you can call it The Masters.
The event's 86th edition will be played at the Augusta National Golf Club, which has hosted the tournament each year—outside of a three-year hiatus (1943-45) during World War II—since its inception in 1934.
The Masters has the smallest playing field of the four major championships and remains an invitation event, but there is a set of qualifying criteria that determines who is included.
Among those guaranteed entry for 2022 include all past Masters winners, as well winners of the other three majors within the past five years, and winners of The Players Championship in the past three years.
Hideki Matsuyama earned his first green jacket and first career major in 2021, and he's back among the favorites this year, along with reigning major winners Jon Rahm (U.S. Open) and Collin Morikawa (Open Championship). PGA champion Phil Mickelson won't be at Augusta for the first time since 1994.
Not to mention the world's No. 1 player Scottie Scheffler, who's won three of the seven events he's played thus far in 2022 and was a top-10 finisher in three of four majors last year.
Ditch the remote. Fluff the pillows. Turn the smartphone ringer to silent.
Here's everything you need to know to get ready.
Where to Watch on Television
ESPN and CBS will provide 18 hours of live broadcast coverage Thursday through Sunday, with an early evening finish scheduled for the final round.
Masters.com includes various channels to supplement the live broadcast, including on the range, featured groups, Amen Corner and holes 15 and 16. To watch the action on television, here's the skinny (all times ET).
3 p.m.-7:30 p.m., ESPN
3 p.m.-7:30 p.m., ESPN
3 p.m.-7:00 p.m., CBS
2 p.m.-7 p.m., CBS
Will Tiger Play?
He's won five green jackets, and his presence at Augusta has always been a needle-mover.
But a 46-year-old Tiger Woods, barely 14 months removed from a car accident in which he sustained serious injuries, is creating a career's worth of buzz with the mere hint that he'll tee it up Thursday.
He and his son have been spotted practicing at Augusta in recent days, stirring conversation that he'll continue his recovery by actually playing the tournament for the 24th time.
"He likes challenges, doesn't he?" Curtis Strange, a two-time major winner, told Golfweek. "This is certainly going to be a challenge. I look forward to it. I hope he plays. It'll certainly be an exciting week."
Will Rory Finish a Career Slam?
For seven years, Rory McIlroy has arrived to Augusta with a chance to complete a career grand slam that'd join him with the likes of Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods.
He's made the top 10 in five of those seven appearances, but he hasn't gotten closer than fourth place (in 2015) and was absent on the weekend after missing the cut in 2021 for the first time since 2010.
Given this year's circumstances with Woods, his quest isn't front-page news.
Maybe that's a good thing.
"I'm way more comfortable with my game [than this time last year]," he said. "I'm happy with where everything is. Everything seems like it's a lot more settled."
Will Scheffler Continue a Torrid 2022?
Unless you're a hardcore fan, you might not even recognize Scottie Scheffler's name.
Nevertheless, he enters the Masters as the world's No. 1 player amid a run of three wins in seven tournaments thus far this year—capturing the Phoenix Open, the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Dell Technologies Match Play to jump to the top spot from No. 12.
He was a top finisher in three of four majors last year but has never contended at the Masters, finishing tied for 19th in 2020 and tied for 18th in 2021.
"I don't place too many expectations on myself," he said. "Like I said, I just like being out here and competing. I'm fortunate to have the opportunity to do that, and I look forward to doing it as long as I can."
The Top Groupings
Thursday, 10:34 a.m. ET; Friday, 1:41 p.m. ET
Tiger Woods, Louis Oosthuizen, Joaquin Niemann
Go ahead and say you're a hardcore golf fan who won't be watching this one Thursday morning.
We don't believe you.
Not only will every golf fan within range of reliable Wi-Fi be riveted, but the same can be said for much of the mainstream sports world that's watched Woods dominate his game like few ever have in theirs.
And Oosthuizen is no joke himself, with a win at the 2010 Open Championship amid 11 career top-10s in majors. Niemann is still something of an unknown commodity, but he's 23 and was once ranked as the world's top amateur, so it wouldn't be a shock to see him shoot low.
But yeah, this one's about Tiger.
Thursday, 10:56 a.m. ET; Friday, 2:03 p.m. ET
Adam Scott, Scottie Scheffler, Tony Finau
Think Scheffler's not getting enough attention considering he's entering the Masters as the world's top-ranked golfer? He'll get plenty here.
The 25-year-old product of the University of Texas has been nothing short of sensational in 2022, winning three times and finishing seventh once among his first seven events.
The surge has lifted from 12th in the world at the end of 2021 to No. 1 now, and he'll have a chance to build on the ties for 19th and 18th that he's managed in his initial two trips to Augusta.
He'll have a former champion alongside him for at least the first two days in the form of Scott, who won the Masters in 2013 on the way to an 11-week stint of his own as the world's top player in 2014.
Finau is an interesting possibility given his No. 22 ranking and three top-10 finishes in four appearances in the tournament.
Thursday, 1:41 p.m. ET; Friday, 10:23 a.m. ET
Will Zalatoris, Patrick Cantlay, Jon Rahm
If you're looking to wager on the grouping that'll produce the 2022 winner, you could do a lot worse than a trio that includes last year's Masters runner-up, last year's PGA Tour Player of the Year and Jon Rahm.
Indeed, Rahm, who's ranked second in the world and is the reigning U.S. Open champion, is in with his elite element when it comes to the 25-year-old Zalatoris, who finished a shot behind Hideki Matsuyama in his first Augusta appearance last spring; and Cantlay, who won the Memorial, the BMW Championship and the Tour Championship on the way to high-profile season-ending honors.
But the pick of many is Rahm, who finished in the top 10 at each of last season's four majors, including the win at the U.S. Open in which he came from three shots off the pace into the final round and fired a 67 to beat Oosthuizen by a shot and Harris English by three.
"I think Jon Rahm is the guy for the next 10 years," veteran PGA Tour pro Pat Perez said on a Golf Magazine podcast (h/t ESPN). "I don't think anyone is going to beat Jon Rahm consistently for a decade."
Good enough for us.
The Top Contenders
Three words: Career Grand Slam. That's what at stake this week.
McIlroy gets his eighth crack at it in 2022 after last year's debacle on try No. 7 in which he shot 76-74 and missed the cut for the first time since 2010. Nevertheless, he remains a prime betting pick in the eyes of the folks at DraftKings, who list him at +1200 (wager $100 to win $1200) entering the week.
He was ranked ninth in the world heading into the final pre-Masters weekend after picking up a third-place finish at the Slync.io Dubai Desert Classic and a tie for 10th at the Genesis Invitational.
Like McIlroy before him, Johnson also missed the Masters cut in 2021, but he's got green-jacket street cred to spare following a 2020 title and four other top-10s since he first played Augusta in 2009.
The now-37-year-old's world ranking has moved from fifth to 11th and now back to eighth thanks to three top-10 finishes in six events heading into the final pre-Masters weekend. His best placement came in the most recent event, a fourth at the Dell Technologies Match Play in late March.
DraftKings has him listed just behind McIlroy at +1400 to earn his second Masters and third major title to go with a championship at the U.S. Open in 2016.
Like Johnson, Spieth is a former winner at Augusta, which provides him a fair bit of wagering credibility in spite of what's been a desultory slate of results thus far in 2022.
Spieth had just one top-10 finish—a second at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am—in his first seven events of the year, but he is still going off as a +1400 pick alongside Johnson at DraftKings.
Those odds are thanks to a career's worth of success at Augusta, where he won in 2015 and has five top-three finishes, including a tie for third in 2021.
The Dark Horses
If you couldn't pick him out of a lineup, you're forgiven.
That's probably the case for most non-hardcore fans when in comes to Zalatoris, a 25-year-old Texan who was the PGA Tour's rookie of the year in 2021. He made his first trip to Augusta a memorable one last year when he scored a second-place finish behind winner Hideki Matsuyama.
He was four shots behind to begin the final round and halved the gap with a birdie on the first hole while Matsuyama bogeyed, but he never got closer until Matsuyama bogeyed at No. 18 to win by one. Zalatoris had three top-10s in his first six events in 2022, and he is going off at an inviting +5000 at DraftKings.
Yes, he's in his 40s. And yes, his world ranking has sunk all the way to No. 56.
But he's still Justin Rose. And when it comes to Augusta, that could mean something.
The Englishman was seventh at the Masters as recently as last year, and he has been as close as second there twice, including a playoff loss to Sergio Garcia in 2017. A tie for sixth at the Farmers Insurance Open is his best finish thus far in 2022, but a +4000 tag next to his name at DraftKings is nothing if not intriguing.
There are plenty of golfers who never win the Masters. Of the dozens of players who enter this time around, all but one will go home wondering what might have been.
So if Finau never gets a green jacket, it won't be earth-shattering.
But given his three top-10s in four trips to Augusta and a knack for being in the mix at majors—four top-fives and 10 top-10s in 22 overall events—it wouldn't be a shock if he does break through. He's alongside Rose and four others at +4000 on the DraftKings line, which isn't at all unattractive.
He's been a top-six player on the world stage at the end of every year since 2017.
And he was the world's top-ranked player until a scalding hot start by Scottie Scheffler (three wins in seven starts in 2022) unseated him this spring.
But that change in standings doesn't change the reality heading into tournament week at Augusta.
Jon Rahm is going to win the Masters.
The 27-year-old Spaniard is playing well enough to stay at No. 2 in the world thanks to four top-10 finishes in his initial eight events this year, but he'll truly test his spotlight mettle at Augusta, where he's been tied for ninth or better each of the past four years since debuting with a tie for 27th in 2017.
A final-round 66 last year got him to a tie for fifth after he'd begun with three straight 72s, and he was tied for first after 36 holes in 2020 after going 69-66 in the first two rounds before skidding to 72-71 and winding up tied for seventh.
A win would add his name to the list of Seve Ballesteros, Jose Maria Olazabal and Sergio Garcia as Spain's Masters champions, and it's something Rahm is certainly cognizant of as he makes the trip.
"Those are three world-class players and three of the best players Europe has ever seen and three of the best players the world has ever seen," he said. "So it would be incredible to join my name to them."