The day is finally here! The 2023 Masters starts very soon and all the hype will be replaced with great play. All the players will have to make a quick start for the opening day because the weather is going to degrade as the next four days unfold. That means that getting out a a quick start of 3 or 4 under would set anyone in the field up for a fantastic Masters. After a very fun and family par 3 contest yesterday, the players will now focus on hitting fairways and greens. But is that all they need to do shoot well?
Regardless of their experience, every player will be nervous. The first Major of 2023 is always a challenge and this year is no difference. With the honorary starts of Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Tom Watson starting the action at 0740 hrs (7:40 am) the 2023 Masters will be underway. I have looked at the tee times and pairings and in my opinion the action does not really start until 1018 when Tiger Woods Tees off. The players before him are good, but the big names all tee off after Tiger’s tee time. I am not sure if it is good, but Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth (two player I picked to wing) are in the last two groups. I have often wondered if this is a good thing, so we shall see today.
Fairways and greens are important today. As I discussed earlier, handling the pressure of playing in The Masters is also important. After looking over the groups, I think the following are the groups to watch today:
Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Cameron Young at 1042 hrs will be a great group to watch. All are long hitting players who have a chance to go very low. I am interested to see if Rahm starts fast considering he holds the stat for lost score average this year on the PGA Tour. Additionally, Thomas and Young have a great deal of game.
Scottie Scheffler, Max Homa, Sam Bennett at 1336 hrs is the second group of interest. Lets be fair, Scottie Scheffler is the player to beat. Shooting a hole in one yesterday at the par 3 contest may not help his game today, but it sure was fun to watch (this was a side note for fun). I will be interested to see if Homa and Bennett can withstand the pressure of playing with the world’s number ranked golfer.
Tom Kim, Rory McIlroy, Sam Burns at 1348 hrs is of particular interest to me. I have chosen Rory McIlroy to win so I am hoping he has a quick start and finishes 5 under for the day. Not to overshadow Burns and Kim, Rory has must stay focused and get down to business. Being the second last group of the day, I wonder what condition the course will be after 80ish players already walking on the green.
Today requires a quick start by all the players. The weather will be in favour of the players and the one that takes advantage of this fact will be well set up for the weekend. Regardless of what happens, the real winners will be the fans watching.
I am a grateful golfer! See you the links!