This Will Not Be a Normal Masters Weekend

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Four words I did not think I would hear in 2020…It is Masters Week!  In your typical year, the Masters is played in April, but due to COVID-19 (I hate you coronavirus) the best weekend in golf was delayed until November.  It will certainly feel weird to be flipping back and forth from football to golf, but as a sports dork I will certainly welcome the change.  That will not be the only difference in the 2020 Masters Tournament to basically all the past events at Augusta National. 


                                  Photo courtesy of bunkered.co.uk


The clearest and most saddening difference in this year’s Masters will be no crowds and no grandstands full of fans.  I must admit that I have quite liked the lack of attendance at PGA events this season.  I think it gives viewers great looks at the actual architecture of course and admire the difficulties, but the Masters is different.  If the tournament ends in dramatic fashion the roar of the crowd will be greatly missed. 

 

On Monday, Masters Tournament officials announced that the 2020 cut line will be the lowest 50 golfers (including ties) on the tournament leaderboard after the first 36 holes.  On top to the smaller cut line it also erases the 10-shot rule.  A rule that has been in effect for almost 60 years.  Since 1962 if a golfer were within 10 strokes of the leader, you would still make the cut and play Saturday and Sunday.  


The decision was made for obvious reasons.  Having a slightly sliced down field will help given how little daylight there will be on Saturday and Sunday.  And because football will be on the television on Sunday, the Masters will try its best to wrap up by the 4 PM kick-offs.  Tee times could also start a bit earlier than normal, which I personal like.  I am not going to complain about more sports to consume on Sunday.

 

Obviously changing the date of the tournament will come with its own differences and challenges.  Firstly, the weather looks pretty bad especially early on, and that is not the norm when it comes to Augusta National in April.  The temperature doesn’t look too troubling as the forecast has every day in the 70’s but that is still approximately 7-10 degrees colder than it would be in its normal spot on the calendar.  


Rain is the real concern, including potential thunderstorms on Thursday and or Friday.  Weather delays could obviously present issues in and of itself with the lack of sunlight this time of year.  It is still early in the week, so there we can hope for a dry weekend.  Even if it seems like a longshot.

 

The colder climate will likely result in Augusta National playing a bit longer than it does in the spring.  Actually, the last time the tournament was met with colder conditions was in 2007.  The weekend came with very windy conditions and temperatures in the 40’s and 50’s.  The result was a championship with a score over par.  Zach Johnson was the victor and he finished one over par, 289.  It was the first over-par winning score at Augusta National for about 40 years.  Augusta, Georgia’s current forecast does not look anywhere near that chilly, so this year’s field should not have a major issue scoring and attacking the course. 

 

This season’s Masters Tournament will not be normal and in many ways the event could hurt from these differences.  Either way I am excited to watch the Masters this weekend.  There are many storylines worth following and watching the best in the world take on one of the most famous courses in the world is always special.  Thursday cannot come soon enough.


 

Follow Matt on Twitter @MattyD_rose

 

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Boston Sports Syndicate: This Will Not Be a Normal Masters Weekend
This Will Not Be a Normal Masters Weekend
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