The Masters finally begins on Thursday morning at Augusta National Golf Club. Can Tiger Woods win his first major in a decade? Will Rory McIlroy complete the career grand slam? Will Jordan Spieth return to form? Here’s what you need to know for Thursday.
1. The best Masters groupings
There are plenty of good ones on Thursday. Here are our five favorites (ET).
1. Tiger Woods, Haotong Li, Jon Rahm (11:04 a.m.)
2. Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Cameron Smith (11:15 a.m.)
3. Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose, Justin Thomas (1:49 p.m.)
4. Jordan Spieth, Paul Casey, Brooks Koepka (2 p.m.)
5. Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Jason Day (1:38 p.m.)
2. Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player lead off
Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player will take their place as honorary starters once again, and their ceremonial opening tee shots are set to go off at 8:15 a.m. Those shots will be streamed on Masters.com.
3. How to watch the Masters Thursday
Streaming options will be available on Masters.com beginning at 7:30 a.m., where you can watch the honorary starters, on the range, featured groups, Amen Corner and holes 15 and 16. The TV broadcast is on ESPN from 3-7:30 p.m.
4. Masters weather
Temperatures will be in the low 60s when the first group tees off at 8:30 a.m. ET, and it should be a fantastic day at Augusta National. The sun might poke through in the morning while the rest of the day will be partly cloudy with temps in the high 70s, sniffing 80 degrees. There’s virtually no chance of rain and winds will range from about 8-11 mph.
5. Tiger Woods Masters Watch
Jack Nicklaus said on Golf Channel that he’s never seen Woods this confident. We’ll temper our expectations for Woods’s first round, but, come on, we can’t help but ignore the Golden Bear’s comments now, can we? Like usual, all eyes will be on Woods come Thursday.
Jack Nicklaus on @GolfChannel: "I’ve never seen Tiger this confident. I played with him three weeks ago. He shot the easiest 64 I’ve ever seen, with total ease, no effort. He hit every single fairway."
— John Strege (@JohnStrege) April 10, 2019
6. The Masters Round 1 storyline to be…
Oh, there will be plenty. But a hot one is sure to be players’ first impressions on the lengthened par-4 5th hole. Already one of the most difficult on the course, the tee box was moved back 40 yards and the fairway bunkers repositioned. The green also received a slight facelift and was enlarged. Pros will be sure to have opinions…especially if this new hole gives them fits.