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2022 Masters storylines to regulate

The 2022 Masters is upon us. And, in fact, there’s loads of intrigue in terms of who’s in or who’s out of the sector. To not point out, who to look at and why. Plus, any course adjustments at Augusta Nationwide.

As we prepare for the primary ball to be struck off the tee, listed below are 18 storylines to comply with for this 12 months’s Masters.

 

The more the merrier

Rob Schumacher/USA TODAY Sports activities

The coronavirus pandemic remains to be upon us, however the Masters goes on with the look of pre-COVID occasions. Restricted spectators returned in 2021, and it seems much more of us will probably be available to look at in particular person this 12 months. Simply what number of extra? We’ll, Augusta Nationwide would not normally supply attendance figures, however grandstand seating seems to be on the invoice for 2022, which implies extra followers will probably be allowed in and with none limitations in terms of COVID mitigation efforts. 

 

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Three cheers — once more

Three cheers — again

Rob Schumacher/USA TODAY Sports activities

Together with these anticipated bigger galleries, custom is again at Augusta for the 2022 Masters. For the COVID-19-delayed occasion in 2020 and final 12 months’s match, the beloved Par-3 Contest was not held. Properly, it’s going to return for 2022, and on its standard Wednesday earlier than the primary spherical. Incredible pictures, particular household moments, and the roar of an animated, however respectful, crowd, have all made this one of many nice experiences in skilled golf. Welcome again!

 

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Minor changes

Minor adjustments

Michael Madrid/USA TODAY Sports activities

Followers and the Par-3 Contest will once more be a part of Masters week. However, is there something new in terms of the precise Augusta Nationwide observe? Glad you — or we — requested. On gap No. 11 the tee field is moved again 15 yards and 20 yards additional on No. 15. In the meantime, the 18th price was pushed again 13 yards. Talking of No. 11, a number of fairway bushes have been eliminated. And again to 18, the place a left-side fairway bunker ought to come into play as a rule with the tee despatched again.

 

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On the Tiger hunt

On the Tiger hunt

Michael Madrid/USA TODAY Sports activities

 

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Lefty leaves self out

Lefty leaves self out

Rob Schumacher/USA TODAY Sports activities

One modern-day golf legend we all know will not be at Augusta in 2022, is Phil Mickelson. Whereas the 51-year-old, three-time Masters winner doubtless would not be a severe contender for the inexperienced jacket, his absence from the occasion for the primary time since 1994 will probably be one in all golf’s largest tales of the complete 12 months. After all, Mickelson seems to have introduced the choice on himself. Earlier in 2022, he made some controversial remarks a couple of skilled, Saudi Arabian-backed golf league that might rival the PGA Tour. Mickelson additionally managed to criticize Tour president Jay Monahan within the course of.

 

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Trying to repeat

Looking to repeat

Rob Schumacher/USA TODAY Sports activities

 

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Worldwide taste

International flavor

Stephen Bartholomew/Motion Plus/Icon Sportswire

Ought to Matsuyama discover a solution to publish back-to-back Masters wins, he would change into the primary worldwide golfer to repeat at Augusta since Englishman Nick Faldo received the 1989 and ’90 tournaments. Whereas it has been a while since a non-American repeated as Masters champions, it wasn’t too way back that worldwide expertise received at Augusta in consecutive years. After England’s Danny Willett received there in 2016, famed Spaniard Sergio Garcia lastly obtained the foremost monkey off his again by profitable the 2017 occasion.

 

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How low can they go?

How low can they go?

Andrew Redington/Getty Pictures

Whether or not a world golfer or American claims this 12 months’s inexperienced jacket, it is going to be fascinating to see if the champ will as soon as once more, really, get the very best of Augusta Nationwide. Matsuyama’s 10-under-par 278 marked the fourth consecutive match that the Masters’ winner completed with a double-digit, under-par whole. The final time that occurred in 5 straight Masters spanned 1974-’78. Solely as soon as since 1957 has the Masters champion completed over par, that was Zach Johnson (1 over) in 2007.

 

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Odds in Rahm’s favor

Odds in Rahm's favor

Rob Schumacher/USA TODAY Sports activities

Talking of proficient Spanish golfers, Jon Rahm is not the No. 1 golfer on the earth (extra on that in a bit). However, he is nonetheless the betting favourite in terms of wagering on the 2022 Masters discipline. Rahm, the 2021 U.S. Open champion, who’s searching for his first Masters win, presently sits at +800 on the match traces, in line with DraftKings. Remember, odds had been present on the time of publication and topic to alter.

 

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Sensational Scottie

Sensational Scottie

Erich Schlegel/USA TODAY Sports activities

So, if Jon Rahm not sits atop the World Golf Rating (for the week of March 28), then who’s it? That might be Scottie Scheffler, who received for the third time in 5 begins after outlasting the sector within the WGC Match Play occasion on March 27. Scheffler, who betters can get at a stable +1200, has performed outstanding golf on the younger season, making 11 of his first 12 cuts along with his first three profession wins, a second, and 6 general top-10 finishes. Although he is completed tied for 19 and 18th in every of the final two Masters, respectively, Scheffler is actually the man to look at at Augusta.

 

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Is that this Rory’s 12 months?

Is this Rory's year?

Michael Madrid/USA TODAY Sports activities

A victory on the Masters is the one factor standing in the best way of Rory McIlroy recording a profession main grand slam. McIlroy received the 2011 U.S. Open and the Open Championship in 2014, the identical 12 months he claimed his second PGA Championship. Now, Rory’s finest end at Augusta is a fourth in 2015 and final season he missed the reduce on the Masters for simply the second time in 13 begins there. Previous to 2021, McIlroy completed inside the highest 10 six of the earlier seven seasons.

 

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Bloom off the Rose

Bloom off the Rose

Rob Schumacher/USA TODAY Sports activities

In relation to being aggressive on the Augusta Nationwide observe, England’s Justin Rose is your man. The 2013 U.S. Open champion, Rose completed second on the Masters in 2015 and tied for second two years later. On the 2021 match, Rose led by 4 pictures following the primary spherical and a stroke after 36 holes. Then Hideki Matsuyama made his transfer and a Sunday 74 dropped Rose right into a seventh-place end. If there’s one factor to presumably take to the financial institution, it is Rose being in rivalry in some unspecified time in the future throughout this Masters week.

 

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First time is the toughest

First time is the hardest

Michael Madrid/USA TODAY Sports activities

We all know the aforementioned Hideki Matsuyama lastly captured that elusive first main championship on the Masters final season. So, will we see one other marquee identify change into a first-time main winner at Augusta in 2021? It is actually doable. Reigning PGA Tour Participant of the 12 months Patrick Cantlay is the primary identify that involves thoughts, however he missed the reduce at Augusta final 12 months and his finest end there’s a T9 from 2019. Xander Schauffele and Tony Finau may also be able to shed the moniker “Finest Golfers By no means to Win a Main.”

 

This year's Will Zalatoris

David Yeazell/USA TODAY Sports activities

One of many greater tales to play out on the final 12 months’s Masters was that of little-known Will Zalatoris. The then-24-year-old was enjoying Augusta for the primary time in Masters competitors, and positively made the many of the probability. He tied for second after 36 and 72 holes, then obtained inside a stroke of Matsuyama on Sunday, however settled for a formidable second-place end. So, who might be this 12 months’s Zalatoris? How about Sam Burns? With three PGA Tour wins since early Might 2021, the 25-year-old Burns is hardly an unknown commodity, however he is by no means performed the Masters. Additionally, betters can get Burns at +4000.

 

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Novice in identify solely

Amateur in name only

Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports activities

In 2021, for the primary time in six years, no newbie golfer made the reduce on the Masters. Then once more, solely three entered the match. Will that change in 2022? There is a good probability it’s going to, primarily as a result of Japan’s Keita Nakajima is slated to be on this 12 months’s Masters’ discipline. The world’s top-ranked newbie, Nakajima earned his Masters bid after profitable the Asia Pacific Novice Championship in November. Additionally within the discipline is Stewart Hagestad, the Masters’ low newbie in 2017, when he tied for thirty sixth.

 

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Bryson provides his physique a go

Bryson gives his body a go

Erich Schlegel/USA TODAY Sports activities

After lacking seven weeks as a result of a damaged bone in his hand and a hip challenge, DeChambeau, the Masters’ low newbie in 2016, returned to motion by going 0-2-1 on the latest WGC Match Play occasion. The methodical DeChambeau, who received the 2020 U.S. Open, is hoping to be near 100%, bodily when he tees off at Augusta. He appears content material along with his restoration, however even at full well being, DeChambeau has struggled on the Masters as knowledgeable. In 4 professional appearances there, his finest end is tied for twenty ninth.

 

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Spieth might be robust to beat

Spieth could be tough to beat

Rob Schumacher/USA TODAY Sports activities

Whereas loads of eyes will probably be on Bryson DeChambeau and his well being, Jordan Spieth is one other of these late-20s stars who’s value watching at Augusta this season. Spieth received the Masters in 2015, the identical 12 months he additionally was topped U.S. Open champion. However, he spent a number of years struggling along with his sport and confidence earlier than profitable his first match in 4 years and rating sixth on the PGA Tour Cash Record in 2021. We’ll see if Spieth can construct on final 12 months’s T3 at Augusta to maintain the momentum robust.

 

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Remembering Mize’s miraculous chip

Remembering Mize's miraculous chip

David Cannon/Allsport/Getty Pictures

Historical past is at all times an enormous a part of the Masters lore. And this 12 months marks the thirty fifth anniversary of Larry Mize‘s dramatic victory at Augusta. Battling with Seve Ballesteros and Greg Norman in a playoff on the 1987 occasion, Mize recorded his solely main victory when he chipped in from simply off the eleventh inexperienced or roughly 110-feet away — on the second playoff gap — for a birdie. It is one of many best Masters reminiscences of all time — and golf pictures within the historical past of the game. Mize is once more within the 2022 discipline and even made the reduce in 2016 and ’17.

Jeff Mezydlo has written about sports activities and leisure on-line and for print for greater than 25 years. He grew up within the far south suburbs of Chicago, 20 minutes from the Mascot Corridor of Fame in Whiting, Ind. He’s additionally the proud father of 11-year-old Matthew, aka “Bobby Bruin,” mascot of St. Robert Bellarmine College in Chicago. You possibly can comply with Jeff at @jeffm401.

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