Masters 2021

Masters+2021

Jack Pittman, Copy Editor

After a five-month hiatus, the upper echelon of PGA Golf has returned to Augusta for the 84th annual Masters. The tournament was last played in November after being postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With a large storm the night before, Augusta was a much more forgiving course than it would be on a typical spring Master’s weekend. Dustin Johnson ran away with it, winning by five strokes with a record-setting 20 under par. Augusta was back to her usual green glow last weekend with fantastic spring weather this year. Players would be lucky to escape any of their rounds under par. 

 

Justin Rose opened up hot on Thursday, carding a commanding 65 to control the leaderboard by four strokes. His nearest competition being Brian Harman and Hideki Matsuyama at 69, the pressure was on Rose early to continue his stellar play or lose his chance at the green jacket. A slew of golfers followed these three, chasing Rose and the green jacket coming into Friday. Over the course of day two, Rose held steady, shooting an even par 72. Augusta was a gentler course on Friday, paving the way for players to pressure Rose’s lead, led by Will Zalatoris and Brian Harman, who were one stroke behind Rose, and a slew of golfers close behind that. On day three, Rose finally succumbed to the pressure and fell into sixth place along with Xander Schauffele, Marc Leishman, and Will Zalatoris. Hideki Matsuyama became the man to chase today, shooting a show stopping 65 to earn a four stroke lead on the field. Starting Master’s Sunday with a four shot lead, the nerves were impacting Matsuyama “since the first tee box.”  Despite this, Matsuyama scraped by, shooting one over par and with Zalatoris surging and going two under for the day, finished merely one stroke behind Matsuyama. Not bad for his first time at Augusta.

 

One surprise success of the week was Will Zalatoris. Zalatoris has been likened to Happy Gilmore’s caddy, and, in his first Masters, the Wake Forest alumni finished runner-up, a paltry 1 stroke behind Matsuyama. Just a few months ago he was playing on the Korn Ferry Tour and now he’s a nationwide phenomenon. 

 

Matsuyama’s victory is a groundbreaking one, as he is the first golfer from Japan to win the Masters. Since 1934, the creation of the tournament, only 16 non-Americans have won the Masters, bringing pride to their country and fame to themselves within it. Matsuyama’s victory was written about in every major newspaper in Japan, as he has skyrocketed in fame in Japan. One Japanese paper even posted a graphic of all 72 holes of his victory, showing the appreciation the people of Japan have for their new star.