The 87th Master’s tournament is finally here, marking the start of the 2023 major championship season. As always, Augusta National Golf Club is ready to host some of the best golfers in the world, who will be vying for the coveted green jacket. With so much at stake, anticipation is high throughout the sport for the tournament’s outcome.
Leading the pack is Rory McIlroy, one of the favorites to win the tournament and complete the career grand slam. He has been trying to win the Masters for 15 years, and this year marks his ninth attempt at completing the feat. If he does win, McIlroy will become only the sixth golfer in history to complete the career grand slam, joining legends like Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, and Gary Player. Although no golfer has achieved this after their fifth attempt, McIlroy, at 33 years old, has put himself in a position to accomplish one of the sport’s rarest feats early enough in his career.
McIlroy has been in good form recently, finishing tied for fourth at the Players Championship and tied for fifth at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. He has also been working on his swing, which he hopes will give him an advantage at Augusta National. McIlroy’s long game has always been one of his strengths, and if he can put everything together, he will be tough to beat.
However, McIlroy is not the only player with something to prove at this year’s Masters. Scottie Scheffler, the reigning Masters champion, will try to become the first golfer since Tiger Woods to win back-to-back at Augusta National. Although Scheffler has the best chance since Jordan Spieth in 2016, it’s a challenging task for any player, including the current world No. 1.
Joining the favorites is world No. 3 Jon Rahm, who hasn’t been in his top form lately but remains a threat to win any tournament he enters. Rahm has been dealing with personal issues and the birth of his first child, but he says he’s ready to compete at Augusta National. He finished tied for seventh at the 2021 Masters and will be looking to improve on that performance this year.
And, of course, many fans are eagerly anticipating what Tiger Woods will accomplish at the venue where he’s had the most success. Woods has won the Masters five times and has finished in the top five on 10 occasions. Although he’s been dealing with injuries and hasn’t played much golf lately, Woods is always a threat to win when he’s healthy and competing at Augusta National.
In addition to these top contenders, there are several other golfers who could make a run at the green jacket. Justin Thomas, Bryson DeChambeau, and Dustin Johnson are all former major champions who have had success at Augusta National in the past. Jordan Spieth, who won the tournament in 2015, has been in good form recently and could be a dark horse.
As the tournament gets underway on Thursday, fans will have the opportunity to follow the best golfers in the world as they play Round 1 of the 2023 Masters, streaming live with Masters Live. They can watch as we cover Featured Groups, check in at the famous Amen Corner, and see every pairing around the turn-on holes 15 & 16 at Augusta National. Catch the action live on CBSSports.com, the CBS Sports App, and Paramount+.
For those who cannot watch the live action, CBS Sports will be providing regular updates on scores and highlights from the Masters. They can find live scores at the top of this story, a more detailed leaderboard, Round 1 tee times, and our comprehensive Master’s TV schedule and coverage guide.
Another player to watch at the Masters is the reigning PGA Tour Player of the Year, Patrick Cantlay. Cantlay has been in excellent form, with a win at the Zozo Championship and a top-five finish at the Players Championship this year. He finished T17 in his last appearance at Augusta National in 2019, and his well-rounded game should serve him well on the challenging course.
One storyline that’s been getting a lot of attention leading up to the Masters is the battle between the LIV Golf players and the PGA Tour stalwarts. The LIV Golf League was formed last year, with the aim of providing an alternative for the game’s top players who were looking for more control over their schedules and more say in how the game is run. The league is led by Greg Norman and includes players like Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, and Justin Rose.
The Champions Dinner earlier this week provided an opportunity for the LIV Golf players to interact with their PGA Tour counterparts. The official photo released by Augusta National shows the LIV Golf players sticking together on the right side of the image, while Dustin Johnson positioned himself on the left with PGA Tour stars like Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth. It remains to be seen whether this divide will have any impact on the tournament itself.
As for the course, Augusta National is renowned for its beauty and difficulty. The course measures 7,475 yards and features a number of challenging holes, including the famous Amen Corner (holes 11, 12, and 13). The greens are also notoriously fast, which makes putting a major challenge for even the best golfers in the world.
One of the unique aspects of the Masters is the caddie tradition. Since 1934, the winner of the previous year’s tournament has had the honor of choosing the menu for the Champions Dinner. This year, Scottie Scheffler chose cheeseburger sliders as the appetizer, followed by Texas ribeye and blackened redfish for the main course, and warm chocolate chip skillet cookies for dessert.
Another tradition at the Masters is the green jacket ceremony. The winner of the tournament is presented with a green jacket by the previous year’s winner. The jacket must be returned to the clubhouse after a year, but the winner gets to keep a replica.
In addition to the tournament itself, there are a number of events and activities that take place during Masters Week. The Par-3 Contest, held on the Wednesday before the tournament, is a fan favorite. Players compete on a nine-hole par-3 course, with family members and friends often serving as caddies. There’s also a practice round on Monday and Tuesday, which gives fans a chance to see the players up close and get a feel for the course.
Overall, the 2023 Masters promises to be an exciting tournament, with a number of top players vying for the coveted green jacket. Whether McIlroy can complete the career grand slam, Scheffler can defend his title or a dark horse emerges as the winner, fans around the world will be watching closely.