As the first and unequivocally biggest major of the year, the Masters needs no build up. But with so many of the world’s top golfers in fine form heading into Augusta, and with Tiger Woods’ recent resurgence just in time for the tournament he has so famously dominated in the past, the 2018 edition brings added anticipation and potential for an all-time great four days of golf.
Television coverage is as follows: Wednesday-Thursday on ESPN (3-7:30 p.m. ET), Saturday on CBS (3-7 p.m. ET) and Sunday on CBS (2-7 p.m. ET). If you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, you can watch a live stream of ESPN or CBS on your computer, phone or streaming device by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services:
Hulu With Live TV: In addition to a Netflix-like on-demand streaming library, Hulu now also offers a bundle of live television channels, including both ESPN and CBS (live in select markets). You can sign up for “Hulu with Live TV” right here, and you can then watch a live stream of either channel on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Hulu app.
DirecTV Now: ESPN and CBS (live in select markets) are both included in all four channel packages. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial no matter what package you choose, and you can then watch either channel live on your computer via the DirecTV Now website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the DirecTV Now app.
Amazon Prime: This is an option for the CBS broadcasts only. If you have Amazon Prime or want to start a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime, you can watch a live stream of your local CBS channel via the CBS All-Access Amazon Channel, which comes with a 7-day free trial. Once you’re signed up for both Amazon Prime and the CBS channel, you can watch CBS live on your computer via the Amazon website, or on your phone, tablet or other streaming device via the the Amazon Video app.
Masters.com & Masters App: In addition to the television broadcast, you can watch coverage of featured groups, Amen Corner or Holes 15 & 16 on your computer via Masters.com, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Masters app.
We’ve seen the amount of elite players in golf grow over the last couple of years, but this year’s Masters feels more wide open than ever before. Of the top 10 players in the field (we’re counting World Nos. 1-11, as No. 10 Brooks Koepka is out with a wrist injury), six have wins this season: Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day. Any one of those could easily don the Green Jacket come Sunday.
And that’s just the iceberg when it comes to contenders.
Jordan Spieth is coming off a third-place finish at the Houston Open, he’s third on Tour in strokes gained tee to green, he has either led or co-led after eight of 16 career Masters rounds, and he’s a consistent force at majors:
Hideki Matsuyama and Rickie Fowler are both struggling with their form, but the former has three Top-11 Masters finishes in a row, while the latter has tallied three Top-12’s at Augusta in the last four years.
Phil Mickelson, a three-time Masters winner, grabbed his first PGA Tour win since 2013 in March and is playing some of his best golf in years with four Top-10’s in his last six. Bubba Watson, who has twice captured the Green Jacket, is back in peak form after a forgettable–and winless–2017 season, winning at the Genesis Open in February and at the WGC-Match Play a couple weeks ago.
Speaking of former winners, Sergio Garcia is now on that list after last year’s unbelievable win, and now he enters with the pressure off and a Top-10 finish in each of his last three starts. And the guy he beat in a playoff here last year, Justin Rose, has also been pretty good at August, quietly stringing together six Top-15 finishes in his last seven Masters starts, including runners-up in 2015 and ’17.
There’s no shortage of sleepers, either. Alex Noren is 16th on Tour in strokes gained tee to green and 17th in strokes gained putting. Thomas Pieters finished fourth in his Masters debut last year. Matt Kuchar always seems to be around on Sunday, and his four Top-10 Masters finishes in six years confirm that. Bryson DeChambeau, who finished 21st here as an amateur in 2016, returns with three Top-10’s under his belt this season. Charley Hoffman, Kevin Kisner, Tony Finau, Xander Schauffele, and Matthew Fitzpatrick are all interesting names.
Oh yeah, and then there’s this guy named Tiger Woods. He has four career wins at Augusta, he has finished outside the Top-25 once in 18 Masters starts(!), he has the best scoring average in Masters history (with at least 25 rounds played), and for the first time in years, he’s healthy, as evidenced by his three consecutive Top-12’s leading up to this week.
There’s always a different buzz when Tiger is healthy and playing well. But now add in the fact that this is the Masters, and there are so many other top players also in form, and it doesn’t get much better. It’s easy to imagine four or five of the aforementioned players among the leaderboard come the weekend, and if Tiger is among those names, we could be headed for a historic Sunday at Augusta.
Source: Heavy Sports