Masters Hopefuls: England Awaits…
10 February 2021 / Golf /
The Masters, the first ‘Major’ of the calendar year, will mark the unofficial start of the 2021 golf season. As the clocks change and the weather turns, it traditionally acts as the inspiration for amateur golfers to head to the fairways and welcome the first signs of Spring. With the pandemic-affected, and subsequently re-scheduled, 2020 Masters seeing World #1 Dustin Johnson victorious on November 15, his tenure as Champion will be the shortest in history when the 2021 event returns to its April slot.
So, what are the chances of an English winner in 2021? Who could be the next Englishman to don a Green Jacket following Danny Willett in 2016, and before him, Sir Nick Faldo in 1996? We pinpoint our Top 5 ones-to-watch who will be flying the flag of St George on 8-11 April.
The 2013 US Open Champion and reigning Olympic Champion has strong form at Augusta National. He was runner-up in 2015 and 2017 and has the perfect game for this tournament. He was tied 23rd in November and his hopes will be high for a strong start in the first Major of 2021. It will be his 16th appearance, so experience is on his side.
43 year-old Casey tied 38th in November and was leading the tournament after round one. An important stat to consider: In his 13 starts at Augusta, Casey has had five Top 10 finishes, demonstrating his comfort for the immense challenges that any Masters tournament brings.
Might be seen as an outside bet for The Masters – he missed the cut in November – but the talented Englishman, now at a career-high #5 in the World rankings, has hit a rich vein of form which could propel him to his first major championship victory. It will be his fifth appearance at Augusta and he will be looking to improve on his best finish to date, tied 44th. One to watch!
A player that is supremely comfortable at the Majors, but has yet to make the winner’s circle. He shot a sublime 63 in the final round of the 2018 US Open and was runner-up in the 2019 Open. He has won five times on the European Tour since 2013, and maybe 2021 is finally Tommy’s time to become a Major champion.
If you look at the form book, age is no barrier to winning at Augusta. At 47-years-old, you might be quick to write off Lee Westwood’s chances, but when you consider Sir Nick Faldo was 38 when he won his last title in 1996; American Phil Mickelson was 39 in 2010; Tiger Woods was 43 in 2019 and Jack Nicklaus was 46 in 1985, you could say Lee Westwood is in the prime of his life to challenge for a Green Jacket.
He was runner-up in 2010 and 2016, and is the current 2020 Race to Dubai Champion, after a resurgent season on the European Tour.
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