Gary Player fired the first ceremonial tee shot to open a riveting Masters on Thursday as crowds swarmed Augusta National to see headliner Tiger Woods make another comeback.
The last of the night’s storms delayed the start of the ceremony by 30 minutes with Player followed on the first tee by 18-time Major winner Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson, who stepped into the role of honorary starter vacated by the death of Lee Elder, the first black man. to compete in the Masters. But the gloomy weather couldn’t dampen the buzz or expectations, as golf fans lucky enough to secure one of the sport’s most coveted tickets moved quickly to stake their places around some of the hottest holes. sport’s most famous and waiting for the man of the moment, Bois to appear.
Anticipation around the first major of the year has skyrocketed since Woods announced on Tuesday that he not only plans to play the Masters, but believes he could win a sixth green jacket just 14 months old. after doctors considered the possibility of having to amputate his right leg. The Masters officially begins with Spaniard Jose Maria Olazabal at 8:30 a.m. ET (12:30 p.m. GMT), but for most spectators and millions of viewers it won’t start until Woods steps off the tee.
Woods, partnering South African Louis Oosthuizen and Chilean Joaquin Niemann, is scheduled to start at 11:04 a.m. ET (1504 GMT). After two years of COVID-19 restrictions limiting the number of spectators, it felt like the good old days at Augusta National as massive galleries flooded the course.
While the focus is on Woods, there will be a galaxy of golfing stars for customers to choose from, including betting favorite Jon Rahm of Spain and Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy, who will be looking for again to end their Grand Slam career with a Masters win.
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