It’s officially 2021 Masters week and, on Tuesday, the pairings for this year’s edition of “a tradition unlike any other” have been released. As always, there are some juicy groupings that fans will want to keep an eye on beginning Thursday.
For our top five, we looked at groups that are most likely to contain the winner of the 2021 Masters. There are some other groups out there with contenders, but as far as solid groupings with potential champions, there are our picks.
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Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Xander Schauffele (Thursday, 10:42 ET; Friday, 1:48 ET) – McIlroy still remembers giving away the Masters in 2011. Is this the year he finally gets his green jacket? Rahm is a new dad and is also one of the best players in the world. He’s still hunting for that first major title. Schauffele is a threat to win each and every time he tees it up. He’s also still looking for that first major title.
Collin Morikawa, Cameron Smith, Jordan Spieth (Thursday, 2:00 ET; Friday, 10:54 ET) – Morikawa earned his first major title at last year’s PGA Championship. He’ll be in the hunt for his first green jacket this week. Many forget that it was Smith (along with Sungjae Im) who was second to Dustin Johnson at Augusta last season. Spieth is coming off a win and has already won the green jacket once (and probably should have at least twice).
Tony Finau, Louis Oosthuizen, Justin Thomas (Thursday, 1:48 ET; Friday, 10:42 ET) – Three players who could certainly win here this week. Finau has two Top 10s in three appearances in the Masters. Oosthuizen, who won his lone major at the 2010 Open Championship, lost to Bubba Watson in a playoff at Augusta in 2012. Thomas has improved with every Masters appearance (T22, T17, T12, 4) and will be in the hunt this week.
Daniel Berger, Paul Casey, Patrick Reed (Thursday, 10:54 ET; Friday, 2:00 ET) – By world ranking, this is one of the best groupings of the week. Berger is ranked 15th in the world and has already won this season (Pebble Beach). Casey has a win on the European Tour this year and is ranked 18th in the world. Reed, the 2018 Masters champion, is ranked seventh in the world.
Viktor Hovland, Brooks Koepka, Bubba Watson (Thursday, 10:06 ET; Friday, 1:12 ET) – Hovland is one of the most talented young players in the game. He’s already won on tour this season (Mayakoba) and will win a major, or majors, soon. Koepka has won four majors but has yet to win a green jacket. He has been T2 and T7 in his last two Augusta appearances. Watson is a two-time winner here and loves playing this course. He’s always a threat at the Masters.