AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — The final major championship of the golf season is set to get underway in Augusta this week. And something major will be missing.
If the Masters had a soundtrack, the sound of the patrons would be one of the most recognizable cuts. Sounds of approval from people who know a lot about the game.
But this year, those people aren’t here.
“The Patrons do make this week a little bit more special, right, and the fact that the scoreboards are not electronic, you only see those 12 players that you have, and every time that the leader changes, and maybe the crowd favorite goes on top or makes a birdie, you can hear the crowds cheering, especially down the stretch,” said Jon Rahm.
No roars echoing through the Georgia pines to spur the players on to victory.
“It’s unfortunate that the Patrons are not here this week, and I always enjoy having them out rooting us on and cheering for us,” said Bryson DeChambeau. “Especially the last time I played here, I made a hole‑in‑one on 16, and so interacting with the Patrons there was pretty amazing and fun and something I’ll never forget.”
And it’s not just the noise level that will be different this Masters. Competitors will tell you, a patronless tournament can have an impact on the way they hit shots.
“Will it play different? Maybe,” said Rahm. “I think this year will be unique because you can maybe take advantage of where usually the Patrons are at, like 13, you have a layup, you can go as far right as you want now and almost 14 tee and have a different angle.”
“As of this year, it’s going to be different because I’m going to be able to hit it on certain lines where Patrons would be, and I feel like that it does provide me a little bit of an advantage in that case to be able to hit into those areas without thinking about it at all,” said DeChambeau.
It will take some getting used to for sure. But at least the tournament is taking place. At least these players still get a shot at one of the most special achievements in sports, on Sunday.
One of the players summed things up pretty well today. He said, even though 2020 hasn’t been the best year, a Masters win sure would help it end on a great note. A lot of people will be cheering the players on from home.