The Masters 2021: The favourites, the outsiders and the Aussie contingent at Augusta National

www.abc.net.au
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A stacked field will take to Augusta National this week for the 85th edition of the Masters, and picking a winner is not easy. With no concrete predictions to be found, here as some names to watch, and a rundown of the Aussie hopes' chances.
Picking a winner before the Masters begins is a fool's errand. In a field so strong and in a game so voilatile, predicting the outcome with confidence is almost impossible.

The best anyone can hope to do is weigh up each player's current form and history at Augusta National, contemplate his skill set and apply it to the intracicies of the golf course, and then hope for the best.

The Masters is famous for its surprise winners just as much as it is for its coronations of champions, and the twists and turns that take place right until the 18th hole on Sunday — and sometimes beyond — are what seperates this from the other majors.

And yet, here we are assessing a small collection of the favourites to win the 2021 Masters, a handful of outside chances to keep an eye on and the strong field of Australians.

The Masters is back in its familiar April timeslot. ( AP: Curtis Compton

We begin with the favourites...

Dustin Johnson

Having torn the place to shreds in November, winning his first Masters in an absolute canter, Johnson will naturally enter this tournament as one of the most popular picks.

After an historic Masters win in November, Dustin Johnson will be eyeing back-to-back victories. ( AP: David J. Phillip

History suggests going back to back at Augusta is an awfully difficult task, though, and it's true that DJ's game has slipped somewhat since that massive Masters win a few months ago.

While that has been compounded by injury, which saw him miss some weeks early in 2021, even on return his driver — once the most reliable and automatic on the tour — has become wayward.

Still, given he won the tournament with a ridiculous 20-under only five months ago at this same course, it would be pretty dumb to look far past Johnson.

Justin Thomas

Victory at the Players Championship last month was just reward for Thomas, who had begun to recapture some of his best form after an up-and-down start to the year.

Justin Thomas is a popular pick for the crown this year. (…
Dean Bilton
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