Tee times, TV details, weather forecasts, players to watch

When is it?
The first major men’s tournament of the year, the 2022 U.S. Masters, kicks off at Augusta National, Georgia on Thursday morning (Thursday afternoon Irish time). Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and, for the first time, Tom Watson will kick off the tournament as tradition dictates as honorary starters. The tournament will run until Sunday afternoon (Sunday evening in Ireland).

How can I track everything?
The Masters airs exclusively on Sky Sports and Now all week. Feature group coverage will begin at 2:00 p.m. Thursday, with full coverage beginning at 7:30 p.m. Turn-by-turn highlights will be available on BBC Two from midnight. And you can follow the daily action via the Irish Times Sport live blog.

What are the Irish prospects?
Ireland have a considerable presence in the Masters this year, with four players – Rory McIlroy, Shane Lowry, Pádraig Harrington and Séamus Power. McIlroy is looking to complete a career Grand Slam and end a major drought that dates back to 2014. Harrington is playing in his 16th Masters, while Lowry will look to improve on his best Masters result tied for 21st last year. This is Power’s first Major and the Waterford man will look to continue his excellent form on the PGA Tour this season.

Guess whois back?
Ever since news broke last week that Tiger Woods was playing nine holes at Augusta, the sports world has wondered if the five-time Masters champion will play on Thursday. And the good news for golf fans was confirmed on Tuesday, when Woods said in his pre-tournament press conference that “from now on, I feel that I will play. Woods has not played in a high profile event since being involved in a serious car accident in February last year.

What are the favourites?
The current favorite for the Masters among bookmakers is Spaniard Jon Rahm, who was world number one until last week and the winner of last year’s US Open. Next in betting is American Justin Thomas, followed by 2020 champion Dustin Johnson, Players champion Cameron Smith and new number one Scottie Scheffler. With no player currently better than 11-1 in betting, this is one of the most open Masters in years.

Who else do you need to watch out for?
Norway’s Viktor Hovland has won three times since November and could represent Europe’s best chance apart from Rahm. 2015 winner Jordan Spieth has already finished in the top three at the Masters five times at 28, so he’s still a threat, while two-time Major winner Collin Morikawa is one to watch with his unrivaled ball-striking. Last year’s winner, Hideki Matsuyama, will be looking to become the fourth player to defend the Masters title.

What are the departures?

Thursday departure times (all Irish times)
(US unless otherwise noted, * denotes amateur)

12:40 p.m. Gary Player (Honorary Starter), Jack Nicklaus (Honorary Starter), Tom Watson (Honorary Starter)

1.0 Jose Maria Olazabal (Spain), JJ Spaun
1.11 Mike Weir (Canada), Padraig Harrington (Ireland), *Austin Greaser
1.22 Larry Mize, Sepp Straka (Austria), Francesco Molinari (Italy)
1.33 Fred Couples, Garrick Higgo (South Africa), Guido Migliozzi (Italy)
1.44 Vijay Singh (Fiji), Ryan Palmer, Kyoung-Hoon Lee (Korea)
1.55 Min Woo Lee (Australia), Hudson Swafford, Cameron Young

2.06 Stewart Cink, Brian Harman, Harry Higgs
2.17 Zach Johnson, Si Woo Kim (Korea), *Aaron Jarvis (Cayman Islands)
2.39 Luke List, Matthew Wolff, Mackenzie Hughes (Canada)
2.50 Danny Willett (England), Jason Kokrak, Talor Gooch

3.01 Max Homa, Kevin Na, Shane Lowry (Ireland)
3.12 Kevin Kisner, Daniel Berger, Tommy Fleetwood (England)
3.23 Bryson DeChambeau, Cameron Smith (Australia), Paul Casey (England)
3.34 Tiger Woods, Louis Oosthuizen (South Africa), Joaquin Niemann (Chile)
3.45 Hideki Matsuyama (Japan), Justin Thomas, *James Piot
3.56 Adam Scott (Australia), Scottie Scheffler, Tony Finau

4.18 Sandy Lyle (Scotland), *Stewart Hagestad
4.29 Lucas Glover, Erik van Rooyen (South Africa), Cameron Champ
4.40 Bernhard Langer (Germany), Christiaan Bezuidenhout (South Africa), Cameron Davis (Australia)
4.51 Charl Schwartzel (South Africa), Robert MacIntyre (Scotland), *Laird Shepherd (England)

5.02 Gary Woodland, Justin Rose (England), Takumi Kanaya (Japan)
5.13 Lee Westwood (England), Russell Henley, Corey Conners (Canada)
5.24 Patrick Red, Power Seamus (Ireland), Lucas Herbert (Australia)
5.35 Bubba Watson, Tom Hoge, *Keita Nakajima (Japan)
5.57 Marc Leishman (Australia), Webb Simpson, Sungjae Im (Korea)

6.08 Sergio Garcia (Spain), Thomas Pieters (Belgium), Harold Varner III
6.19 Abraham Ancer (Mexico), Tyrrell Hatton (England), Sam Burns
6:30 p.m. Dustin Johnson, Billy Horschel, Collin Morikawa
6.41 Will Zalatoris, Patrick Cantlay, Jon Rahm (Spain)
6.52 Jordan Spieth, Viktor Hovland (Norway), Xander Schauffele

7.03 Matthew Fitzpatrick (England), Brooks Koepka, Rory McIlroy (North Ireland)

Friday departure times

1.0 Sandy Lyle (Scotland), *Stewart Hagestad
1.11 Lucas Glover, Erik van Rooyen (South Africa), Cameron Champ
1.22 Bernhard Langer (Germany), Christiaan Bezuidenhout (South Africa), Cameron Davis (Australia)
1.33 Charl Schwartzel (South Africa), Robert MacIntyre (Scotland), *Laird Shepherd (England)
1.44 Gary Woodland, Justin Rose (England), Takumi Kanaya (Japan)
1.55 Lee Westwood (England), Russell Henley, Corey Conners (Canada)

2.06 Patrick Red, Power Seamus (Ireland), Lucas Herbert (Australia)
2.17 Bubba Watson, Tom Hoge, *Keita Nakajima (Japan)
2.39 Marc Leishman (Australia), Webb Simpson, Sungjae Im (Korea)
2.50 Sergio Garcia (Spain), Thomas Pieters (Belgium), Harold Varner III

3.01 Abraham Ancer (Mexico), Tyrrell Hatton (England), Sam Burns
3.12 Dustin Johnson, Billy Horschel, Collin Morikawa
3.23 Will Zalatoris, Patrick Cantlay, Jon Rahm (Spain)
3.34 Jordan Spieth, Viktor Hovland (Norway), Xander Schauffele
3.45 Matthew Fitzpatrick (England), Brooks Koepka, Rory McIlroy (North Ireland)
3.56 Jose Maria Olazabal (Spain), JJ Spaun

4.18 Mike Weir (Canada), Padraig Harrington (Ireland), *Austin Greaser
4.29 Larry Mize, Sepp Straka (Austria), Francesco Molinari (Italy)
4.40 Fred Couples, Garrick Higgo (South Africa), Guido Migliozzi (Italy)
4.51 Vijay Singh (Fiji), Ryan Palmer, Kyoung-Hoon Lee (Korea)

5.02 Min Woo Lee (Australia), Hudson Swafford, Cameron Young
5.13 Stewart Cink, Brian Harman, Harry Higgs
5.24 Zach Johnson, Si Woo Kim (Korea), *Aaron Jarvis (Cayman Islands)
5.35 Luke List, Matthew Wolff, Mackenzie Hughes (Canada)
5.57 Danny Willett (England), Jason Kokrak, Talor Gooch

6.08 Max Homa, Kevin Na, Shane Lowry (Ireland)
6.19 Kevin Kisner, Daniel Berger, Tommy Fleetwood (England)
6:30 p.m. Bryson DeChambeau, Cameron Smith (Australia), Paul Casey (England)
6.41 Tiger Woods, Louis Oosthuizen (South Africa), Joaquin Niemann (Chile)
6.52Hideki Matsuyama (Japan), Justin Thomas, *James Piot

7.03 Adam Scott (Australia), Scottie Scheffler, Tony Finau

Have there been any course changes at Augusta this year?
The length of the par-4 11th hole has been increased by 15 yards, meaning it now plays 10 yards longer than the par-5 13th, while 20 yards has been added to the par-5 15th. A number of green complexes have been modified, including the 13th green.

Are there any notable numbers missing?
Three-time Masters champion Phil Mickelson continues his absence from professional golf following the fallout from his Saudi Golf League maneuver. Regular contenders Rickie Fowler and Jason Day failed to qualify for the event, as did veterans Henrik Stenson, Ian Poulter and Matt Kuchar.

What is the prize for the winner of the Master?
The 2022 Masters champion will receive $2.07 million (€1.89 million), but perhaps more importantly, the winner will receive the priceless green jacket, as well as a lifetime invitation to play in the Masters , a replica of the Masters champion’s trophy that permanently resides in Augusta. National and a gold medal.

What is the weather forecast?
Significant rain is expected at Augusta National on Tuesday and Wednesday, which should soften the course as thunderstorms may persist Thursday. The rest of the weekend promises to be dry, as the wind is expected to pick up on Friday, with gusts of up to 40 km/h.

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