The first golf major of the year begins this week as the Masters takes place at Augusta National in one of the biggest competitions of the year, with plenty of past champions, Green Jacket hopefuls and ambitious newcomers filling a star-studded field.
Play begins on Thursday with day one as the golfers head out in trios, before the order is reversed for day two as everyone attempts to make the cut, with the remaining players heading out in pairs over the course of Saturday and Sunday.
The groupings for the first two days have already been made, meaning that the likes of defending champion Danny Willett, world No 1 Dustin Johnson and European hope Rory McIlroy all know who they will be playing with as they get to grips with the testing 7,445-yard par-72 course.
With 19 past champions aiming to add to their Green Jacket collection, the Masters is set to be fiercely competitive, and that’s before taking into account the extreme conditions that have battered Augusta this week, leading to a Tornado warning on Monday afternoon.
The action actually begins on Wednesday with the Par 3 contest, although the light-hearted tournament – which sees a number of famous faces, family and fellow sportsman caddy for the competitors – is under threat from expected weather scheduled to his the course during the day.
Here’s everything you need to know about the 2017 Masters.
When does it start?
The Masters begins at 13:00 BST [08:00 DST] on Thursday 06 April, and finishes around 00:30 the following day in the UK.
Where can I watch it?
|7pm-12.30am||Day one live||Day one live|
|9pm-10pm||Day one||BBC Radio 5 live|
|10pm-1am||Day one||BBC Radio 5 live sports extra|
|7pm-12.30am||7pm-12.30am||Sky Sports 1|
|7pm-8pm||Day one Highlights||BBC Two|
|10pm-1am||Day two||BBC Radio 5 live sports extra|
|1pm-2pm||Day two Highlights||BBC Two|
|7pm-12.30am||Day three live||Sky Sports 4 (from 8pm on Sky Sports 1)|
|7.30pm-12am||Day three live||BBC Two|
|9pm-1am||Day three live||BBC Radio 5 live|
|6pm-12.30am||Day four live||Sky Sports 4 (from 18.30 on Sky Sports 1)|
|7pm-12am||Day four live||BBC Two|
|8pm-1am||Day four live||BBC Radio 5 live|
When is the Par 3 tournament?
The Par 3 contest begins at 17:00 BTS [12:00 local] and will be shown live on Sky Sports 4 from 19:30 BST.
Why doesn’t TV coverage start until 20:00?
The Masters has a long-held tradition of protecting its attendance figures by limiting the time of play shown on television, meaning that viewers in the United Kingdom will not be able to watch live action until 8pm on the first three days of play, seven hours after the first group tees off.
On Sunday, coverage will begin an hour earlier, with live broadcasts of the Masters starting at 7pm, with Sky Sports and the BBC showing the Masters until the end of each day’s play.
Who are the favourites?
World No 1 Dustin Johnson goes into the Masters as the heavy favourite with bookmakers’, though the unpredictable nature of golf means there is plenty of money to be won – and lost – over the course of the four days. Most bookies will offer 1/5 odds on each-way bets on finishes as high as eighth place, though you should always check the terms and conditions before betting.
Here’s the top 10 plus five outsiders to look out for:
Dustin Johnson – 6/1
The world No 1 has the early advantage of being one of the biggest hitters in the game, and on the excessively long Augusta course, that should favour him as long as he finds his range. Has won three back-to-back WGC championships heading into the Masters.
Jordan Spieth – 7/1
The 2015 winner looked on course to win consecutive Masters last year only to choke on the back nine and finish in a tie for second after losing a five-shot lead. However, the American has the talent and the form at Augusta to suggest he’ll be in the mix again.
Rory McIlroy – 15/2
The Northern Irishman is desperate to complete a major Grand Slam as he is yet to add the Masters to his collection of major trophies that features victories at The Open, the US Open and the US PGA Championship. McIlroy took time out at the start of the year to recover from a rib injury, but looks to have recovered ahead of the Masters.
Hideki Matsuyama – 18/1
The rapidly improving Japanese will hope to better his run to tied-seventh last year and could be one who goes under the radar until the final day. He retained the Phoenix Open earlier this year after coming through a play-off against Webb Simpson.
Jason Day – 20/1
Day pulled out of the recent WGC Mexico Championship to be with his ill mother, but he insisted this week that he is fully focused on the Masters and will use that emotion to try and power him to victory. A former world No 1 and major winner, the Australian should not be overlooked.
Rickie Fowler – 22/1
Fowler has found his form since helping the USA to Ryder Cup victory last year, and won the Honda Classic that notably saw him hold on to a third round lead for the first time in his career.
Jon Rahm – 25/1
The Spaniard only qualified for the Masters in January after winning the Farmers Insurance Open to clinch his maiden PGA Tour title. He has maintained that form though, finishing tied-third at the WGC Mexico Championship before finishing runner-up to Johnson at the WGC Match Play.
Justin Rose – 25/1
If fully fit, Rose can stick with the very best, and after cutting down on the number of golf tournaments he entered at the back end of 2016, he should be coming into the Masters in good knick. A past major winner who could benefit from the testing conditions.
Phil Mickelson – 28/1
Mickelson has a better record around Augusta than anyone else competing this year thanks to his three triumphs there, and despite going through a rough patch of form, Lefty cannot be ruled out at Augusta.
Adam Scott – 33/1
Another previous Masters champion who has been somewhat short of his best that took him to the 2013 title, Scott will have Steve Williams, the man who caddied Tiger Woods to 13 of his 14 major wins, at his side once again.
Louis Oosthuizen – 40/1
Oosthuizen has a certain pedigree when it comes to majors, having won the 2010 Open and finished runner-up in the 2012 Masters along with the US Open and Open in 2015. However, he is best remembered for his brilliant albatross on the second at Augusta in 2012.
Bubba Watson – 40/1
The two-time Masters champion could benefit from two major factors this week. He plays alongside Johnson and reigning US PGA Champion Jimmy Walker, and heads out in the final grouping on Thursday that should miss the bulk of the bad weather.
Matthew Fitzpatrick 60/1
Fitzpatrick’s only top-10 finish at a major came at the Masters last year, and while he cannot live with the big hitters, his short game and putting will put him in good stead this week.
Lee Westwood – 66/1
Westwood enjoyed a wonderful weekend charge last year to head out in the final group and finished tied for second alongside Jordan Spieth. If he can keep his putting in check, Westwood will be in the mix once again.
Zach Johnson – 100/1
A previous Masters winner 10 years ago, Johnson may not have the form behind him but he rises to the big occasion. His ability to scramble will do him good if wayward off the tee, and is always solid chipping and putting on the tricky greens of Augusta.
Wednesday: Heavy showers, highs of 23 degrees Celsius, gusts of 10mph
Thursday: Sunny intervals, highs of 17 degrees Celsius, gusts of 44mph
Friday: Sunny, highs of 18 degrees, gusts of 16mph
Saturday: Sunny, highs of 20 degrees, gusts of 4mph
Sunday: Sunny, highs of 24 degrees, gusts of 6mph