AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Spring is in the air when you hear CBS announcer Jim Nantz at The Masters.

NEW YORK, NY – MAY 17: Jim Nantz attends the 2017 CBS Upfront on May 17, 2017, in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

The author David Owen explained in his opening line of “Making of the Masters” why so much anticipation filters through dogwoods and Georgia pines at Augusta National the first full week of April.

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“The modern golf season never ends,” he wrote, “but it does begin.”

There could be some debate on when the 83rd Masters begins.

AUGUSTA, GEORGIA – APRIL 11: Honorary starters and Masters champions Gary Player of South Africa and Jack Nicklaus stand on the first tee during the First Tee ceremony to start the first round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 11, 2019 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

First on the tee Thursday morning are Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, with nine green jackets between them, hitting an honorary tee shot in a tradition that dates to 1963. The Masters is all about tradition.

Andrew Landry will hit the official opening tee shot of the tournament. Landry is among 17 newcomers to the Masters, and he had to wait for the longest to make his debut having won the Texas Open 354 days ago.

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS – APRIL 05: Andrew Landry of the United States looks over a putt on the seventh hole during the second round of the 2019 Valero Texas Open at TPC San Antonio Oaks Course on April 05, 2019 in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

And then there’s Tiger Woods, who resumes his quest for another green jacket — or any major for that matter — at 11:04 a.m. alongside Li Haotong of China and Jon Rahm of Spain, who beat Woods in Ryder Cup singles last fall.


Woods won his fourth Masters in 2005 when he was 29, and he was certain more would follow. So did everyone else.

He is going on 14 years since his last green jacket, and 11 years since his 14th and most recent major.

AUGUSTA, UNITED STATES: US golfer Tiger Woods (R) is awarded his green jacket by 2004 champion Phil Mickelson of the US at the 2005 Masters Golf Tournament Championship 10 April 2005 at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga. Woods claimed his 4th Masters title by defeating fellow American Chris DiMarco in a one-hole playoff. AFP PHOTO/Roberto SCHMIDT (Photo credit should read ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)

“I would say that I wouldn’t have foreseen that, for sure,” Woods said. “After I won my 14th, I felt like I still had plenty more major championship that I could win, but unfortunately, I just didn’t do it.”

A good start would help. Woods didn’t break par until the final round last year.

But a good start for Woods at the Masters usually means a round that is not over par. He has only broken 70 once in his 19 previous appearances as a pro.

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The Masters is all that’s keeping Rory McIlroy from joining the most elite club in golf — only five other players dating to the creation of the Masters in 1934 have won all four majors. McIlroy played in the final group last year, three shots behind winner Patrick Reed, and faded. He had a four-shot lead in 2011 and imploded.

AUSTIN, TEXAS – MARCH 30: Tiger Woods of the United States shakes hands with Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland after defeating him 2&1 during the fourth round of the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play at Austin Country Club on March 30, 2019 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

“I would dearly love to win this tournament one day,” McIlroy said. “If it doesn’t happen this week, that’s totally fine. I’ll come back next year and have another crack at it.”

History suggests he might not want to wait too long. The last three players to complete the Slam — Woods, Nicklaus, and Player — never waited more than three years to get the last leg. The Masters is the fifth try to McIlroy.


The only big change at Augusta National for this Masters is the fifth hole, which players already considered a difficult par 4.

Now it’s 40 yards longer. Big hitters who used to hit a short iron are now hitting a mid-iron, while everyone else is hitting as much as a 4-iron. All the attention at Augusta National is on Amen Corner, but the stretch on the front nine is where rounds can get lost.

AUGUSTA, GEORGIA – APRIL 08: Tiger Woods of the United States plays his shot from the 14th tee during a practice round prior to The Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 08, 2019 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

It starts with the 240-yard fourth hole, followed by the 495-yard fifth hole and ends with a downhill, 180-yard sixth hole with different plateaus that can often lead to three-putt bogeys, if not worse.

“I would have said 11 is the toughest hole on the course prior to the new No. 5,” Jordan Spieth said.


Watch The Masters on CBS62 Saturday from 3-7. Sundays coverage is from 2-7.

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