The 85th Masters begins with a Rahm who does not want to be removed from the list of favorites

The 85th Augusta Masters It will be played again in April with the world No. 1 Dustin Johnson defending title and seeking his 25th PGA Tour victory. It will be disputed without Tiger Woods, champion in 2019 and convalescing from a car accident that this Wednesday it was known that it was due to the speeding of the Californian, but with the incentive to see if DJ dominates and sweeps as in 2020; to see a ‘recovered’ Jordan sppieth (champion in 2015), winner on Sunday in Texas after 4 years of drought; to see what it will be capable of Bryson DeChambeau with the toy that he has put in his bag, a new driver with which he intends to do wonders from the tee; to follow a Rory McIlroy who seeks to be the sixth golfer in history to bring together the four ‘greats’, and to relate what the three Spaniards do in the race. One of them, Jon rahm, opens paternity, only trained this Wednesday and these days, instead of hitting balls, he has changed diapers.

Rahm, world No. 3 and with three top-10s in his four appearances at the Masters, did not cut a hair after stepping on the Augusta National. The birth of Kepa Last Saturday he took it more as an incentive and an obvious sign of motivation rather than as a disadvantage when preparing for the first Grand Slam 2021. Perhaps he could say it louder but not more clearly: “I have enough talent and I know I can win ”, a declaration of intent after stepping on Augusta National.

The Basque recognized that the preparation for this ‘big’ has been atypical, but instead of seeing the glass half empty, Jon sees it half full: “I haven’t slept much from Thursday to Monday and I haven’t hit a single golf shot in This weather. It is true that I have not prepared as much as in the past, but on the other hand, when you train for a Grand Slam you spend a lot of time thinking about the tournament and this time for four or five days I have not had the Masters in mind. I think this is kind of refreshing, I arrive in a different state of mind. It is a different preparation, but I am prepared to compete, otherwise I would not be here, “added Jon.

Barrika’s is that there is no room for joy. Kelley and Kepa are perfectly. “In fact, the child left the hospital without losing weight, which is not very common… There you can tell that he is Basque… The first two days have been to be aware of what Kelley or the child needed and change diapers. The hardest thing has been leaving home, it was even hard for me to leave the room when I was there. Coming here, on the plane, the Wi-Fi didn’t work and they had a visit to the pediatrician. I’m not going to lie to you, I was very nervous ”.

Without ‘distractions’ due to the birth of his first offspring, Rahm therefore feels prepared and ready to play his fifth Masters. “I am looking forward to it as I have never had the opportunity to face him with the greens so hard and fast, as I have always seen him on television. I like it like this and I am looking forward to playing it under these conditions ”, the Biscayan said, before concluding by stating that“ I am not worried about not having played a practice round. I come from living the best experience of my life. I am happy and grateful to be here. I’d say I’m even in a better state of mind. I don’t know very well how to describe what I have experienced and felt, I have no words, it is something unique ”. Like the Masters.

Lee Elder was the first black to play the Augusta Masters 46 years ago

A tournament that is unique due to its traditions and one of them is the opening stroke of the event. The tradition of having ‘honorary starters’ at the Masters dates back to 1963, when Jock hutchison and Fred McLeod they made the initial ‘serve’. This has not been an annual event; Since then, the Masters has opened at least eight times without a specific player hitting the honorary drive on the one tee. Only nine men have hit those opening shots of the tournament, including the mythical Gene Sarazen, Byron Nelson, Sam Snead and Arnold palmer.

This list expands to 10 this Thursday. Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player will resume their duties and, for the first time, will be joined Lee Elder, the first black man to play the Masters, in 1975. At last year’s tournament, the president Fred ridley announced a plan to honor Elder by awarding scholarships to Paine College – a historically black Augusta school – on his behalf and for him to join Nicklaus and Player in opening the Masters this year.

“I can’t wait to have the honor of introducing Lee,” Ridley said Wednesday. Cameron champion, who will play his second Masters, said Elder’s addition to the honor roll was “huge.” “What he went through as a human being to play golf and only he knows what he endured for so long … It says a lot about him and his character,” added Champ.

And this year, of the 88 ‘invited’ players, 46 are from outside the US This too has become a Masters tradition. Americans were in the majority at the Masters in each of the first 70 editions. This first changed in 2007, and until today. This is the 15th consecutive Masters in which there are more international players than Americans.. There is no reason the Masters is something unique Jon.