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Masters 2020: The week begins with a few words

Tiger Woods has already hit the Augusta National Golf Course on Monday for practice shots.
Tiger Woods has already hit the Augusta National Golf Course on Monday for practice shots.(Augusta National Golf Club)
Published: Nov. 10, 2020 at 9:35 AM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Good Tuesday morning from Augusta where the 2020 Masters Tournament is still two days away.

Golfers spent parts of Monday hitting the course for a few practice rounds -- and yes, we’ve already spotted Tiger Woods with his 10-yard stare.

But while golfers were enjoying the sights of a fall Augusta National, Chairman Fred Ridley spent Monday honoring one of the course’s trailblazers.

Lee Elder honored through Paine College scholarship

He was the first African-American player to play the Masters almost 45 years ago. Now, Lee Elder is getting the honor of having a pair of scholarships named in his honor.

Chairman Fred Ridley announced at his Monday afternoon news conference that the Augusta National Golf Club would be funding a men’s and women’s golf scholarship at nearby Paine College. The honors didn’t stop there as the ANGC said they’d also be helping to jumpstart a women’s golf program at the historically black college.

“The courage and commitment of Lee Elder and other trailblazers like him inspired men and women of color to pursue their rightful opportunity to compete and follow their dreams,” Ridley said. “But in reality, that opportunity is still elusive for many. We have a long way to go, and we can and we must do more.”

Lee Elder, the first African-American player to play the Masters, will be honored through a...
Lee Elder, the first African-American player to play the Masters, will be honored through a scholarship at Paine College.(Augusta National Golf Club)

Players already amazed with the fall course, lack of patrons

With the tournament moving to November because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the players are getting their first look at a Masters with lush fall colors.

But does the course play differently?

“I’m anxious to see over the next couple of days how tight some of the run off areas get because the grass has been a little thicker and longer than we see in April,” Jordan Spieth said Monday afternoon.

Adam Scott has already noted a difference without patrons.

“I think a lot’s different about the year, but this week and the Masters being played in these circumstances, there’s no doubt the missing galleries is going to be the biggest difference,” Scott said. “I’ve played two major championships since we’ve come back from this COVID break, and it’s just it couldn’t be more different playing major championship golf without the spectators out there and the crowds and the atmosphere, and that is a huge difference.”

“Yeah, I mean, obviously, it’s very early, but, yeah, we’re used to coming here on Monday already and seeing lots of people,” Francesco Molinari said. “So it looks different already. I don’t know. We’ll have to see how everyone adapts to the differing conditions. It’s hard not to have the fans around, but it’s amazing to have the opportunity to be back here for us as players.”

Some of the favorites will speak Tuesday

Tuesday will bring more news conferences from the men who hope to wear a green jacket by the end of the weekend. Here’s who is on dock.

  • 8:30 a.m. Tyrrell Hatton
  • 9:00 a.m. Shane Lowry
  • 9:30 a.m. Jon Rahm
  • 10:00 a.m. Bryson DeChambeau
  • 11:00 a.m. Brooks Koepka
  • 12:30 p.m. Justin Thomas
  • 1:00 p.m. Tiger Woods
  • 2:00 p.m. Dustin Johnson
  • 2:30 p.m. Phil Mickelson
  • 3:00 p.m. Rory McIlroy

We’ll have more throughout the day.

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