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Masters tradition welcomes back some familiar faces to Augusta

Published: Apr. 6, 2021 at 8:33 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The Masters is known for tradition. That means we see some of the same faces year after year. But there are a few well-known names we won’t see.

We all know playing in the Masters is not a guarantee unless you’re a former champion.

Some of the usual faces, including Rickie Fowler and Brandt Snedeker, were among those who didn’t qualify this year.

The November Masters brought challenges aside from just qualifying as players also needed to be healthy.

It was eye-opening to see players who qualified but were not be able to play due to COVID. Joaquin Neiman and 2017 Masters champion Sergio Garcia both caught COVID just before the tournament was scheduled to begin.

In some ways, that added an extra level of anticipation heading into November’s Masters.

And this year, no one has had to withdraw due to COVID.

Neimann is back and is chasing a better result than his first appearance.

Garcia admitted he was disappointed having to sit out 2020. However, he took a more pragmatic view of it and is planning to make the most out of this year’s trip.

“Yeah, but that’s destiny. It’s the way things are, and it happened for a reason. So, I’m still proud of the amount of majors I’ve been able to play in a row. So that’s the important thing,” Garcia said. “Just go out here this week, play well, trust what I’m doing, and hopefully have a great chance on the weekend.”

It goes without saying we want as many former champions in the field as we can get, so it’s great having Garcia back in Augusta.

And we are actually still waiting for players to arrive.

Jon Rahm celebrated the birth of his son Kepa on Sunday. But this is very much a case of better late than not at all for Rahm, who had said he would withdraw from any tournament to be with his wife during the birth.

We wish his family the best on that.

MASTERS WEEK COVERAGE

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