🏌🏻 PGA vs LIV at Masters

Plus: How to stop hitting behind the ball

Good morning! The annual rite of spring is here.

With azaleas in bloom and a sense of anticipation in the air, patrons and players have arrived at the Augusta National Golf Club to take part in the next chapter of Masters history - 2 days to tee-off!

Today's Trivia: In 1963, Jack Nicklaus became the youngest Masters champ. 17 years later, Seve Ballesteros broke that mark.

Who broke Seve's record 17 years later?Β Answer at the end of the email.Β 

We have a winner for our Callaway Org 14 Cart Bag sweepstake: J Caspary!

β›³ This day in history: On this date in 1992, a record 18 golfers shoot in the 60s in the first round of The Masters, breaking the previous record of 12.

Tournament This Week

Major: The Masters

πŸ“ When and Where: April 11-14, Augusta National Golf Club, Georgia
πŸ’° Purse: $18 million
🏌🏻 Headliners: Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, Jon Rahm

PGA vs LIV In Augusta

Photo: Getty Images | Source: Sky Sports Golf

The PGA Tour and LIV Golf players are set to share the field for the first time in 2024 and nothing gets bigger than the Masters at Augusta National.

We are still two days away from tee-off but the battle lines have already been drawn.

⚠️ LIV Golfers Display Insignias: LIV Golf stars proudly displayed their league insignias at the Augusta National. Jon Rahm was donning a Legion XIII cap, Bryson DeChambeau sported his Crushers team cap while Phil Mickelson wore his HyFlyers hat during Monday's practice session at Augusta.

A bold gesture implying they are ready for the face-off.

🚨 Scheffler vs Rahm: This year's edition is more of an us-vs-them event than it was 12 months ago. Rahm's victory was seen as a big triumph for the rebel league last year and now the onus is on the PGA Tour's most in-form player, Scottie Scheffler, to bring back the Green Jacket.

⏳ Woods and Mickelson Return: PGA's Tiger Woods and LIV Golf's Phil Mickelson will look to turn back the years at Augusta. They undoubtedly share the same legendary status in their respective leagues and it remains to be seen who gets the bragging rights.

⛳️ Rory's Quest for Career Slam: Rory McIlroy is trying to become just the sixth golfer in history to complete the grand slam. LIV Golf's Talor Gooch suggested that there would be an asterisk by his slam if he wins it against a weak field but the one at Augusta is as strong as it gets.

Gooch won't be at Augusta to see if McIlroy eventually makes it though.

πŸ“Β Six for Koepka?Β Brooks Koepka is one of LIV Golf's strongest prospects at this year's Masters. The list of golfers who have won six major championships and at least one of the US Open, PGA Championship and Masters is not long and includes: Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus.

Koepka can join this elite list with a victory at Augusta this week.

Worth Mentioning

Gear Changes To Combat Augusta's Challenges

Photo: Getty Images | Source: Golf Monthly

Augusta National presents some unique challenges and the players are making these equipment tweaks to combat them.

πŸ“Œ Adding a Draw Bias Tee Club: There are a few holes at Augusta National that become a lot easier for a right-handed golfer if they can turn the ball over with a draw flight - the 2nd, 9th, 10th, and 13th holes.

Players are adding more right-to-left bias at the top end of the bag by adjusting the weight settings or face angle on their driver or by doing the same on their 3 wood.

πŸ“ŒΒ Adding a high-lofted fairway or hybrid: Many players who usually carry a 2 or 3 iron are switching them out in favor of one of the best hybrids or best fairway woods to provide more launch, peak height, and crucially a steeper descent angle.

πŸ“Œ New Wedges: Like every year, golfers are opting for new wedges during the Masters week. With the premium on spin control and accuracy when hitting into those firm, undulating greens, players need to know that their spin levels are optimal with brand-new, fresh, sharp grooves.

πŸ“ŒΒ Less Loft on Putters: With Augusta National boasting some of the quickest, shortest-cut greens in golf, the need for loft is diminished and can actually be harmful.

Too much loft can cause a ball to launch too high and bounce a little which will affect distance control, as such a number of players will tweak their putters loft down a little before they tee off.

πŸ“Œ More Golf Balls: With a watery grave lurking on so many of the famous back 9 holes, such as the 11th, 12th, 13th, 15th and 16th, players always ensure they have enough ammunition to complete their rounds!

What else is making news

Woods In Action: Tiger Woods β€˜played great’ in Masters practice round; outdrove Will Zalatoris a couple of times.

Bernhard Langer: Two-time Masters champion Bernhard Langer delays Masters farewell until 2025.

Caddie Corner:Β Tyrrell Hatton will be without his regular caddie Mick Donaghy at Augusta after the bagman suffered a freak injury whilst out for dinner in Miami; Hugo Dobson is expected to be his new caddie.

Masters' Menu: The Masters is back in full swing, and so are its famously affordable food and drink offerings - check out the menu.

New Shoes: Jason Day will be wearing the new Payntr Golf prototype shoes at the Masters.

Farewell:Β Verne Lundquist calls it a career at the 2024 Masters.

Masters Collection: TaylorMade wows again with limited-edition Season Opener collection - click here to check out all the products.

These 9 Masters Records Will Likely Never Be Broken

Source: Golf Digest

The statistics and records section of the Masters, which spans 40 pages, is always of interest - here are some obscure Augusta records that are unlikely to be broken.

πŸš€Β Most Pars In One Edition: In 1958, Billy Maxwell put up pars on all but 13 holes, accumulating a staggering total of 59 pars but could only manage a T-9 finish.

πŸš€Β Highest Score On Hole No 1: Ernie Els registered a score of 9 on the first hole in 2016. His six-putt from three feet is a moment you simply can’t unsee.

πŸš€Β Highest Round: Charles Kunkle's final round 95 in 1956 is officially the highest recorded round at the Masters.

In 2005, Billy Casper shot a 105, but did not turn in his scorecard to avoid registering the score and players might use the same trick if they get anywhere close to the mark in the future.

πŸš€Β Most Contrasting Round: Jacky Cupit opened his first round at Augusta National in 1963 with a solid 34. Augusta’s back nine then extracted its toll as Cupit came home in 48, the 14-shot differential being the highest between nines in tournament history.

πŸš€Β Most Rounds As An Amateur: Charlie Coe played 67 rounds at the Masters as an amateur. The two-time US Amateur champion played in 19 Masters, finishing as low amateur six times.

Stop Hitting Behind The Ball

In this video, we show you how to get more power and distance in your shots by avoiding hitting behind the ball.

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Trivia Answer: Tiger Woods.