AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — A brief look at the 86th Masters, which starts today (Thursday). All times EDT.
SITE: Augusta National Golf Club.
LENGTH: 7,510 yards.
PURSE: To be determined ($11.5 million in 2021).
FIELD: 91 players (six amateurs).
CUT: Top 50 and ties.
DEFENDING CHAMPION: Hideki Matsuyama.
TIGER TALES: Five-time champion Tiger Woods announced Tuesday he is planning to play for the first time since the Masters in November 2020, a span of 508 days. He is coming back from serious leg injuries suffered in a February 2021 car crash.
GRAND SLAM, ACT VIII: Rory McIlroy tries for the eighth time to win the Masters and complete the career Grand Slam.
NOW ON THE TEE: Two-time champion Tom Watson joins Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player as honorary starters.
COURSE CHANGES: Tees have been moved back 15 yards and to the left on No. 11 and several trees on the right were removed. Tees were moved back 20 yards on No. 15.
THE ODDS (FanDuel Sportsbook): Jon Rahm (+1200); Justin Thomas (+1300); Cameron Smith, Scottie Scheffler, Dustin Johnson (+1500) Brooks Koepka, Jordan Spieth, Viktor Hovland, Rory McIlroy (+1900); Tiger Woods (+5000).
NOTEWORTHY: The last five Masters held in April were won by players outside the top 10 in the world ranking.
QUOTEWORTHY: “I would have probably taken some pretty high odds a few months ago, even a few weeks ago, whether or not he would be here. But when you think about it, it really shouldn’t surprise us. He is one of the most determined, dedicated athletes that I have ever seen in my life.” — Masters chairman Fred Ridley on the return of Tiger Woods.
KEY TEE TIMES: Tiger Woods, Louis Oosthuizen, Joaquin Niemann, 10:34 a.m.; Rory McIlroy, Matt Fitzpatrick, Brooks Koepka, 2:03 p.m.; Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Thomas, James Piot, 10:45 a.m.
TELEVISION: Thursday-Friday, 3-7:30 p.m. (ESPN); Saturday, 3-7 p.m. (CBS); Sunday, 2-7 p.m. (CBS).
INTERACTIVE: Masters.com. Featured groups from 9:15 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
CUBS, BREWERS TO KICK OFF SEASON
Milwaukee Brewers vs. Chicago Cubs
Chicago; today (Thursday), 2:20 p.m. EDT
PITCHING PROBABLES: Brewers: Corbin Burnes (0-0); Cubs: Kyle Hendricks (0-0)
FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK LINE: Brewers -168, Cubs +144; over/under is 10 1/2 runs
BOTTOM LINE: The Chicago Cubs open the season at home against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Chicago went 71-91 overall and 39-42 at home last season. The Cubs slugged .407 as a team last season with 2.8 extra base hits per game.
Milwaukee had a 95-67 record overall and a 50-31 record in road games last season. The Brewers scored 4.6 runs per game while giving up 3.8 in the 2021 season.
INJURIES: Cubs — Adbert Alzolay: 60-Day IL (shoulder), Codi Heuer: 60-Day IL (elbow), Brad Wieck: 60-Day IL (elbow), David Bote: 60-Day IL (undisclosed)
Brewers — None listed.
TIGERS, CHISOX TO PLAY IN FRIDAY OPENER
Chicago White Sox vs. Detroit Tigers
Detroit; Friday, 1:10 p.m. EDT
PITCHING PROBABLES: White Sox: Lucas Giolito (0-0); Tigers: Eduardo Rodriguez (0-0)
BOTTOM LINE: The Detroit Tigers host the Chicago White Sox for the season opener.
Detroit went 77-85 overall and 42-39 at home a season ago. The Tigers slugged .399 as a team in the 2021 season while hitting 1.1 home runs per game.
Chicago had a 93-69 record overall and a 40-41 record on the road last season. The White Sox scored 4.9 runs per game in the 2021 season while giving up 3.9.
INJURIES: Tigers — Kyle Funkhouser: 10-Day IL (shoulder), Derek Hill: 10-Day IL (hamstring), Spencer Turnbull: 60-Day IL (elbow), Andrew Chafin: 10-Day IL (groin), Jake Rogers: 60-Day IL (elbow), Jose Cisnero: 60-Day IL (shoulder)
White Sox — Jonathan Stiever: 60-Day IL (lat)