Gregory Shamus / Getty Images via AFP
- The 84th Masters gets underway at Augusta National Golf Club from Thursday.
- 15-time major champion Tiger Woods will look to defend his title at a behind-closed-doors Masters.
- Sport24 takes a look at the six South Africans who will be competing in golf’s final Major of the year.
The 84th Masters Tournament gets underway at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia on Thursday.
This year’s Masters will be played outside of April for the first time after the pandemic saw the tournament rescheduled from its traditional April slot.
It will be the last Major Championship of the year with defending champion Tiger Woods looking to secure a sixth green jacket.
There will be SIX South Africans in the 92-man field with Charl Schwartzel the only competing South African to win the green jacket (2011).
2008 Masters champion Trevor Immelman was set to compete this week but announced that he would join CBS as a commentator instead.
Sport24 takes a closer look at the six who will fly the SA flag:
Age – 36
World ranking – 217
Best Masters – Winner (2011)
Schwartzel is the last South African to don the green jacket after his two-stroke win in 2011.
Since recovering from a wrist injury last year, Schwartzel has struggled for form, which has seen him fall outside the world Top 200.
He has missed the cut in his last two appearances at Augusta and missed the weekend in four of his last six Major starts.
Hopefully, some Augusta magic will rub off and see Schwartzel back to his very best.
He will tee off in Rounds 1 and 2 alongside Australia’s Jason Day and Argentine amateur Abel Gallegos.
Age – 38
World ranking – 19
Best Masters – 2 (2012)
Oosthuizen is South Africa’s top-ranked golfer this week.
Since golf’s resumption in June, the South African has played primarily on the PGA Tour as he only missed one cut in his 12 PGA Tour starts.
Oosthuizen will be looking to secure his first Major win since his 2010 Open Championship triumph at St. Andrews.
In September’s US Open at Winged Foot Golf Club, Oosthuizen produced his stellar performance and ended third.
In his opening two rounds, Oosthuizen will be in a featured group alongside reigning US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau and Spaniard Jon Rahm.
Age – 34
World ranking – 133
Best Masters – T12 (2019)
Playing in his Masters debut last year, Harding finished as the best performing South African as he ended tied for 12th to book a return to Augusta National.
Since golf’s resumption in June, Harding has played in 13 events and managed two third-place finishes at the British Masters and Andalucia Masters.
Harding will get Round 1 and 2 underway alongside Canada’s Nick Taylor and Japan’s Shugo Imahira.
Age – 26
World ranking – 59
Best Masters – Debut
Bezuidenhout will make his Masters debut this week as he completes all three major appearances this year.
The youngster kicked off his year in fine style with a runner-up finish in Dubai and capturing his second Sunshine Tour title at February’s Dimension Data Pro-Am in Fancourt.
His red-hot form was cut short by the coronavirus pandemic but he is confident in his ability to compete against the world’s best golfers.
He will play alongside two-time Masters champion Bernhard Langer and American J. T. Poston in Round 1 and 2.
Erik van Rooyen
Age – 30
World ranking – 50
Best Masters – Debut
Van Rooyen will make his Masters debut this week thanks to his world Top 50 ranking.
He has had a stellar season thus far, remaining the second-highest ranked South African golfer in the world.
He received his PGA Tour card through non-member points in August and ended T20 at last week’s Houston Open
Van Rooyen has three worldwide victories, most recently winning the 2019 Scandinavian Invitation on the European Tour.
He and South Korea’s Kang Sung-hoon are the only two-player group for Round 1 and 2.
Age – 30
World ranking – 100
Best Masters – Missed cut (2018)
Frittelli is making only his second Masters appearance this week after his debut in 2018, where he failed to make the weekend.
He found success on the PGA Tour last year when he won the John Deere. Frittelli, who resides in Texas, has just one Top 10 since the restart, which came at the RBC Heritage in July.
Frittelli is the only South African and sixth player in the Masters field who tested positive and recovered from Covid-19.
Frittelli gets Round 1 and 2 underway alongside 1992 Masters champion Fred Couples and American Max Homa.
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