Marc Leishman will have a front row seat when he tees it up for the first round of the 2018 Masters tournament tomorrow in Augusta, Georgia.
He will be playing in a threesome alongside England’s Tommy Fleetwood and Tiger Woods.
Tiger mania is already underway, judging by the roar that went up from the spectators when Woods chipped in for eagle on the second hole of a practice round. Imagine the roars should Woods be in contention come the final nine on Sunday.
Even Woods admits to being surprised at how rapidly he has returned to his old form.
“It’s crazy. I’ll be honest with you, it is crazy. I thought prior to the fusion surgery that that’s pretty much it. I’ll have a nice, comfortable, and great life, but I’ll never be able to swing the club like I used to speed wise, just there’s no way,” Woods said.
Adam Scott will also have prime viewing. His first round partners will be Spain’ Jon Rahm, who looks as though he would be perfectly at ease in any rugby scrum, and Rory McIllroy, who when he is driving accurately, makes a sheer mockery of the game of golf.
McIllroy is in top form and he needs only a Masters victory to become just the sixth player ever to complete a career Grand Slam. This will be his 10 attempt at the Masters, where he has never finished better than fourth, that in 2015 when he blew his chances with a disastrous back nine in the final round.
When McIllroy won at Bay Hill last month, he was striping tee shots like few in the world can and he combined that with a putting display that was nothing short of phenomenal.
“I feel as prepared as I ever have been,” McIlroy said.“I always try to be as well prepared as I possibly can be for each and every golf tournament I play, but this week I feel like everything’s coming together very nicely.”
Leishman and Scott could, as is often the case, have their already sharp games lifted by playing alongside gallery favourites, such as Wood and McIllroy.