Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS

PGA Tour players and caddies can avoid future COVID-19 testing by completing vaccinations

Sports / Golf /

PGA Tour players and caddies will have an incentive to get the COVID-19 vaccination — the Tour told them in an internal memo this week that was obtained by Golf Digest that they will no longer require weekly testing to play in events if they are vaccinated.

In the memo, players and caddies who receive their second shot from Moderna or Pfizer,...Read more

Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS

Jim Souhan: 10 reasons why the Masters is still the best golf tournament in the world

Sports / Golf /

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Why the Masters is the world's greatest golf tournament:

1. Sheer beauty. Augusta National Golf Club is beautiful everywhere you look, from the white cabins to the pink azaleas, from Amen Corner to the walking path along the second fairway. It's hard to imagine a prettier setting that doesn't feature an ocean.

2. Permanence. ...Read more

Michael Cunningham: Hideki Matsuyama becomes Japanese golf legend with Masters win

Sports / Golf /

If Hideki Matsuyama was feeling the weight of his country’s hopes, he didn’t show it. His little jogs to catch up with caddie Shota Hayafuji after tee shots reminded me of duffers hurrying to keep up with the pace of play. The leader in the final round of the Masters looked like a recreational golfer getting in a Sunday round with friends.

...Read more

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images North America/TNS

Dylan Hernandez: Hideki Matsuyama's historic Masters win carries different weight in Japan

Sports / Golf /

Hideki Matsuyama looked as if he was fighting back tears.

He scrunched his face. He looked down. He blinked.

The question from the Japanese talk show host that elicited the involuntary physical response wasn’t about his victory at the Masters earlier Sunday, but about his first time playing in the tournament.

“I think I was able to change...Read more

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images North America/TNS

Hideki Matsuyama holds on to win the Masters Tournament

Sports / Golf /

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Japan is a golf-crazy country. There are waiting lists for memberships at driving ranges, let alone the best country clubs.

It has had no shortage of worldwide stars such as World Golf Hall of Fame members Isao Aoki and Masashi "Jumbo" Ozaki, and Ozaki's brothers Naomichi "Joe" and Tateo "Jet."

There also was Shigeki Maruyama, ...Read more

Steve Hummer: A more normal Masters has breakthrough champion in Matsuyama

Sports / Golf /

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Listen to that: Sunday cheers once more lifting a champion as he made the climb to the 18th green at Augusta National. Why, it almost sounded like the Masters again.

And not just any champion this Sunday, but a breakthrough one. With his one-stroke victory, Hideki Matsuyama became the first Japanese male to win one of his game�...Read more

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images North America/TNS

Hideki Matsuyama makes history, becoming first Japanese player to win Masters

Sports / Golf /

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama secured a spot in golf history Sunday, winning the Masters and becoming the first of his countrymen to collect a major championship.

Despite three bogeys in five holes down the stretch, Matsuyama steadied himself and shot a one-over-par 73 to secure a one-stroke victory at Augusta National, a win ...Read more

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images North America/TNS

Mark Zeigler: The mythical, mystical world inside the gates of Augusta National

Sports / Golf /

AUGUST, Ga. — The media center for the Masters golf tournament is located on the northern edge of the property, an expansive, modern building with an elegant wood ceiling and a wall of windows looking across the practice range.

To reach the course, you ride in motorized green carts through what seems like the backlot of a movie studio or ...Read more

Michael Cunningham: Rose gives back another Masters lead, still has chance to finish on top

Sports / Golf /

The people operating the leaderboards at Augusta National have been grabbing Justin Rose’s nameplate for years. For just as long the engraver hasn’t etched Rose’s name on the Masters trophy, which also is from England.

Rose might have to wait another year after giving back another lead.

Rose had the second-biggest advantage ever after ...Read more

Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS

Hideki Matsuyama pours it on after rain delay, shoots 65 to lead Masters

Sports / Golf /

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Pretty mundane way to spend a rain delay, sitting in your car and scrolling through your cellphone. But Hideki Matsuyama needed to clear his head Saturday after hitting his worst shot of the Masters, a drive on No. 11 that peeled so far right it wound up on a grass strip on the wrong side of the trees. Mercifully, officials ...Read more

The Cink player-caddie pairing: It's a blast

Sports / Golf /

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Stewart Cink prefers dining with the caddies these days.

After all, that’s where his son Reagan can be found.

The father-son relationship has turned into a player-caddie relationship since they paired together when Cink won the Safeway Open in September.

“I’ve been eating in caddie dining ever since he started caddying,...Read more

Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS

Sudden surge at Augusta: Hideki Matsuyama charges to the Masters lead with bogey-free 65

Sports / Golf /

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Hideki Matsuyama first experienced the Masters Tournament as a 19-year-old amateur in 2011, thanks to an invitation extended to the winner of the Asia-Pacific Amateur.

The stocky kid with the slow backswing made the cut at the Augusta National Golf Club and was the low amateur, finishing tied for 27th at 1-under-par 287.

That ...Read more

Masters notebook: Curtis Strange has high praise for fellow Wake Forest player Will Zalatoris

Sports / Golf /

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Will Zalatoris is the latest in a long line of Wake Forest products who have found success on the PGA Tour. And the 24-year-old has gone from being a member of the Korn Ferry Tour 10 months ago to the final twosome in the third round of his first start in the Masters Tournament on Saturday.

Another former Demon Deacon, World ...Read more

Now one stroke off the Masters lead, Harman still trending upward

Sports / Golf /

AUGUSTA, Ga. — It’s getting real for Brian Harman.

He shot a 3-under 69 to tie for second, four strokes behind Justin Rose, after the first round of the Masters on Thursday. He shot a 3-under 69 to tie for second, one stroke behind Rose, after the second round Friday.

The differences?

Harman did his post-round interview in the spacious ...Read more

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images North America/TNS

Cameron Smith's rally at Augusta National halted by untimely double bogey at No. 15

Sports / Golf /

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Cameron Smith had his streak of rounds in the 60s at Augusta National snapped in Thursday's first round with an opening 74.

He started another on Friday but his 68 admittedly left him steaming because it had so much more potential until a double-bogey at No. 15.

"Quite frustrated, actually," said the native of Brisbane, ...Read more

Justin Rose remains on top at the Masters but here come the stars

Sports / Golf /

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Justin Rose knows nothing is over until early Sunday evening at the Augusta National Golf Club.

He once had one arm in a green jacket and needed only to make a 7-foot putt at the last hole in 2017. He missed, then lost to Sergio Garcia in a playoff.

Rose also led the 2004 Masters as a 23-year-old and shot an 81 in the third ...Read more

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images North America/TNS

Masters notebook: Billy Horschel's par save at the last indicative of his battle to make cut

Sports / Golf /

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Billy Horschel will always be an eternal optimist.

With a gritty, grinding 71 on Friday in the second round of the Masters Tournament, the Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., resident made the cut at 3-over 147. Despite being 10 shots behind leader Justin Rose, Horschel believes anyone making the Masters cut has a chance, given the whacky...Read more

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images North America/TNS

Brooks Koepka misses the cut at Masters after recent knee surgery

Sports / Golf /

AUGUSTA, Ga. — The surgeon who reconstructed the right knee of Brooks Koepka three weeks ago said it’s “miraculous” that the former World No. 1-ranked golfer was able to compete in the Masters.

Earlier this year, Koepka suffered a dislocated kneecap in an unspecified “freak accident,” yet was back on the course, shooting a two-over...Read more

Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS

Mark Zeigler: First round of Masters is rough for everyone but Justin Rose

Sports / Golf /

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Dustin Johnson won a November Masters on a soft, vulnerable golf course with a record score of 20-under. Apparently, Augusta National isn’t about to let that happen again.

Everyone seemed to get the memo, except Justin Rose.

The Englishman ripped off an eagle and seven birdies in the space of, gulp, 10 holes Thursday to ...Read more

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images North America/TNS

Jordan Speith survives Masters round filled with 'fireworks at both ends' to post under-par score

Sports / Golf /

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Justin Rose's second-nine sprint up the Masters leaderboard aside, the most entertaining round on Thursday might have been turned in by Jordan Spieth.

"Somewhat typical for me at the Masters," Spieth said, when asked to describe his 1-under 71, which left him six shots behind Rose. "Some good golf and then some fireworks at ...Read more