It’s officially Masters week, the most important week of the year for any golfer. It’s become an unspoken rule, even if you don’t like professional golf, to make an effort to at least pay attention to the Masters. Augusta National is heaven on Earth to any golfer, and twice as hard to get into. The Masters is the pinnacle of storied sports tournaments, played on the course with the ghost of Bobby Jones omnipresent and breathing down your neck for the entire weekend.

As the gates to golf’s answer to Nirvana open for the four days of professional golf people actually care about, the race for the coveted green jacket is as high stakes as an 87-way World Series. Namely, certain stars old and new, good and evil, are all in the running for what could be one of the most memorable Masters tournaments in recent years.

Of all the golfers in the PGA, no other player has come close to the meteoric comeback that Tiger Woods has. Since his grand finale finish at the Tour Championship in late September, Tiger’s return to the game has been treated as the return of the Messiah. 

The man labelled as the greatest golfer of all time is for the first time is years is among the favorites to win the Masters, both in Vegas odds and fan favorites. Woods winning the Masters would only fuel the fervor of golf fans for two reasons. It would be his first Masters win since 2005, and it would mean the hero of the golf world would be awarded by last year’s winner, the newest villain of professional golf: Patrick Reed.

No one likes Patrick Reed. He’s everyone’s favorite golfer as much as everyone’s favorite superhero is Aquaman. At least Aquaman didn’t run the entire U.S. Ryder Cup team through the mud because Tiger Woods didn’t want to play with him. Reed has dug himself into a hole he can’t get out of whether he meant to or not, and he’s now stuck playing the villain for the time being. So if he loses, Tiger’s victory would mean all that much more. If he wins though, his unpopularity would only increase.

Finally, we come to Jordan Spieth. Spieth is another familiar face among the field list for those teeing up Thursday. There’s only one problem dragging him down this year: He sucks. If you dial back the clock two or three years, you could remember the days when Spieth was lofted on the shoulders of every sports network in the country as the next face of golf. And he was for all of a year until he crashed harder than Tiger’s car.

Spieth’s been on a short upswing though. He was shooting well in his last tournament before the Masters, a dramatic change from his frankly pathetic 2018 season when he didn’t win a single tournament he played in. Not to mention, he’s been amazing when playing at Augusta, it’s where he established his reputation in the first place. If there’s anywhere to pull himself out of his rut, it’s Augusta.

Jack Gleckler is a freshman studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. What do you think? Tell Jack by tweeting him at @thejackgleckler.

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