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Without Tiger Woods, the Masters Leaderboard Is a Blank Slate

AUGUSTA, Ga. — The Masters tournament, after an aberrant autumn appearance five months ago, returns this week to its customary place as a ritual of spring, and golf fans will find familiar the sight of vibrant azalea bushes and blooming magnolia trees. But beyond aesthetics at the Augusta National Golf Club, this year’s Masters may be at a crossroads, when golf’s most tradition-bound event turns a new page.

Slightly more than a year ago, the energy driving the golf world was a fervent zeal to watch Tiger Woods defend his seismic 2019 Masters victory. Now, the next chapter of the Tiger era at the Masters remains wholly undefined.