Or is it. This is a masters like no other before it. No teeming crowds and baying fans. No wild drives and awkward shots between the spectators. No fan fare and adulation as the best in the world take on the best in the world on a course that could be described as a frozen green sea. Shots that would usually drop on a pin elsewhere can roll for days or to the nearest body of water before stopping.
The masters is the ultimate prize in the golfing world and draws in all of the avid fans year in year out. It holds a special place in the eyes of the players and is the prize among prizes in terms of majors.
Who can forget last year as Tiger Woods turned back time to win just one more title when the world though he was fading to obscurity after dominating the game for so long. So many problems and false dawns before somehow doing the impossible and breaking past all of his mental and physical obstacles to stand imperious once more on that hallowed 18th green at Augusta with the world watching on. As the crowd roared his name in joy again after years of shouting him down.
I will be watching closely this year but it seems unlikely that he could do it again. That was a once off in a decade of mediocrity for Tiger. With a young and hungry pack growing in numbers every year it is inevitable that they take over the sport and brush away the legacy of the greatest player there ever was.
Bigger, stronger and faster they will fight like animals to take that green jacket and aim for world no1 but with so many vieing for the top spot it has become harder than ever to do what Tiger once did. They play the game in a very different way as the equipment and the gym has changed to landscape that they play on but nobody will ever do it with such force and dominance as Tiger once did.
As for who wins this weekend at Augusta, I cannot say. Maybe McIllroy will finally get the win after so many close efforts. One of the old dogs to rise to the occasion once more like last year? Or a new champion will emerge from the young and hungry pack that have all the talent and motivation in the world.
Either way it will be good to watch. Fans or no fans.