The 2021 Masters begins at Augusta National on Thursday just five months after Dustin Johnson won his first Green Jacket in the previous renewal last November. The first major championship of the year will not quite have the same frenzied build-up attached to it but remains much anticipated. Bryson DeChambeau failed to live up to his billing last year but is the one of the pre-tournament favourites along with fellow Americans Johnson and Justin Thomas. Rory McIlroy will need a significant reversal of form to complete the career grand slam with a first Masters victory but Lee Westwood is in fine fettle and has a strong record at Augusta. Meanwhile punters fearing their Masters ante-post bets on Jon Rahm would fall even before he tees off on Thursday were delighted to hear that the Spaniard’s wife gave birth on Saturday. Rahm, the world No 3, had previously announced he would miss the first major of the year if Kelley was likely to go into labour. She was due the second week of April. “I would never miss the birth of my first-born in a million years,” Rahm said. But in an Instagram post, Rahm, 26, revealed the good news, saying that baby boy Kepa was |in great health”. “He is 7.2lb and 20.5in, big boy from the Basque Country,” Rahm said. “Without a doubt the greatest day of my life!” When Rahm will arrive here is unclear, although when he does be sure that he will be quizzed about “The Nappy Factor”, the supposed bounce that new fathers enjoy on the course. In 2016, Danny Willett famously became the first Englishman to don a green jacket just a week after Zac was born, adding substance to theory of Keith Elliott. In “The Golf Form Book 1996” the Liverpudlian betting analyst posited his “Nappy Factor” hypothesis. The retired economics lecturer had put in years of painstaking research and cited several beneficiaries including Jack Nicklaus Arnold Palmer, Greg Norman and Nick Price. “I’m not sure why, but it’s most potent with sons as the first child,” Elliott told the Daily Telegraph. When is it? The Masters gets under way on Thursday April 8. What time will the action start? Last year’s tee times were slightly different due to the daylight hours in November, but we will back to a more familiar schedule this year. When the Masters was held in April in 2019 the first round began at 1.30pm UK time. Full television coverage will not start until much later, although there will be featured group coverage available via the red button. The final groups will begin at 7pm and so the action win finish around 11.30pm UK time. It should be an hour or so earlier on Sunday. What are the tee times? The tee times and groupings will be announced early in the tournament week.