The opening Major Championship of 2021 takes place in April as the world’s leading players to return to Augusta National Golf Course for the 85th edition of the annual event.

Last year world number one Dustin Johnson proved too strong for his rivals as he won the Green Jacket after ending the weekend on a score of -23, which was enough for a five-stroke margin of victory.

This year’s competition could be much more open and may even throw up a surprise. Here are three players who are capable of coming out on top in Georgia.

Paul Casey

Englishman Paul Casey picked up his 15th success of the European Tour last month when he prevailed in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. The 43-year-old was right back to his best in Dubai in what was an excellent four days from the experienced golfer.

Casey has yet to win one of golf’s four big tournaments, however, he will have seen what Tiger Woods did two years ago at Augusta and will not be giving up becoming a Major winner.

The former world number three can play the course very well. He has five top-10 finishes in the event. The closest he has come to the title was in 2016 when he finished in a tie for fourth place.

After his recent success, the bookmakers have cut Casey’s odds to +4000 in the golf betting for the Masters. It would be a great story if the man who has been a professional for 21 years does end his wait for Major glory in 2021.

Scottie Scheffler

2020 was a big 12 months for youngster Scottie Scheffler as he was named the PGA Tour’s Rookie of the Year. In 2021 he could be set to really make a name for himself by winning one of the four Majors in the sport.

Scheffler made a respectable debut at Augusta back in November where he ended the weekend in a tie for 19th place. All four of his rounds were par or better as he handled the course very well across the four days.

The 24-year-old looks in good form in the early stages of the year. He recently finished seventh in the Waste Management Phoenix Open where he was in contention on the final day in the tournament, which was eventually won by Brooks Koepka. Scheffler is capable of being in the hunt on Masters Sunday this year.

Cameron Smith

Australian Cameron Smith will be hoping to follow in his compatriot Adam Scott’s footsteps by winning the US Masters this year. Scott prevailed in a play-off in 2013, the only Major of his career so far.

Smith looks capable of levelling Scott’s Major count at the very least in the near future. He was second in the Masters last year and he is capable of going one place better in 2021, proving his performance back in the Autumn was no fluke.

The 27-year-old from Queensland seems to save his best golf for the big events. He was the winner of two tournaments in 2020 so he knows how to close victories out on the final day.

Enjoy the action at Augusta in what should be another fantastic renewal of the tournament that every golfer dreams about winning.