The hope is that the first major of the year will become the last major of the year but there are still many questions that remain unanswered

We now know that the 2020 Masters will not take place in April due to the coronavirus. And so a different type of guessing game begins as we all pin our hopes on the 2020 Masters taking place at all later in the year…

When will the 2020 Masters take place? People were earmarking an early September slot after the Tour Championship which concludes in nearby Atlanta on August 30 this year. The Ryder Cup is due to get underway on Friday September 25.

The new favourite/wild stab in the dark is October 8-11 which would clash with the Italian Open and Shriners Open but needs must and all that and this would now come two weeks after the Ryder Cup.

The main school of thought behind the October date is that many local hotels are sold out that week and the Solheim Cup player Marina Alex tweeted this.

All finger-in-the-air stuff but it is an interesting take.

Who gets to play in the 2020 Masters? The Masters invite all players in the top 50 of the world rankings the week before the tournament. The cut-off this year was March 30. A later date would penalise anyone dropping out between then and any new cut-off. Then again, it would reward those in form and making a late run.

Again, you might hope that given how small the field is they would make room for anyone inside the top 50 at the two different cut-off points.

Which players might a new 2020 Masters date suit? Almost as big an imponderable as the coronavirus is Tiger Woods’ back. I’m joking, I’m joking, but the whole get-your-game-in-shape-for-the-second-week-in-April thing hasn’t worked for the defending champion. Woods last played at Riviera in the middle of February, so maybe this will work out well in his favour.

Or he’ll be in tatters after a play-off series. Or he won’t be involved in them. Who knows?

And the rest of them whose game is currently trending in a southerly direction. See Justin Rose, Francesco Molinari, Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson, and Brooks Koepka.

Will the 2020 Masters finally see Rory McIlroy get over the line? We’ll take anything these days when it comes to seeing McIlroy slip his muscular arms inside a 42-inch regular Green Jacket and maybe not getting too juiced up for the year’s first major and hot-footing to Augusta from nearby East Lake will get the job done.

What about the look of the course at the 2020 Masters? Without pretending to be an expert horticulturist or meteorologist like so many others on social media, the bottom line is that this is Augusta National. If they want the flowers to bloom, the grass to be green and the birds to sing then they’ll make it happen.

How will Augusta National play for the 2020 Masters? Again, it will play just as they would like it to play. The temperatures in September are in the low 70s – low 20s in Celsius – at this time of year so it could be absolutely ideal. The daylight hours are slightly less in September than April but with the small field this won’t be a problem.

Does this have any consequences for the Open Championship? It will be back as the third major on the schedule after a year out as the anchor man but, other than that, and the chunky world ranking points that might get you to Augusta, then hopefully life will carry on as usual for the game’s oldest major.

What cliches will we now turn to? Generally speaking all and sundry like to trot out it’s the start of the golf season proper when Augusta rolls around before turning on our own greenkeepers for not having our courses in a similar nick.

Now what are we going to say when we’re just beginning to turn our thoughts to Christmas?

What about the amateurs at the 2020 Masters? Once you’ve landed the US Amateur or whatever it is, the plan is start the cogs rolling towards the pro game. What might be nice, and right, is to let the non-professionals stick to their plans and take advantage of some starts, and still take their place in the Masters field.

What about patrons attending the 2020 Masters? Likewise the patrons who might have been saving up for this for years. Let’s hope the Men of the Masters do the right thing by them.

Will they send out fresh invites to the 2020 Masters? Social media’s not going to be the same with our heroes playing the age-old ‘I got an envelope today’ game when we’re all on our summer holidays.

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