Masters Tournament Preview
There is no more iconic golf course in the world than Augusta National. It is one of the most private clubs in the world and we only see it one week of the year. The Masters is the tournament I never miss out on watching, but this time it is happening in November instead of April. Last year's event was one of my fondest golf memories as I watched my childhood idol, Tiger Woods, overcome all odds to win his 15th major and slip on his fifth green jacket. This year's edition of the Master will not be short on storylines and so I am going to break it all down for you and even give you some players to bet on heading into 2020's final major.
Covid & The Lack Of Fans
Sports have been much different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and golf is no different. Outside of a few volunteers and club members, this year will feature no spectators in Augusta, Georgia, which could make for an interesting Sunday finish. One of the most iconic parts of this event is hearing the roars around the course on Sunday as players make a charge on the back nine, but that will not happen this year. COVID has also affected the participants of this event as we have already seen players unable to attend due to the virus. Sergio Garcia, the 2017 winner of the event, is one of those players, as is Joaquin Niemann. Hopefully no other players fall victim to this virus and affect this stellar field of world-class golfers.
The Weather & Course Conditions
Augusta National is going to play incredibly long this year, and the weather is not going to help make the course any shorter. Listed at 7485 yards on the official scorecard, Augusta will be a long par 72 for sure, especially on the front nine. When you factor in the forecast calling for rain throughout the week, the conditions may be tougher than ever. We are used to the spring scenery on this beautiful course, but the fall conditions will be a nice change of pace. Keep an eye on that forecast because if the rain passes perhaps a shorter hitter could find themselves in the hunt on Sunday.
Golf's Power Hitters Taking Aim-En Corner
Due to the course playing long, many are calling for Bryson DeChambeau to win the event. He is not only the sixth-ranked golfer in the world right now but also leads the tour in driving distance at over 340 yards. While I am not crazy about DeChambeau winning, I do think this event will definitely favor the longer hitters. Keep an eye on world number one Dustin Johnson and world number five Rory McIlroy in this tournament as well. They are third and fifth in driving distance, respectively.
Golfers To Bet On & Avoid
Bet On: Dustin Johnson (9/1 & My Pick To Win The 2020 Masters)
Dustin was striking the ball incredibly well in Houston last week and has finished in the top 10 in his last six tournaments. This course will require precision and power and Dustin has both going for him entering this event. If he gets the putter going he could run away with this tournament.
Avoid: Tiger Woods (33/1)
I understand the intrigue of betting on Tiger, but do not let last year's fairytale finish influence you and your wallet. Tiger was in great form entering the tournament last year. This year, he simply is not. If he had played more coming into this event, I might have higher hopes, but he just hasn't played enough this year to make another run. Tiger will make the cut but will fade early on Sunday.
Bet On: Tyrrell Hatton (28/1)
Tyrell has three top-10 finishes in his last four events, including a win at the BMW Championship. He could surprise people with a "2016 Danny Willett" type of performance, which is why you should bet on him here. Great odds for a guy coming in to the tournament playing well.
Avoid: Jordan Spieth (50/1)
Jordan has great odds but does not have a great game right now. He is not a long ball hitter and has struggled mightily this year. His biggest strength a few years ago was his putter, but even that has turned sour for him. He loves this course and may have won this event in the past, but save the money it's not worth it.
Bet On: Si Woo Kim (150/1)
Kim may have missed the cut last week, but in the two events prior he was T17 and T8. Si Woo Kim has already won the Players Championship in his career, so he could be that young player that finds a breakthrough. And at 150/1 odds, why not throw a couple of bucks down and see what happens? I know I did.
Avoid: Phil Mickelson (100/1)
Phil's days of contending in majors are behind him. He is already competing on the Champions Tour and while he may be dominating there, it has been the complete opposite on the young man's tour. In his last two events, he finished with scores of +9 and +11, so don't lose money hoping Phil has still "got it".
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