A tradition unlike any other is finally here with the 2020 Masters Tournament teeing off on Thursday. The 84th edition of the storied golf competition will take place, as ever, at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, and for the 65th consecutive year, will air on live cable television (CBS and ESPN).
Changes Coming to This Year’s Edition of the Masters
Fans of golf all over the US aren’t used to watching the Masters at this time of year – and rightfully so. In a normal year, The Masters is the first major of the season, played in early April. This year’s edition was scheduled to run from April 9-12, but due to the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was postponed indefinitely. With the pandemic’s effects being somewhat controllable for pro sports organizations, however, the tournament’s organizers were able to reschedule the event for mid-November. It now means that The Masters, instead of opening for the other majors, will close the curtain on the golf major season.
Another notable change to the upcoming tournament is that for the first time in tournament history, spectators won’t be allowed to see the action in person. Only the players, caddies, media personnel, and other crucial staff will be present at the Ben Crenshaw designed track.
A smaller amendment to the tournament will see only the top 50 players make the cut. Previously, it was the top 50 plus any player who was within 10 strokes of the cut-day leader. This could make a massive difference for bettors who enjoy making player x to make/miss the cut prop bets.
An Emotional Return For Tiger Woods
25 years ago, Tiger Woods made his Masters debut. A college student at the time, he started at the Par-3 Contest. Gradually, he worked his way up the ladder and won his first Masters trophy by a record 12 strokes in April 1997- aged just 21.
Going into the event, Woods says he believed he can put up a strong challenge and possibly win his sixth Masters.
“Do I expect to contend? Yes, I do. You look at Freddie and Bernhard, they are in their 60s and they seem to contend. Jack contended here when he was, what, 58?
“It can be done. This is a golf course in which having an understanding of how to play and where to miss it and how to hit the shots around here, it helps. The golf course keeps getting longer, and it gets a little bit more difficult as I’ve gotten older and I don’t quite hit it as far”.
“When I first came here, it was a lot of drivers and a lot of wedges. Now it’s a little bit different and I’m hitting longer clubs into the holes, but still understanding how to play it helps”.
Approaching his 45th birthday at the end of the year, Woods states clearly that he has a lot of golf left in the tank and won’t let age slow him down mentally or physically.
Woods notably won the tournament when it was last played in 2019 and sportsbooks paid for it dearly. Nearly every book taking bets on the Masters reported massive liability on Woods and they got burned when he fended off the likes of Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka to win the tournament by one stroke.
Sportsbooks will be more upset if Tiger wins again this year, with the golf legend priced between +3000 and +4000 at most shops. He entered the 2019 tournament with odds of about 14/1 (+1400).
Other Previous Winners
Tiger Woods might be the greatest Masters player at this year’s edition, but there will be a host of other in-form players to look out for as well. Accompanying him at the course will be a slew of past champions looking to replicate their form of years past – just as he is. Competitors like Jordan Spieth (winner in 2015), Phil Mickelson (2004, 2006, and 2010), Adam Scott (winner in 2013), Bubba Watson (2012 and 2014), and Patrick Reed (winner in 2018) are all in this year’s field.
Bernhard Langer, the 63-year-old who won his first green jacket in 1985 and followed it up with another in 1993, also returns for this year’s edition. It would be an amazing story if he broke the record to become the oldest player to ever win the competition but we’re willing to bet no one’s betting on that to happen.
Unsurprisingly, the player that seems to be making all the headlines ahead of the tournament (other than Tiger) is Bryson DeChambeau. Bryson is coming off a win at the US Open and is currently ranked number one in the world. He’s the betting favorite at most sportsbooks (+750 at Bovada) with many pundits predicting that DeChambeau could gorge Augusta with his unprecedented ability to hit the long ball (queue the Happy Gilmore references).
Other Masters Odds
Alongside DeChambeau at +750, here are some other notable lines from Bovada sportsbook:
- Dustin Johnson +800
- Jon Rahm +1000
- Justin Thomas +1200
- Rory McIlroy +1200
- Xander Schauffele +1400
- Brooks Koepka +1600
- Patrick Cantlay +2500
- Bubba Watson +3300
- Hideki Matsuyama +3300
- Patrick Reed +3300
- Tony Finau +3300
- Tiger Woods +3500
- Collin Morikawa +4000
- Matthew Wolff +4000
- Jason Day +4000
- Adam Scott +5000
- Tommy Fleetwood +5000
- Jordan Spieth +5000
- Rickie Fowler +5500
- Justin Rose +6600
- Phil Mickelson +10000
- Corey Conners +25000
Head over to the online golf betting site to get a look at the live odds and some of the interesting props they have available for the biggest golf tournament of the year.