2020 Masters: Betting odds, preview and course notes
A tradition unlike any other broke with the norm in 2020, when the PGA Tour postponed the Masters tournament from its usual slot in April to Nov. 12.
Now, after a lengthy wait, the world’s best golfers will descend on the pristine layout of Augusta National and compete in the 84th Masters, the final golf major of the calendar year.
World No. 1 Dustin Johnson will rightfully enter the tournament as one of the favorites. Just last week, Johnson returned to competition, after a brief hiatus because of his COVID-19 diagnosis, and finished second at the Houston Open.
US Masters 2020 - Winner
Thu, November 12 2020, 1:00 PM
Johnson also landed sixth in the U.S. Open back in September and went on a tear at the end of the 2019-20 season, as he placed no worse than second in his final four events — the PGA Championship (2nd), the Northern Trust (1st), the BMW Championship (2nd) and the Tour Championship (1st).
On the theme of top-two finishes, Johnson also tied for second at the 2019 Masters. Dating back to 2015, he hasn’t finished worse than 10th in four appearances at Augusta. He withdrew from the 2017 Masters because of a back injury.
Augusta National course layout and relevant statistics
One reason Johnson is such an enticing pick at Augusta is his power off the tee, combined with excellent wedge play — something Johnson has worked to develop recently.
The one-time major winner ranks third on the PGA Tour in driving distance, second in strokes gained tee to green, second in scoring average, and sixth in strokes gained approaching the green.
In the second round of the 2015 Masters Dustin Johnson played the par 5s in seven under par.— Lou Stagner (Golf Stat Pro) (@LouStagner) November 8, 2020
▶️ Eagle on #2, #8 and #15
▶️ Bird on #13
With Johnson in near-peak form, he should expertly navigate Augusta National’s par-72, 7,475-yard layout, co-designed by Alister MacKenzie and golf legend Bobby Jones.
Augusta has not changed much over the course of its 84-year history, but in 2019, 40 yards were added to the fifth hole (nicknamed Magnolia) to transform it into a par 4 just under 500 yards.
In all, Augusta features 10 par 4s, with six around 450 yards in length. Four par 5s can be found on holes No. 2 (Pink Dogwood), No. 8 (Yellow Jasmine), No. 13 (Azalea, part of Amen Corner), and No. 15 (Firethorn). Among the four par 3s, the 240-yarder on hole No. 4 surrendered a 29% bogey rate last year.
Augusta's layout also includes nearly 50 bunkers filled with white sand and fast bentgrass greens that measure around 13.5 on the stimpmeter.
Rahm showing solid form ahead of Augusta
The No. 2 golfer, according to the official world golf rankings, shares the top spot on the oddsboard with Johnson and No. 6 Bryson DeChambeau.
Like Johnson, Rahm’s form has been exceptional lately. The 26-year-old Spaniard placed second in his most recent tournament, the Zozo Championship in late October, and finished last season with a sixth-place finish at The Northern Trust, a win (via playoff with Johnson) at the BMW Championship, and fourth place at the Tour Championship.
Rahm can also hit it long off the tee, similar to Johnson and DeChambeau, and is one of the best on Tour at putting on fast greens.
Rahm made his first appearance at the Masters in 2017, when he tied for 27th. The following year he landed in fourth, and finished tied for ninth in 2019.
DeChambeau has never finished better than 21st at Augusta.
Woods chases record-tying sixth Masters win
One player who has consistently performed well at the Masters throughout his career is five-time champion Tiger Woods. The 44-year-old has made the cut in all but one of his 22 appearances at Augusta and has posted 14 Top 10 finishes.
Last year, he stunned the golf world when he collected his fifth win at Augusta, after he spent several years dealing with injuries that nearly forced him to retire from golf.
If Woods can win again on Sunday, he’ll tie Jack Nicklaus for the most Masters wins in history. Woods would also earn his 16th major victory to bring his total within two of Nicklaus’ record-setting 18.
The winners of the last 10 Masters are all entered in the 92-player field this weekend, except for 2017 champion Sergio Garcia, who withdrew from the tournament this week because he tested positive for COVID-19.
While he is a longshot, 50-year-old Phil Mickelson (+8000) will seek his fourth Masters win, while Bubba Watson (+2800) is looking for his third.
Other past Masters champions who will tee off Thursday include Patrick Reed (+2500), Adam Scott (+4000), Danny Willett (+17500), Jordan Spieth (+5100), Charl Schwartzel (+20000), and Zach Johnson (+12500). Two-time winners Bernhard Langer and Jose Maria Olazábal, plus Sandy Lyle, Larry Mize, Vijay Singh, Mike Weir, and Fred Couples will also take a swing at Augusta.
The winner of the 2020 Masters will receive the iconic green jacket, a sterling replica of the Masters trophy, a gold medal, and what is expected to be a $2 million share of a nearly $12 million purse. The PGA Tour will announce the official prize money later this week.
How to watch the 2020 Masters
You can catch the Masters Thursday and Friday from 1:00 to 5:30 p.m. on ESPN, on Saturday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. on CBS and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on CBS. You can also live stream coverage at Masters.com.