After moving to November in 2020 for the 84th edition, the Masters, the first major of the calendar year, is back to its traditional April date. It’s an unusual golf season due to COVID-19, where there will be six major championships and the Olympics, all followed by the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits.
Dustin Johnson captured the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club in November with a record score of 20-under-par 268, breaking the record of 18-under-par set by Tiger Woods in 1997 and matched by Jordan Spieth in 2015. It was the second major championship for the top player in the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR).
The Masters Field
Among other qualification criteria, there are four that account for most of the invitations: the top 50 players in the OWGR at the end of the 2020 calendar year; the top 50 in the OWGR following the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play; winners in the past year of PGA Tour events that award full points for the Tour Championship; and players that qualified for the most recent Tour Championship.
Jordan Spieth won the Valero Texas Open last week for his 12th PGA Tour victory…he’s at +1000 with the expectation that he’ll challenge for a second green jacket.
Past champions earn an invitation, and there are 18 in the field, though many of them are far from being able to compete, especially as Augusta National continues to make changes that keep the layout challenging for the current group of professionals. There are also three amateurs at Augusta National by virtue of their finishes in the United States and British Amateur tournaments.
Woods is still recovering from serious leg injuries sustained in a Los Angeles car accident in February and is not in the field. Other than the four-time Masters champion’s absence, all of the other well-known favorites will be in the group of 88 players that will tee off on Thursday morning. There are only six players that are making their Augusta National debut.
Betting Odds Leaders
When Johnson won the Masters in November, he was at the top of his game and was coming off capturing the FedEx Cup. He’s since cooled off, primarily because of his putting, but he’s still the futures favorite at +800.
Jordan Spieth won the Valero Texas Open last week for his 12th PGA Tour victory, his first since the 2017 Open Championship. Despite coming in at the top of his game, he’s played a lot of golf to get back to his prior form and may be a bit fatigued this week. Still, he’s at +1000 with the expectation that he’ll challenge for a second green jacket.
Despite never finishing better than a tie for 21st, and that was as an amateur, Bryson DeChambeau at +1200 has captured the imagination of golf fans. His U.S. Open victory further fanned the flames. The SMU grad came into the November Masters as the betting favorite, but he never got it going and finished tied for 34th at 2-under-par 286.
Also at +1200 odds is current Players Champion Justin Thomas, the fourth-place finisher in November. The 2017 PGA champion overcame the backlash of uttering a homophobic slur in Hawaii earlier this year and is playing very good golf. He’s improved his finishes at Augusta National in his last four starts.
Rory McIlroy at +2000 is looking to complete a career grand slam, PGA champion Collin Morikawa is at +3000, 2018 winner Sergio Garcia is at +8000, and three-time champion Phil Mickelson is a +20000 longshot.