An Early Look at the Ones to Watch at Augusta in April

Tiger Woods celebrates Masters win

As we approach the first Major of the year, there will be plenty of players in contention as always for the coveted green jacket at the Masters.

Five time Augusta winner Tiger Woods will not be relinquishing his 2019 Masters title easily, but who is expected to be in the running by Sunday morning as we hit the first set of tee times of the final round?

Tiger Woods to win the Masters?

Don’t write him off. You can never write him off. It will all depend on his form heading into April’s event, but he’s around 10/1 with most bookies to win it for the sixth time. If you fancy the price, make sure you check out a list of licensed betting sites for UK players and grab the best odds possible.

Before you lump on Tiger, though, it’s worth pointing out that nobody has won back to back Masters titles since he managed it himself way back in 2002. And if you ignore his incredible win last year, the age trend doesn’t really point to a win for the American. Nine of the past 10 winners of the tournament before Tiger’s triumph in 2019 have been under 40 years of age.

But the following also applies to winners in 9 of the last 10 years too:

  • World top 30 ranking
  • Played a Masters event before
  • Has finished top 30 at Augusta
  • Not the defending champion
  • Not world number one
  • Finish top 10 in a tournament earlier in the season

The defending champion stat doesn’t bode well either to be honest. At such short odds, it might be worth considering other players if you fancy a bet.

Rory McIlroy Means Business this Season

With four majors to his name, Rory McIlroy isn’t messing about this year. He’s fully focused on increasing his tally, starting with the Masters in April. Ranked number one in the world at the time of writing, the Northern Irishman has begun the year in solid form by finishing third in January at the Farmers Insurance Open, and going one better by ending the weekend in second place at the Genesis Invitational at the Riviera Country Club in February.

McIlroy’s got the Arnold Palmer Invitational coming up as well as the Players Championship where he will be looking to defend his crown after an impressive 2019 win. With one or two WGC events to play in the near future too, he’s going to be coming into the Masters sharp and probably at the top of his game. And the bookies aren’t silly, they’ve got him as the pre-tournament favourite at around 8/1. Oh how he’d love a green jacket. Can he hold his nerve and play well when it matters?

Another American Might take his Chance

We’re not talking about Jordan Spieth here; he’s been there and done it already. We’re talking about Patrick Cantlay. Tied third in 2019 at the PGA Championship and tied for ninth at the Masters in only his third ever appearance, the 27 year old has bags of ability. He’s certainly got a chance in April. At around 28/1, he’s a great punt for those looking for a bit of value.

In 2019, Cantlay was ranked 21st when it came to driving distance on the PGA tour, but that was only due to a slump in form towards the end of the year. He was much higher for most of the season. Not only that, but he was also ranked 14th when it came to putting from 10 to 15 feet. The Masters analysts among you will know that this is a crucial statistic at Augusta. He’ll be looking to improve on ninth last year, and if he’s in a bit of form coming into the tournament, he’s got a great chance.

Who will win the Masters in 2020?

It’s the impossible question. While we can predict how things might go, list the trends to watch out for and how certain players are doing in terms of form, it will ultimately come down to who holds their nerve that weekend. We’ve seen it all too often where golfers collapse under pressure. Sneed, Hoch, Norman, Spieth. They’ve all been there. What we do know is that the 84th edition of the Masters tournament will be yet another incredible spectacle. Enjoy the build-up.