US Masters Tournament 2020: Preview & Predictions
The eyes of the golfing world will be on Augusta National this week as the prestigious US Masters Tournament takes centre stage.
The 7,475 yards course always provides a challenging test and the move from spring to autumn in the schedule is expected to make it even more difficult.
Read on as we assess DeChambeau’s chances of success at Augusta and look at some of the leading contenders in the line-up.
DeChambeau Ready to Roll
DeChambeau’s distance gains have been the talk of golf for some time now, and many pundits have tipped him to blow away the field in the Masters.
He recently played a practice round at the course with Sandy Lyle and left the former champion astounded with some of the shots he played.
These included playing an 8-iron into the 575-yard, par-5 2nd hole and hitting a 3-wood over the green on the 350-yard, par-4 3rd hole.
The 27-year-old ran away with the US Open title during September, and he looks a solid wager at odds of 2/1 to secure a top-five finish.
Johnson is a Big Danger
Having spent a couple of weeks on the sidelines, Dustin Johnson returned to action by finishing joint second at the Houston Open.
He looked a little rusty during his opening round of 72, but shot 66, 66 and 65 in the final three rounds to finish 11-under par.
Johnson has played 17 events this season, winning two and finishing inside the top 10 on another eight occasions.
His current form figures read T2-1-2-T3-T6-T2, and it would be a major surprise if he isn’t towards the head of the Masters standings on the final day.
Rahm Too Short in the Betting
Jon Rahm is listed as the third favourite for the Masters, but he doesn’t appeal as a likely winner of the tournament on this occasion.
Rahm has undoubtedly been consistent during 2020, finishing in the top 10 in nine of the 18 tournaments he has played.
The Spaniard has form figures reading 27-4-9 at Augusta, but he has yet to break his duck in major championships and still has areas of his game that he needs to improve.
His deficiencies were recently highlighted as he blew a golden opportunity to win the ZOZO Championship and it would be a shock if he came out on top in the Masters.
Frustrating McIlroy Easily Ruled Out
Rory McIlroy has won every other major championship bar the Masters, but he is unlikely to snap that streak this week.
He has failed to record a victory since golf resumed in June and hasn’t finished higher than seventh position during that spell.
McIlroy’s putting remains a cause for concern, and his tendency to lose concentration during tournaments is another negative.
He currently appears to be going through the motions and is lacking the intensity needed to challenge golf’s best players.
Koepka on the Way Back
Hip and knee injuries have hampered Brooks Koepka in recent times, but he enjoyed a welcome return to form at the Houston Open over the weekend.
Koepka shot back-to-back 65s to secure a share of fifth place, and this four-time major winner could prove to be dangerous at Augusta.
He was in the mix on the back nine last year before finishing tied for second place, just one shot behind Tiger Woods.
The 30-year-old can be backed at odds of 16/1 to win the Masters, and he appeals as the value bet with each-way terms paying the first seven places.
Hatton a Lively Outsider
Tyrrell Hatton has been in superb form this season, finishing inside the top 10 in eight of his 14 outings to climb up to number nine in the world.
He has claimed victories at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the BMW PGA Championship, and his game looks suited to the test he will face at Augusta.
Hatton generally performs well at this time of year, and his tied-seventh in the Houston Open showed that his game remains in good nick.
The 29-year-old has never finished higher than 44th in the Masters, but he is strongly fancied to improve on that in this year’s event.
US Masters Prediction: DeChambeau and Johnson are worthy favourites to win the title, and it would be no surprise to see them both in the mix this weekend.
However, at the current odds, Koepka stands out as being good value given his welcome return to form at the Houston Open.
He was unfortunate not to win the Masters last year, and can make amends by claiming the fifth major of his career this weekend.
Dustin Johnson offers prayers to Tiger Woods and family
World Number one Dustin Johnson has exrtended his prayers to Tiger Woods and his family following his car accident.
Tiger Woods doesn’t need to play again to continue impacting golf – Rory McIlroy
Woods is recovering in hospital after undergoing surgery on significant injuries to his right leg in a car accident.
Tyrrell Hatton reveals he knew nothing of one of Ryder Cup’s most famous moments
The Concession Golf Club in Florida was named to mark an act of sportsmanship between Jack Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin at Royal Birkdale in 1969.
Rory McIlroy keen to continue track record of bouncing back from missed cuts
Victory in the WGC-Workday Championship would make McIlroy the second player to have won all four WGC titles.
Tiger Woods’ health is priority right now, not his return to golf – Rory McIlroy
Woods has had surgery on significant injuries to his right leg following a single-vehicle road accident on Tuesday.
Tiger Woods at beginning of long road to recovery – leading surgeon Bill Ribbans
Woods, 45, was extricated from the wreck in Los Angeles on Tuesday.
What next for Tiger Woods following horrific car crash?
The 15-time major champion faces a lengthy absence from the golf course.
Titles, controversies, injuries, comebacks: Tiger Woods’ rollercoaster career
Woods looks almost certain to end his glittering career with 15 major titles after sustaining ‘significant’ leg injuries in a Los Angeles car crash.
Tiger Woods ‘awake’ and ‘responsive’ after surgery on car crash leg injuries
The 15-time major winner suffered ‘significant’ right leg injuries.