2020 Masters Tournament Odds, Predictions And PGA Tour Best Bets

At long last, the PGA Tour returns to Augusta National Golf Club this week for the 2020 Masters Tournament, now the final major and third-to-last full-status tournament of 2020. The event was postponed from mid-April due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A field of 94 will compete for the green jacket. Below, we look at the 2020 Masters betting odds, and make our PGA Tour picks and predictions to win.

The 2021 Masters will return to its usual spot on the Tour schedule and is set for April 8-11.

Masters: How to stream, watch on TV | Tiger’s history at Augusta

2020 Masters Tournament betting picks – Favorite

Odds provided by BetMGM; access USA TODAY Sports’ betting odds for a full list. Lines last updated Sunday at 3:50 p.m. ET.

Patrick Cantlay (+2200)

Cantlay will enter his third career Masters as a professional off a win at the Zozo Championship against a start-studded, 78-man field. He tied for ninth last year following a missed cut in 2018. He was also the low amateur in 2012, finishing T-47.

His recent victory pushed him to ninth in the Golfweek/Sagarin world rankings. He’s now a three-time PGA Tour winner since 2017 with one other playoff loss. He excels around the greens and averaged 0.93 Strokes Gained: Putting per round at the Zozo, according to Data Golf.

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2020 Masters Tournament betting picks – Contender

Sungjae Im (+8000)

Im is one of 22 Masters invitees who made the cut at the Vivint Houston Open, but he finished just T-50 at 3 over. While it’s an uninspiring performance just a week out, he was able to average 0.80 SG: Putting for the tournament.

His odds are inflated from his usual standard as he’ll be making his pro debut at Augusta National and no one has won here in his first visit since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979. Im got his first PGA Tour win at the Honda Classic earlier this year and is a great value bet.

2020 Masters Tournament betting picks – Long shot

Adam Hadwin (+30000)

Hadwin is the right combination of experience and current abilities in this long-shot tier. He has played the Masters twice, finishing T-36 in 2017 and T-24 in 2018, and he enters the week ranked 33rd in the Golfweek rankings.

He has just one career PGA Tour win to date – the 2017 Valspar Championship – but he has long been great around and on the greens. His best finish since the Tour’s mid-June restart was a T-4 at the Rocket Mortgage Classic after recording two runner-ups and three other tops 10 finishes in 2019.

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Source: USA Today Sports

One Month From A Very Different Masters

Augusta National Golf Club opened to its membership on Monday, an annual fall occurrence that typically occurs without much fanfare. It is a private club, after all. Other sports are in full song, particularly football. Normally, the annual Masters tournament is still six months away, the golf calendar filled with a bunch of sleepy events this time of year.

Nothing, of course, is normal about 2020. Augusta National was closed as usual for the summer, but it shut down more than two months early because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Masters Tournament was lost in the bedlam, just a month before its scheduled start, and eventually was postponed to November.

That seemed long ago.

Now we are a month from the first fall Masters, and the potential for a wonderfully different look at a revered, historic place in the game that will see Tiger Woods attempt to defend his 2019 title 19 months later on the hallowed Georgia grounds that will be without spectators.

Here is how things stand with another four weeks to go until the third major championship of the 2020 trio:

The course

Some stunning photos surfaced recently on Eureka Earth, which took aerial shots of Augusta National in late September. Except for the greens, the entire place was brown. Many fairway areas appeared to be shaved bare. Bunkers had liners, but not all had sand.

And this is, well, par for the course.

The fairways and rough at Augusta National have Bermuda grass, the predominant grass that typically prospers in the warm, summer months. As the club is closing in late May, the Bermuda pushes out the rye grass overseed. It is what you would expect of most courses in the South.

But because Augusta National is closed in the summer, there is no need to maintain the Bermuda. The greens — which are bent grass — are kept in top condition, but the rest of the course is not, in the traditional sense, unless there is some sort of work being done or changes made.

Hence the photos.

But, magically, some 10 days later, those same photos showed a green golf course.

Each September, Augusta National puts down a rye overseed that is meant to keep the grass green through the fall and winter months. And it’s how the course appears in April for the Masters.

With less time to be ready for a November Masters, it will be fascinating to see how Augusta National plays. Will the turf possibly be thinner than usual? Will it play faster? Could there be cooler mornings? All of this is to be discovered.

The field

The field is set at 96 players and has been since the postponed tournament dates were announced in April. Before play was halted by the pandemic, there were just two remaining ways to qualify for the Masters for those not otherwise invited: win the Players Championship, Valspar Championship, WGC-Dell Match Play or Valero Texas Open; or be among the top 50 in the world on the Monday after the Match Play.

The Masters then went with the most recent published top 50 in the Official World Ranking. Four players qualified who were not otherwise exempt: then-No. 44 Collin Morikawa, No. 45 Scottie Scheffler and No. 47 Christiaan Bezuidenhout are making their Masters debuts. Graeme McDowell also snuck into the top 50 and will play his first Masters since 2016.

The (mini) controversy

Daniel Berger was well outside of the top 50 in the world when golf was halted after the first round of the Players Championship. He won the first tournament back, the Charles Schwab Challenge in June, and he has added six top-25 finishes since to move up to No. 12 in the world.

Certainly Berger has a case to be in the Masters field, given his world ranking. So do Viktor Hovland and Harris English. Both have moved into the top 50. But barring some last-minute change, they won’t be at Augusta National.

Imagine the uproar if Morikawa had not snuck into the top 50 in the spring? He has since won the PGA Championship, which by itself would not have qualified him for this unique Masters because the August tournament was after the Masters cutoff.

Those still trying to qualify for the 2020 Masters missed out on four potential winning possibilities and the ability to move into the top 50.

But Augusta’s stance is solid: Qualification for the 2020 Masters ended in March. Anything that occurred after that applies to the 2021 Masters, which will be just five months later.

The field size is always an issue with the Masters. It rarely goes over 100 players. Last year, it was 87. With far less daylight in the fall, getting the field through 18 holes each day is an issue that likely led to a decision to not add any more players.

The tee times

An issue unlike any other Masters. Instead of daylight saving time, the Masters will operate on standard time. That means approximately two hours less daylight per day. It will be dark around 5:30 p.m. ET. That means, possibly, the need for a two-tee start on Thursday and Friday.

And having to start the first round of the Masters on the 10th tee and facing Amen Corner early in the morning is not an ideal situation.

Could everyone play off the first tee?

It’s possible, but it would be extremely tight. Last year, the final tee time was at 2 p.m. To get in before darkness, the last time can really be no later than about 12:30 p.m., if you consider threesomes are going to take five hours.

But … if you started at 7 a.m. and went in 11-minute intervals, you could have 32 tee times of three players each that run through 12:39 p.m. Delays of any kind would mean the last groups won’t finish. But Augusta National might be willing to take that chance.

Also to be considered: the honorary starters, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player. Do they tee off in virtual darkness before 7 a.m.?

If it avoids a one-tee start, the Masters would need to go to a two-tee start with a morning and afternoon wave. You would have eight groups of three players tee off the first and 10th tees in the morning, and then another wave of the same in the afternoon.

After 36 holes, there will be a cut to the top 50 and ties, which should allow for normal one-tee start in twos for the third round. But due to CBS’ NFL commitment on Sunday, the fourth round is scheduled to end by approximately 2:30 p.m ET, allowing time for a sudden-death playoff if necessary. That will again mean starting players off both tees.

The defending champion

Woods will have one more start before the Masters, as he has entered next week’s Zozo Championship at Sherwood Country Club. It is the tournament he won a year ago — his 82nd PGA Tour title, tying Sam Snead for the most — when it was played in Japan.

How Woods will look at Sherwood in Southern California is anybody’s guess, but if past results are an indicator, then there should not be much in the way of expectations for Woods.

He missed the cut at the U.S. Open last month, meaning that during an 11-week stretch between the BMW Championship in August and the Masters, Woods will have played just six competitive rounds.

It’s the least he has played leading to a Masters since he took nine weeks off before the 2015 tournament, where he tied for 17th. In 2010, Woods didn’t play all year until the Masters and tied for fourth.

Leading to his 2019 victory, Woods played two weeks earlier at the Match Play and a total of four times in eight weeks before the Masters.

After his victory at the Zozo a year ago, Woods was ranked sixth in the world, which is where he ended 2019. He has dropped to 26th.

The bomber

How Bryson DeChambeau plays Augusta National should be fascinating to watch. He’s clearly not interested in navigating his way around the course. The U.S. Open champion said he’s been working on putting a driver with a 48-inch shaft into play specifically for the Masters. Many wondered how his newfound long game that included some 50 pounds of weight gain would fare on a difficult course. Well, DeChambeau was the only player under par at Winged Foot, and he won by 6.

The losses due to the pandemic

The Augusta National Women’s Amateur was canceled, as was the Drive, Chip & Putt Championship. Both of those pre-tournament staples played the weekend before will have to wait until April.

What is unclear is whether Woods will be able to host a Champions Dinner in the clubhouse, on the patio — or at all. So far, no word. Same for the annual Par 3 Contest, which if it is played would undoubtedly be missing all of the spouses, kids and grandkids who frequent the event.

The patrons