The 84th edition of the Masters Tournament at Augusta National begins this Thursday. We’ve been waiting since April and it has finally arrived. The first two rounds will be broadcast on ESPN, and the third and fourth can be found on CBS. Last year’s Masters was one to remember, as Tiger Woods won his first major since 2007. It was his 15th major, which puts him three tournaments behind Jack Nicklaus, who recorded 18 majors in his career. It’s unlikely Woods catches up, but we shouldn’t put anything past him. No one thought that Woods was going to get his 15th, and he denied the odds to make an epic comeback.
Woods will be playing to defend his title in 2020. Whenever he’s in a tournament it makes interest in the event that much higher. When he’s playing in the Masters it’s must-watch TV. Hopefully Tiger puts in a good effort and we see him on the final day. In his last major, Tiger finished with a +10 in the US Open and missed the cut. He reappeared in the Zozo Championship at Sherwood Golf Course in October and finished 72nd with a +7. We can only dream that Phil Mickleson and Tiger are close in the final stretch on Sunday.
Dustin Johnson continues to lead the world ranking with an average points total of 10.567. He’s coming off a nice performance in the Houston Open to finish at -11, two strokes off the winner, Carlos Ortiz. Ortiz sank a 22-foot birdie to win the tournament. If you are looking for a straight up winner in the Masters, we have you covered at TheSportsGeek. We also have matchup picks for you if you’re interested in head-to-head bets. Head below for our free Masters matchup picks for the 84th Masters Tournament.
— The Masters (@TheMasters) November 12, 2020
Collin Morikawa vs. Tony Finau
The price in this matchup moved on me a little, but still feel confident in what I’m seeing out of Collin Morikawa vs Tony Finau in the Masters this weekend. The 23-year-old Morikawa started off his career with a bang. He went 22 straight tournaments without missing a cut.
His career includes three PGA wins and is the defending 2020 PGA Championship winner. That was a thriller against Paul Casey and Dustin Johnson. That win helped catapult Moriwaka in the world rankings to 4th with 7.429 average points.
Besides the Tour Championship in early September, Morikawa hasn’t been too impressive. He finished 6th after shooting -13 to fall four shots off the lead behind Dustin Johnson. His best performance since then, Morikawa finished 12th in the CJ Cup at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas, 12 shots off the leader, Jason Kokrak.
In three of his previous four tournaments, Moriwaka finished 50th and missed the cut in two, including the US Open. He hasn’t looked quite the same after winning the PGA Championship, which can happen for a young 23-year-old following a major win. Good golfer with a great future, but can be inconsistent.
31-year-old Tony Finau has quietly been going about his business with consistent results recently. Finau has finished inside the top-25 in six of his previous seven tournaments. He came close to Bryson DeChambeau in the US Open, but settled for 4th place money with a +6. No shame in that.
Finau has liked playing at Augusta National in his first two appearances in the Masters. He shot a -7 in 2018, and then followed up last year for a -11. I will side with the consistent hand of Finau over Morikawa here.
Tiger Woods vs. Phil Mickleson
Well, I just had to include Tiger Woods and Phil Mickleson on a Masters card. This wager will get plenty of attention just for the novelty of it alone. People like watching Tiger and Phil, so naturally, they’re going to attract money. I don’t have confidence in either winning the Masters. It would be great to see Tiger win back-to-back Masters, but based on recent form, he’s going to have to pull off another unexpected win.
That doesn’t mean Tiger can’t have a good tournament, all is required for this bet is to beat Phil Mickleson. Phil and Mike Weir, a blast from the past, battled it out in an uncompetitive Dominion Energy Charity Classic in October. In a field that also featured Ernie Els, Phil won with a score of -17 over Weir by 3 shots. Prior to that win, Mickleson was cut in the US Open with a +13.
Following the win, he finished 76th in the Zozo Championship with a +11, and then was cut from the Houston Open most recently with a +9 last week. After shooting a +10 at the US Open and bowing out following two rounds, Tiger got his warm up round in last week at the Zozo Championship. He shot a +7 to make the cut and beat Mickleson again, though he was far off the lead and more was expected. I’m not saying Tiger is winning on Sunday, but he should beat Phil at a course he loves to play at.
Rory McIlroy vs. Xander Schauffele
This should be an under-the-radar matchup between Rory McIlroy and Xander Scauffele. McIlroy is the more popular name. Everyone knows the boy from Northern Ireland and what he’s accomplished in his career. McIlroy finished 4th in the Masters in 2015 for his best attempt at the green jacket. He does have four major wins, though, with victories in the PGA Championship twice, US Open, and the British Open.
After finishing 7th and 5th in the Masters in 2018 and 2019, McIlroy struggled to find the top-10 last year. He shot a -5 for the worst Masters finish since 2013. It wasn’t a bad effort at all by him, but the field was tough, and the field continues to get tougher as his career progresses. Rory was tied for 17th at the Zozo Championship last week after shooting for -7. It’s the second straight tournament since the US Open that Rory has failed to crack the top-15.
Xander Schauffele was right there with Rory last week. Schauffele shot a -7 as well to tie with Rory for 17th. This was after Schauffele came two shots away from catching Jason Kokrak in the CJ Cup. He settled for 2nd place money with a -18 at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas. Overall, Schauffele has been in terrific form recently. He tied with Justin Thomas in the Tour Championship for 2nd in early September, and carried that momentum over to the US Open, where Schauffele shot a +4 to finish 5th in the major. All of the value appears to be with Schauffele in this bet.