Who will be awarded the green jacket at The Masters this year? Mike Kern has the odds and gives his picks
The Masters is always the first major of the season. But this has been a season unlike any other. So now it’s going to be the last major, in a season where there was only three instead of four. So who knows what Augusta National will be like in November, seven months later than scheduled? Somebody is still going to leave with a green jacket. And in only another five months, they’ll all be back to do it again. Well, hopefully, since none of us knows exactly what the world might look like come next April. But first things first.
Last week we had Tyrrell Hatton, and he at least finished in the top 10 to get us some of our money back. We’ve been doing a lot of that lately. I guess it’s better than nothing, but I want a green jacket.
Bryson Dechambeau is the favorite, at 7-1. He won the U.S. Open a month or so ago, which was the previous major. But how many guys win back-to-back majors? Just saying. He’s hitting it so long that he may bring the course to whatever. But he’s not always hitting it straight, which can be a problem. And his putter isn’t always cooperative. He’s been out of the top 30 in half of his last eight events.
Dustin Johnson is next, at 8-1. He played last week for the first time since testing positive for the virus, and he looked pretty good. He’s finished in the top 10 at his last four Masters, after not doing it once in his first five.
Jon Rahm is 10-1. I have him in a pool, which usually means you take him at your own risk. Even though he’s only 25, he’s closing in on being that so-called best player never to have won a major. It happens.
Rory McIlroy is 12-1. This is the only major he hasn’t won. And he hasn’t won one since 2014. Plus he’s not playing all that well, especially with his irons.
Justin Thomas is also 12-1. He’s always capable, but for whatever reasons I’m not feeling it. At least not to win. He could obviously be a factor.
Xander Schauffele is 14-1. He tied for second last year, when Tiger won. In his last 13 majors he’s had seven top 10s, including five top fives. But most of that has come at the U.S. Open.
Brooks Koepka is 16-1. He also tied for second here in 2019. He’s been a factor in seven of the last eight majors he’s played in. He missed the U.S. Open, due to his lingering knee issues. But he played well last week. If he’s right, well, he’s shown he can get it done.
Tyrrell Hatton is playing as well as anyone. He’s 22-1. Patrick Cantlay is 25-1 as is Hideki Matsuyama. Jason Day, Patrick Reed and Tony Finau are all 28-1. Reed won it in 2018, Day almost won it a couple of times but not in awhile. Bubba Watson, who’s won it twice, is 30-1. He tied for fifth two years ago and was 12th in 2019.
Collin Morikawa, who won the PGA in September, is 33-1 along with Webb Simpson. Morikawa is making his Masters debut. Nobody has won on his first try since 1979. Adam Scott, who has a green jacket, is 40-1. Ditto Matthew Wolff and some bloke named Tiger Woods, who hasn’t done much of anything lately but is the defending champion … and a five-time champ. Tommy Fleetwood and Scottie Scheffler are 50-1. Matthew Fitzpatrick and Louis Oosthuizen, who once lost in a playoff here, are both 55-1.
We’re not going to list everyone, but some others of note are Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose and Jordan Spieth at 66-1. And yes – there was a time where I thought Jordan would win a few of these. But he’s still stuck on one.
Phil Mickelson is 100-1. He’s won three times. Francesco Molinari, who was the third-round leader in 2019, is the same. Henrik Stenson is 150-1. That’s about as far as I’m going to go.
Of the favorites, I think the best value might be Koepka, at 16-1. That doesn’t mean he’s going to win. There are still questions about just where he’s at. But at those odds I’ll take a shot. He’s also plus $400 to finish in the top five. Take a shot at that too.
In the middle tier I could go several ways. But again, from a value standpoint, I’m leaning toward Matthew Wolff, who’s played in two majors. He was fourth at the PGA and second at the Open. Of course, it’s his first Masters, which works against him. And maybe he’s due for a bit of a stinker. But still, he’s plus $350 for a top 10 and $700 for a top 10. I would definitely take a chance on both of them.
Of course, I would throw the obligatory buck or two on Tiger, just because. As long as you don’t have much to lose. Same thing with Mickelson. Who, by the way, is plus $750 for a top 10. I think that’s a risk worth taking. But only for a little taste. Again, just in case.
As for a longer shot, I’m thinking Jason Kokrak, who’s 80-1. He’s long, and the course might be playing softer. He’s also finished no worse than 17th in his last six starts. But he too has never competed here before.
I’ll give you another, because I can so why not? How about that Cameron Champ, who’s 66-1. He’s one of the longest hitters out there, which of course can be an advantage at Augusta. Of course, he could just as easily miss the cut — but I suppose goofier things have happened. And he’s 6-1 to get a top 10. Nothing wrong with that.
If nothing else, it could make for some good TV watching on Sunday. Probably better than watching the Eagles-Giants. It is, after all, a tradition unlike any other. Or something like that.
Fave: Brooks Koepka at 16-1
Middle Tier: Matthew Wolff at 40-1 plus $350 for a top 10 and $700 for a top 10
Longshots: Jason Kokrak at 80-1 and Cameron Champ at 66-1
A few bucks on: Tiger Woods (just because) and Phil Mickelson (plus $750 for a top 10)