The Masters, pandemic edition, is upon us, and in keeping with the spirit of Manopause.com, we present our list of a dozen ‘older guys’ who could contend at the final golf major of 2020.
But it’s all relative. For professional golf at the PGA Tour level, we’re going to set the ‘older’ age at any player who is at least 40 years old.
We’ll also share with you the five players from the entire field who are among the betting favorites according to odds makers, and I am not responsible for what you do or don’t do with that information.
A few notes about this years Masters:
- The Masters is traditionally played the first week of April, but due to the pandemic it was moved to November. The change is going to produce a different landscape at Augusta National Golf Club without flowers blooming, but the golf course will still play at championship speed. It will be interesting to see what role the elements play in a Fall setting.
- Tiger Woods is the defending champion, having won way back in April 2019. With the pandemic still raging, it seems like years ago. And Woods comes into the event with some ragged rounds in recent events. He has this going for him: He’s Tiger.
- The Masters is not run by the PGA Tour, but its field is dominated by PGA Tour players. The event is an invitational run by Augusta National Golf Club. Former winners have a lifetime invitation to compete each year, but most drop out as their skills fade.
- The Masters is the last of three majors to be played in 2020. The standard schedule includes four majors, but The Open (don’t call it the British Open, they hate that) was canceled for this year.
Now, on to the Manopause guys for this year’s Masters:
- Adam Scott, age 40, current betting odds 42/1 – He became the first Australian to win The Masters in 2013 and still owns one of the prettiest swings on Tour. Scott has been playing well tee to green, as he often does, so it’s all about how he’s putting.
- Justin Rose, 40, odds 50/1 – Continues to rank as one of the best all-around players on tour, Rose lost the 2017 Masters in a playoff to Sergio Garcia. Rose is a major champion (2013 U.S. Open) and has the complete game to win at Augusta. He’s come close and would be no surprise to see him on the leaderboard.
- Tiger Woods, 44, odds 27/1 – The best odds posted for the over-40 competitors, a sign of respect for the defending champion and owner of 15 major championships. He’s had sloppy shots and bright spots in his preparation for an event he loves dearly, but no matter how he is playing, you cannot count out Tiger at Augusta. He’s proven it with five green jackets (1997, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2019), second to Jack’s six.
- Sergio Garcia, 40, odds 50/1 – One of the best ball-strikers in the game and when his game is on, he only needs to be a decent putter because Sergio can stick the ball close to pins. He has a PGA Tour win already in the 2020 season, he won The Masters three years ago, and he’s trending up.
- Bubba Watson, 41, odds 27/1 – Tied with Woods as the players over 40 with the best odds to win, according to Vegas. Watson is one of only 17 players to win at least two Masters (2012, 2014) and after some struggles last year with the putter, he’s been playing solid golf the past few months. Watson is a natural born golfer. The course is like it was built for him and he loves the backdrop of the trees to help him visualize the curve of his shots.
- Matt Kuchar, 42, odds 65/1 – Lots of fans would love to see this longtime Georgia resident (a college star at Georgia Tech) finally win a major, especially this one. Kuchar has played well at Augusta, finishing third in 2012, and he is an excellent putter. One of those guys who you just have to see if he gets off to a good start. If that happens, Kuchar does not tend to fade.
- Phil Mickelson, 50, odds 65/1 – Let’s be honest: who knows? Mickelson is as mercurial as they come, but he’s got three green jackets (2004, 2006, 2010) and his magical short game will be on full display this week. Phil can hit it all over from the tee at times, but that’s not as big a problem at Augusta.
- Paul Casey, 43, odds 50/1 – Solid player who keeps himself in excellent physical shape. He’s got three PGA Tour wins and more than 20 professional victories, but he’s never won a major. This is one of the major championship venues where he has the game to contend.
- Lee Westwood, 47, odds 80/1. He spent years atop the list of ‘Best Players Yet to Win a Major,” and at this point, it looks like if that happens it will be a major on the PGA Champions Tour. Westwood has been right there – he has finished second twice at The Masters, second in The Open, and third in both the U.S. Open and PGA Championships. No major wins, but better than the vast majority of competitors.
- Ian Poulter, 44, odds 120/1. He putts well enough to be a factor, but he only has one top 10 at The Masters and that was five years ago. Poulter remains a regular on tour and even though he is a U.S. nemesis when the Ryder Cup rolls around, he’s quite an engaging guy whose popularity has grown in the U.S.
- Henrik Stenson, 44, odds 130/1. Stenson is one of those players you can track with your ears: He hits the ball so hard it just has a different sound from other players. He’s won a major – that classic duel with Mickelson at Royal Troon in 2016 – but the Swede probably doesn’t putt well enough to win at Augusta. But you know, it only takes one magical week, which Stenson has pulled off once.
- Charles Howell III, 41, 180/1. Chuckie Three Sticks is a PGA Tour stalwart. He’s been competing since turning pro in 2000 and while he only has three tour victories, he’s made quite a nice living: more than $40 million in golf winnings, plus endorsement. He’s a long shot to win The Masters – Howell only has one top 10 in any major. But he’s an Augusta native and what a story that would be.
- Fred Couples, 61, odds 500/1. You gotta love guys in their 60s who are not only competing, but doing it at a high level. Couples doesn’t play all that often, but he loves Augusta, where he won in 1992 and then, 18 years later, he finished in the top 10 at age 50 in 2010. He made the cut in 2017 and ‘18, and that’s the goal these days. But I’d put a buck on Boom Boom.
- Bernhard Langer, 63, odds 500/1. The most dominating player on the Champions Tour is also a two-time Masters champion (1985, 1993). Langer follows a stringent flexibility regimen to stay competitive. He has 42 wins on the Champions Tour, second only to Hale Irwin (45).
And here, just so you have it, are the eight players VegasInsider.com says are the favorites: 1. Bryson DeChambeau 7/1, 2. Jon Rahm 11/1, 3. Rory McIlroy 11/1, 4. Dustin Johnson 12/1, 5. Justin Thomas 12/1, 6. Xander Schauffele 14/1, 7. Brooks Koepka 18/1, 8. Patrick Cantlay 20/1.
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