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COVID-19 Will Change Who Wins the Masters

The first Masters Tournament was held March 22-25, 1934. Horton Smith won the tournament with a 20-foot birdie putt on 17, finishing one stroke ahead of Craig Wood.

A lot has changed since then – the 17th hole is now the 8th, the winner’s purse has grown from $1500 to $11.5 million (2019), and even the name has changed from the Augusta National Invitational Tournament.

Two things have never changed – the venue and the time of year. Every Masters tournament has been held at Augusta National Golf Club in March or April. That didn’t happen in 2020.

For the first time ever, the Masters will be played in November, and Augusta is going to be a very different venue.

It’s going to be cold – on average Augusta is 10° colder in November compared to April – so balls aren’t going to be flying as far. The greens are also likely to be a little slower, making the course longer and giving it a completely different feel.

That’s going to change how the course is played, and it’s changed the odds on who is going to win the 2020 Masters from all sportsbooks.

Rory McIlroy is the overwhelming favorite to win in 2020, which would make him the sixth man in history to achieve a career Grand Slam.

“November is going to be different, very cold, the course could play very long. It plays long already but it can play very long.”

“It’s going to be a different Masters this year but personally, maybe selfishly, that’s what I need to get the jacket.”

Rory McIlroy

A lot can change over a season, and oddsmakers will also have the benefit of seeing players’ performances when the PGA Tour resumes.

The Charles Schwab Challenge, which is scheduled for June 11-14, is set to be the first event played since The Players Championship was cancelled in March. Rory McIlryoy, Jon Rahm, and Brooks Koepka will all be there. Their performances will give us some insight into how the 3-month break from tournaments has affected players.

2020 will be a season like no other, and it looks like COVID-19 may change who gets to wear the coveted Green Jacket.