November 9, 2020
A Masters like no other!
This week's Masters Tournament will be like no other championship that has been held at Augusta National Golf Club. Gone will be the crowds, excuse me, the patrons that add so much to the mystic of the venue. Gone will be the azaleas that bloom during Masters week that signify the start of spring for golf fans. November weather compared to April weather could be a major factor in how the golf course plays. In September the Bermuda grass that is prevalent during the summer in Augusta goes dormant and the course is scalped and overseeded with a perennial ryegrass. It takes a few weeks of heavy watering before the grass takes hold and develops. Because this grass needs a lot of water, the course should play soft and not as lush as the more mature ryegrass had become in April. At this time of year the leading golfers in the world are winding down their schedules and taking a break. They will be sharp, but probably not peaking like they would be in April. All this should make for an interesting week.
Picking a favorite is difficult, because all the top ranked players have played an inconsistent schedule since the US Open in September. No one has established a track record or hot streak that makes you think they will have what it takes this week. Bryson DeChambeau has only played once, but has been hard at work in some secret laboratory figuring out how to overpower Augusta National. Tiger Woods just hasn't played enough. I really doubt he can muster up four good rounds to compete. I think Justin Thomas is poised to make this his first Masters win. He's been close in every tournament that he entered. Close behind has to be Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm. It will take a power hitter to handle the longer playing Augusta National.
Justin Thomas – most consistent and ready for his first Masters win
Dustin Johnson – healthy and game seems to be coming around
Jon Rahm – just a matter of time for a major win
Bryson DeChambeau – could do it again, but I think the long driver experiment will be too new for him to pull off a win
Collin Morikawa and Xander Schauffele – to me they are twins. Love both of their games. One's a major winner and the other will be one in a short time. Course might be a bit long for them, but don't count them out.
Matthew Wolff – length plus confidence after a great US Open performance
Rory McIlroy – wants it badly, but putting and wedge play is too inconsistent
Brooks Koepka – coming back from an injury. Will take a bit longer to round into form
Patrick Reed – Augusta native, loves course, knows November weather
Tiger Woods – Never count him out, but just hasn't played enough
Viktor Hovland – might be ready for a big splash
Tony Finau – needs a great putting week
The Field – unpredictable week. This could be the best choice
Whatever the result, this coming week will be exciting. It will be strange, but it still is the Masters and Augusta National, so it has to be great. One thing is for sure, it will be a Masters like no other!