Woods looks to repeat as Masters’ champ

WRITTEN BY: Jake Geiger, Staff Writer

Photo courtesy of creativecommons.org

The wait is finally over as the Masters will be played Nov. 12-15 in Augusta, Ga. 

The Masters is usually played around Easter weekend, but the COVID-19 outbreak canceled the tournament in the spring. Fans were worried that the tournament would not be played, but the Masters committee quickly rescheduled the most iconic golf event in the world. 

The odds have been set and the favorite is American Bryson Dechambeau. Dechambeau won the U.S. Open in September at Winged Foot in New York, with his stellar performance as being the only player under par. 

Dechambeau has wowed the golf community with his never-before-seen style of golf. He gained about fifty pounds this past offseason and the results have been positive. He currently ranks second on the tour in driving distance and his tee-to-green play has been marvelous. 

Other favorites include Spanishman Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas. Four-time winner Tiger Woods is +2700 to win. Woods is looking to go back-to-back as his historic victory last season shocked the golf community. 

Another irregular aspect of this years’ Masters is the weather. This tourney is usually played in April, but as it is now being played in November, the conditions are totally different.

It is going to be a lot colder and the ball flights will not be as strong due to the cold air. It is approximated to be five to ten degrees cooler than it would typically be and is predicted to have higher winds. 

The course also will be softer because most of the rainfall is between June and September in Georgia. 

Former Masters Champion Fred Couples said the course will definitely be playing longer.

“I hit a driver and a 2-iron, and then the second day it was like 40 degrees (4.5 degrees celsius) and windy, and I hit a rescue into the first green,” the 1992 Masters champion recalled of a November round he played at Augusta.

A player I expect to do well is Brooks Koepka. Koepka has won in Augusta before and finished one stroke behind Tiger Woods in last years’ event. Koepka is also a bigtime player in the majors, as he has won four in the past three seasons. 

My prediction to win this year’s Masters is Justin Thomas. Thomas has only won one major in his career, but he has had several top ten finishes and is one of the more consistent players on tour. 

With his pinpoint accuracy on all of his golf shots, Thomas is poised to make a big push on the weekend. His iron game is spectacular and his short game has been spot-on the past year.  Thomas has not been too successful in recent Masters, as he has not had a top 10 finish in the past four seasons, but I predict Thomas will finally pull through.