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Predicting the 2020 Masters

By: Golfshake Editor | Tue 10 Nov 2020 | Comments

Typically the most predictable of the majors, this year's Masters is something of a wildcard and raises unique questions. Many will ponder the impact of the November date, while the famously atmospheric gallery will be replaced by the silence of abandoned viewing areas.

92 invited players are in the field, each with their own hopes for the week ahead, but only one will leave as the champion. Going head-to-head with their picks for the 84th Masters, Golfshake Ambassador Matt Holbrook takes on Editor Kieran Clark in a battle of the minds, making selections on a series of key categories.

However, the added stipulation is that Kieran can't choose anyone that Matt has picked. What pressure!

Take a look and see what the guys are thinking and consider who you think is the closest to being right.

First, here's Matt with his picks...

Your Winner 

"I don't think you can overlook what Bryson DeChambeau has achieved over the last few months. I know everyone is talking about how far he is hitting the ball, but to win around Augusta you need to have a short game that holds up well and he has exactly that. He is a better putter than people give him credit for." 

1st Outsider (Not in World's Top 10)

Patrick Reed

"Getting this one purely on a technicality. But sitting at 11th in the world is Patrick Reed. He is probably one of my three or four least favourite players, but annoyingly he is such a good golfer who has the game to suit Augusta National - and being a past champion, he knows what it takes to get it done." 

2nd Outsider (Not in World's Top 25)

"Rickie Fowler - it's crazy to think that a guy with the talent and ability that he has currently sits at number 46 in the world. But at a venue he has played well around before, I wouldn't be surprised to see Rickie fly under the radar slightly and have a solid week."  

How Will Tiger Do?

"I'm on the fence here. Due to the seemingly lack of tournament golf for Tiger recently, I don't fancy him to be contending come Sunday. But I do think he will be there on Sunday. The warmer than expected weather will help that cause too. It might be tight on Friday evening - but stranger things have happened." 

Top Englishman 

"I would have mentioned this name earlier, but the fact Tyrrell Hatton sits at number 9 in the world says a lot about his standing in the game right now. His form is good and I think his game suits most golf courses and I actually wouldn't be surprised if he was right at the top of the leaderboard come Sunday evening." 

Top Senior

Fred Couples

"Easy. Fred Couples. The guy always shows up at Augusta and goes about making the cut as if it was a casual knock with his buddies. Should be around for the weekend." 

Leading Amateur

"Tough one to call. Hand on heart I don't know too much about the amateurs in the field, but Andy Ogletree has already tasted some major exposure this year. I'm going to go with him purely on his world amateur ranking being higher than the rest!"

Winning Score

"We don't know how the autumn Masters is really going to plan out, but the temperature is due to be higher than expected for this time of year and there is also rain forecast. This could go either way with soft greens allowing for some low scoring, so I'm going to put my neck on the line and say the winner will come in around -15 but we won't see Tiger and Jordan Spieth's record of -18 fall this time." 

Now you've seen Matt's thoughts, Kieran responds with his picks...

Your Winner 

Justin Thomas

"Distance is clearly a huge advantage, but quality iron play has long been key to unlocking the treacherous pin positions of Augusta National. Someone who combines power with precision is Justin Thomas, who is my pick to win the Masters. His record here is solid if unspectacular, but he's a two-time winner on the PGA Tour this year and led the Strokes Gained Approach statistics for the past season. I believe he may just secure his second major down Magnolia Lane."

1st Outsider (Not in World's Top 10)

"Paired alongside Tiger Woods and Francesco Molinari in the final group last year, Tony Finau has become a perennial contender in the majors, but is yet to claim one, indeed the Puerto Rico Open in 2016 remains his solitary PGA Tour title. Remarkable considering his prodigious ability. While his lack of crossing the winning line may raise a doubt, I think the big American is just as likely to win a green jacket as he is any other event."

2nd Outsider (Not in World's Top 25)

"Former champions have a tendency to come alive on return visits to Augusta, something Bubba Watson has demonstrated in the past. The two-time winner continues to play well in the Masters, finishing T-5th in 2018 and T-12th in 2019. However, he's back in even better form this time, following strong results at the CJ Cup and Zozo Championship, having managed to control a battle with anxiety that the 42-year-old has spoken candidly about."

How Will Tiger Do?

"Logically it's hard to make a case that Tiger could contend here - aside from the intangible that he is Tiger Woods and this is Augusta National. But I agree with Matt in that I believe the defending champion will grind to make the cut and may post a solid finish for the week, but I can't envisage a repeat of last year's extraordinary achievement."

Top Englishman

Paul Casey

"You can make a case for most of the English contingent, including Tommy Fleetwood and Matt Fitzpatrick, but I'm going to elect for Paul Casey, who played magnificently in the PGA Championship to finish runner-up to Collin Morikawa. That should give the 43-year-old confidence this week at a venue where he has consistently performed strongly, including five top tens in 13 previous appearances."

Top Senior

"I'm conflicted here, as I think 63-year-old Bernhard Langer has a terrific chance to make the weekend, and you can never be quite sure what to expect from Phil Mickelson, but I believe the three-time winner should find enough inspiration to at least play all four rounds, but I don't see the left-hander rolling back the years to contend despite his recent form on the Champions Tour."

Leading Amateur

"This is always a challenge, but I'm picking out 26-year-old Australian Lukas Michel, the 2019 U.S Mid Amateur, a mechanical engineering graduate and student of golf course architecture, especially Royal Melbourne, Kingston Heath and Metropolitan. He should be inspired by the setting of Augusta."

Winning Score

"Inclement weather conditions could impact the scoring, and there is always the chance for someone to run away with victory, but I think anyone double digits under par on Sunday will be right there in contention. So, I'll go for a winning score of -12."

Well, there you have it. Come back on Sunday to see who was right - or if both Matt and Kieran were wrong!

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The Best Players Never to Win The Masters

10 of the Best Masters Tournaments

Image Credit: Kevin Diss Photography

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