The date might be different, okay very different, but almost everything else we know about The Masters week is likely to be the same.
Golf fans who have been following the social media coming from the tournament’s account will have seen the meticulous planning going into showcasing the most famed course in all of golf.
While weather predictions can be unpredictable, we know the same constants around the course will determine the winner. It is unlikely to be a debutant – Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979 is the only player to win at his first try – or an older past winner – remove Bernhard Langer from your picks – but rather a player who has an excellent approach game, a sound record at the venue and a putter who copes with the severe slops well.
That said, the attention can be narrowed down to a handful of players – all of whom tick all the boxes.
The Players Are…
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the same heavyweight names are listed. That is usually the case when it comes to picking a potential Green Jacket winner. The only difficult part is trying to separate who of the five will ultimately walk away as the champion until The Masters 2021 which will return to its April date and rightful place in the golf calendar.
Johnson and Koepka both nailed down top-five finishes last week and have all the Major experience required. They both hit it miles and can, on their week, enjoy a short game that would make Ben Crenshaw smile.
DeChambeau is the hottest player on the planet and has soundly erased doubts about his Major credentials. Many expect him to be hitting 9-iron and below into the greens which may see him run away with things in a way that only a young Tiger Woods did.
Schauffele and Thomas are lumped together in the same category. While the former doesn’t have a Major title to his name, he does have a Tour Championship win and was in the mix last year too. Thomas is the best all-round player on the planet and is arguably the best putter of the lot which may be decisive on Sunday.
Apologies for those who were looking outside of the betting market leaders for some inspiration (hint, Louis Oosthuizen for a top 5 finish and perhaps Tyrrell Hatton for a non-US winner at 25-1) but the only variants this year will be the lack of patrons cheering and the usual wind issues facing golfers on the par 3 12th hole.
While the political landscape is a taboo topic right now, one expects a home hero to win the year’s final Major.