Georgia on My Mind…. 2020 Masters Picks


This is a guest post by Jeff Nickerson.


Alright, let’s get it out there, 2020 has been a gong show of a year but thankfully the greatest golf tournament ever is going to be played! Yeah, it’s in a different month than usual and there won’t be any ‘patrons’ but who cares. My yearly Masters Couch dent is going to be there and I’m going to be locked in for every second of coverage. I can’t wait!

Now, if you’re like me, adding a little wagering makes it even more exciting. So, let’s take a look at who I like this week.

I have to start off with my guy Tiger, the 2019 Masters champion! Listen, there’s nobody on the planet, who wants to see the Big Cat slipping on that green jacket again this Sunday more than me, but it hurts me to say I think there’s a better chance of him missing the cut than winning. If you haven’t been paying attention to TW the last few years, here’s the Coles notes:

Is the weather perfect? Does he have success at the course? Has he played well leading up? And, is the weather PERFECT!?

If the answer to any of those is NO, then it’s not happening. And sadly the weather is not going to be perfect this week. Rain is in the forecast for Thursday and he tees off at 7 am, which means a 3 am wake up for Tigs that is less than ideal. Add it all up and it means the Big Cat is likely to struggle. He has not had a great year at all and has barely played.

I don’t want to say it and I hope I’m 100% wrong, I mean hey he added hair plugs for a reason, but the best Tiger bet is M/C+225.

Alright, now that we got that sadness out of the way, let’s get to the fun stuff and start off with my long-shot pick of the week:

Frankie Molinari: 100 to 1

  • Last week was T15 in Houston.
  • Last 3 masters: T33, T20, 5th

Frankie was the best golfer on the planet it seemed until he threw up on the back 9 of Augusta last year. Since then, the only place you could find him was on the side of a milk carton in Italy. It hasn’t been pretty and he left the game for a few months to get back on track. He returned a couple of weeks ago with an M/C but had a great weekend last week in Houston for a T15. What a story it would be to see him overcome the demons of last year and get back on track at Augusta. Winning?  Unlikely but it’s worth a sprinkle and I love him at +225 for a Top 20.

Ok, now my 6 pack of the week. These are six guys I’m backing this week. I love how they are trending.

Jason Day: 40 to 1

  • T7 last week in Houston
  • Masters finishes: T2, T73, 3rd, T20, T28, T10, T22, T20, and 5th last year

J.Day was the best player I saw in person last year at Augusta on Wednesday. Oh, you didn’t hear? Yeah, I was at Augusta on Wednesday last year!

Look at that Masters record! Day is an Augusta robot who can play any style of golf needed to win. If he isn’t holding his back/neck/leg/head he always has a chance. He looked great last week and seems ready for a huge win. Let’s see it JDay!

Bubba Watson: 30 to 1

  • 7th & 4th in his last two starts on tour
  • Two Green Jackets…Not a big dealllll
  • Finished 12th last year

Nobody has rubbed me the wrong way more than Bubba. I hate how he’s treated his caddy in the past and I’m not a fan in general, but he seems to be trying to change that lately and it’s obvious he loves Augusta. Here’s a stat that popped out at me: Bubba has won the Masters twice (2012, 2014). In the 4 events prior to those wins, he gained 34 and 41 strokes combined off the tee and on approach. Over his last 4 events in 2020, he has gained 30. He’s locked in. The lack of a crowd should actually help him as he’s never been a fan of huge crowds and has talked about how uncomfortable he is with all of it. There shouldn’t be any problems for Bubba this week, he knows he can win on this track. Top 20 -110  and +240 top 10 also good plays.

Patrick Cantlay 25 to 1

  • Last time we saw him he won the ZoZo.
  • Last year at the Masters finished 9th with a 64, 68 on the weekend.

He can do it all and has proven he can play at the Majors. If his putter gets hot, there’s no stopping him. Great iron player who seems ready to win a Major.

Brooks Koepka: 16 to 1

  • Had a great weekend last week in Houston that resulted in a T5 finish
  • Masters record: 33rd, 21st, 11th & 2nd

Notice the trend? 2020 has not been the ‘Year of Brooks’ but it’s a Major and the knee is feeling better. A weight would be lifted off his shoulders with a win this week. It would totally delete what was a terrible year he has had.

Jon Rahm: 12 to 1

  • 2 wins this year, one at the Memorial which was the toughest course of the year and then later at the BMW
  • Masters record: 27th, 4th, and 9th

Rahmbo is the best player on Tour without a Major. He’s been on a roll all year. He’s the number 1 player in the world and shows up every time in the toughest conditions. Rahm has the most Strokes Gained per round on par-5s at Augusta National since 2010. He’s ready

Bryson DeChambeau: 8 to 1

  • Majors this year: Win at the US Open and 4th at the PGA Championship. He also had a win at the Rocket Mortgage.
  • Masters record: 21st, 38th, and 29th

That Masters record is nothing special but Barry Bonds was pretty good on the Pirates and nobody cared. Giants Barry Bonds though? That was something we’ve never seen before and that’s exactly the same story with Bryson. He’s must-see TV and I don’t see that changing this week. The Big Golfer is here and he’s ready to rip up Augusta. He said Augusta is playing at a par 67 right now for him, which is so cocky you have to respect it. I can’t wait to watch the show. The odds suck but what can you do. He’s going to be sometimes using a wedge when players are using mid irons. I’m ready to watch the show.

Other plays I like this week:

Corey Conners +350 top 20…Great iron player, ready to take the next step

Justin Harding +650 top 20… T12 last year

Max Homa +500 top 20…1st timer who thinks he’s hitting as good as he ever has.

Freddy Couples +1600 top 20… Live a little.

Rickie Fowler  +187 top 20…Bad year but look at the record.

First-round leader:

  • Bubba 33 to 1
  • Spieth 45 to 1
  • Champ 66 to 1

Make/Miss Cut: 

  • Justin Harding -110 to make the cut
  • LOCK: Phil Mickelson misses the cut +137

Full Tournament matchups: 

  • Rickie over Paul Casey -110
  • Bubba over Reed EVEN
  • Rahm over Rory -120
  • Champ over Kokrak -110
  • BBQ sandwich -100000 over Pimento Cheese

Let’s ride

Jeff ‘The Freebird’ Nickerson



Author: Dan Hauser

Dan is the co-founder of The Stiff Shaft and the website's Senior Writer. A South Florida native, Dan has been covering golf since 2013 and playing it his entire life. He is still waiting for his first hole-in-one.

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