The 2020 Masters getting postponed until November turned out to be a blessing in disguise for golf fans. Just a few months later, and the world is about to descend on Augusta National Golf Club once again, as the 2021 tournament is preparing to kick off.
2021 PGA Masters
This year’s event takes place between Monday, April 5 and Sunday, April 11. Unlike last year’s event, which was held behind closed doors, spectators will return for 2021, although there will still be changes.
For the second year in a row, the traditional Par 3 Contest won’t be played. But luckily, everything else that makes the master’s so iconic remains in place.
The tournament remains the most prestigious in the golfing calendar, with only a select few invited to participate. And the prize remains the same – to get the famous green jacket and become part of the most exclusive club in the golf world.
Just five months after winning with a record score of 268, 20-under-par, Dustin Johnson is hoping to keep the title for another year. But what are his chances – and who are his biggest rivals?
The Top Players To Look Out For This Year
According to the latest odds provided by American sportsbooks, Dustin Johnson remains the favourite. It’s the quickest time any Masters champion has had to return to defend their title, and nothing has changed out of his favor in the last five months.
His closest rival according to several online sportsbooks is Jon Rahm. He’s second to Johnson in the world rankings but has never pulled off a major tournament win.
This could change this year, with his 10-1 odds average placing him second to Johnson’s 6-1. He has five PGA tour victories to date, but his best Master’s score was his fourth place finish in 2018.
Last year, he came seventh – could he pull off a shock victory just a few months later? The odds don’t want you to rule it out.
Another comeback you’re advised not to rule out is that of Bryson DeChambeau. Just months after winning his first US Open, he disappointed, ending the Masters in 34th place.
He blamed that on fatigue, and his standing in predictions for this year has quickly recovered. But he was also favourite to win last year, so let’s see how this one turns out.
Another player who we’ve been holding our breath for over the past few years is Rory McIlroy. For the sixth consecutive year, he’s been coming to the tournament in the hopes of his first Masters win to complete a career Grand Slam.
But the question remains the same. Is this finally going to be the year?
Former world number 1 Justin Thomas is also leading the pack when it comes to Bookies’ predictions. In 2020, he scored his best ever Master’s result, coming fourth overall.
He has forward momentum coming into this year’s tournament (more on that below), but will that translate to a green jacket? Each of his Master’s performances has improved upon the last, so 2021 could well be his year.
Finally, a comeback for Brooks Koepka could be on the cards. After tying for seventh place in 2020, an impressive result after a year off due to sustained injury, he has momentum behind him.
The Key Wins Before The Masters
With only five months between the two tournaments, there haven’t been major changes. But enough has changed to give Dustin Johnson some serious competition.
The aforementioned Brooks Koepka had his first post-injury tour win at the Waste Management Phoenix open in February, his second win at the tournament. And other Masters favourites have pulled off their own impressive PGA tour victories too.
Bryson Dechambeau has also pulled off a PGA Win in the past few months, the first player to achieve more than two victories this season. His March win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational saw him back in top form after his shaky Masters outing in November.
Meanwhile, Justin Thomas is only continuing to impress in recent tour appearances. In January he came third (behind Harris English and Joaquin Niemann) at the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
But it was his March win at the Players Championship that has made many speculate that now could be his time. As with The Masters, he has improved on each of his previous outings, and many believe his Players performance was nothing less than a masterclass.
Now with 12 PGA Tour wins to his name, tied with Dustin Johnson, all he needs is a first Master’s to seal the deal and prove he’s one of the world’s best. The odds are very much in his favor.
This year’s Masters is set to be one of the closest in recent memory, with several players carrying serious momentum into the tournament. Millions of bets will be placed, and the green jacket really could go to anybody.
But will Dustin win his second Masters, or will somebody defy his odds and romp to victory? We’re excited to find out.