It’s seven months late, but the best week on the golf calendar finally is here.
The 2020 Masters tees off Thursday morning (weather permitting) at Augusta National Golf Club with the tournament being played in the spring for the first time ever due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Not only does the Masters represent a timeless sports tradition, it’s also a chance for you to win, thanks to NESN Games. Be sure to sign up — right now — for the “Masters Tournament Challenge,” where you’ll have a chance to win a $25 online gift code.
All you have to do is make your selections on a handful of first-round prop bets, and you could be the winner.
Here’s the full card for Thursday’s Round 1 — complete with our own selections for each.
Make your pick: Dustin Johnson, Patrick Cantlay or Rory McIlroy
Johnson. He’s the betting favorite among the three, and in our mind, DJ is also the one with the best chance of winning the tournament. Neither McIlroy nor Cantlay is playing especially well, while Johnson — the 2020 FedEx Cup winner — hasn’t finished worse than sixth in his five tournaments. Worth noting: McIlroy and Cantlay are tremendous first-round players.
Make your pick: Justin Thomas, Matthew Fitzpatrick or Brooks Koepka
Thomas. Again, we’re going chalk. Thomas’ game suits Augusta National well, and he is also riding a wave of momentum, finishing no worse than 12th in his last four tournaments. He finished 18th in first-round scoring during the 2020 season.
Make your pick: Bubba Watson, Matthew Wolff, Tommy Fleetwood
Wolff. It’s tempting to take Watson, who we love to win the tournament this weekend. He’s playing as well as he has in a long time. But he’s been a slow starter at Augusta in recent years, playing the first round at 6-over in his last four Masters first rounds. Wolff, meanwhile, is a dark horse to win, assuming he could solve the debutant curse. He doesn’t get intimidated by the moment, either.
Brooks Koepka score: over/under 70.5
Over. Koepka was awesome last year, finishing tied for second at 12-under for the tournament. That was sparked by a first-round 66. Other than that, though, he’s struggled in the first round, playing it at 4-over in his other three appearances. There’s uncertainty about his injuries, too.
Dustin Johnson score: over/under 70.5
Under. Johnson has been a mixed bag in the first round, but he did shoot a 68 a year ago and has played six of his last eight rounds at Augusta in the 60s. We also had him winning his group, so this feels like a spot to go low.
Justin Thomas score: over/under 70.5
Over. He literally has never shot better than 73 on Thursday. We’ll ride that wave.
Rory McIlroy score: over/under 70.5
Over. He just hasn’t been very good lately. It’s certainly possible he goes low — he’s broken par six times in the first round at Augusta, but he’s been uncharacteristically pedestrian on approach shots since the “new” season began, and that’s typically the strength of his game.
Tie-breaker: Tiger Woods’ Round 1 score
75. Tiger isn’t playing very well at all right now, and he goes off in the morning, perhaps in the rain, with a back that seemingly always is balking. There’s a lot working against the defending champion to begin this tournament. Oh, and by the way, if Tiger is your guy, make sure you sign up to play the “Tiger Woods Challenge” at NESN Games, too.