If it’s Masters week, there can only be one question on everyone’s mind.
No, it’s not: Who will wear the green jacket come Sunday? The question on everyone’s mind is a simple one: Will Tiger Woods be teeing it up?
As weird as that question is, it’s the talk of every golf-related talk show, golf writers’ columns and, as you can see here, sports betting odds.
If it’s golf-related and Tiger Woods is involved, everyone’s going to be talking about it.
And the answer may not come until the very last minute as, unlike regular PGA Tour events, there is no deadline for a player who is qualified to let the powers-that-be know that he will be heading to the first tee.
Despite the unknown of Woods’ entry in the field, one thing we are certain about is that we won’t have Woods in our picks.
There are too many questions, not the least of which is will he even make the cut. He’s been out for more than a year and to ask him to play and walk 72 holes (if he makes the cut) will be quite the accomplishment. For him to be competitive for four rounds would be a monumental task.
And that’s despite the fact he’s at a robust +5000 despite the lack of practice time.
Unlike his last major win, the 2019 Masters when we said the moon and stars would align and he would win another green jacket, this time we’re saying he won’t add another jacket to his wardrobe.
Now that doesn’t mean he won’t play four rounds of golf if he does play. What it does mean is we don’t feel his game, health and mindset will all be aligned enough to get him back in the winner’s circle.
But, if we don’t feel Woods can win, then who? We’re glad you asked.
Odds To Win The Masters (BetMGM)
Jon Rahm +1000
Collin Morikawa +1200
Cam Smith +1400
Dustin Johnson +1400
Jordan Spieth +1400
Justin Thomas +1400
Rory McIlroy +1400
Scottie Scheffler +1600
Brooks Koepka +1800
Patrick Cantlay +1800
We’re Going With The Hot Golfer
OK, we’re going to move a few people over a little and make room for the rest of you on the Scottie Scheffler bandwagon.
Scheffler, at +1600 this week, is the hottest player on the PGA Tour and there’s no signs of his slowing down in the near future.
How hot is Scheffler? Well, he’s won three of the last six tournaments he’s played. Need more? He’s also the No. 1 ranked player in the world and No. 1 in the FedEx Cup points race.
Oh, we’re not done yet. Along with those three wins, since the start of the 2021-2022 wraparound season he’s also got a solo second, a T-2, a solo fourth and a T-7.
Add in he was a member of the U.S. winning Ryder Cup team and he hasn’t had a great year…he’s had a great career and all within a six-month span. About the only thing missing is his first major. And that’s where this week comes in.
He’s been adapting to the surroundings of being at the top of leaderboards very well. Whether it’s a long course or one that requires finesse, he’s stepped up to the task at hand and walked away with top finishes — if not outright victories.
He’s played the Masters twice. His first time out, in 2020, he wound up T-19 and moved that up to T-18 last year. Like we said, adapting.
Another Player Who Has Had A Hot Hand
With only 90 or so players qualified in the field, it’s a little easier to narrow down the choices. Plus, take away another 10 or so players who are playing as past champs but have little or no chance to win and you’ve got half of a normal field to peruse.
Former players like Fred Couples, Sandy Lyle, Larry Mize, Mike Weir and a handful of others will be in the field. But don’t look for them anywhere on the first couple of pages of the leaderboard.
With that in mind, we’re going to go with another player who is looking for that first major victory to add to his impressive resume: Patrick Cantlay at +1800. Cantlay was being offered as high as +2200 at FanDuel as of Tuesday morning.
Last year’s FedEx Cup champion and fifth-ranked player in the official world golf rankings, is coming off a 2021 season similar to Scheffler’s season this year.
At his price this week, he’s a solid player to back. His higher-than-expected odds come from the fact he hasn’t won this year after picking up four wins last year.
Could that change? We certainly think so. He’s one of those players who can handle the added pressure of playing in a major that just happens to be played at Augusta National.
He doesn’t get too high or too low during his rounds, so he’s an ideal pick to slip into a green jacket come Sunday.
Your ‘Longshot’ Of The Week
He’s not really that long of a longshot but his recent play puts him in this category. Oh, don’t get us wrong. Xander Schauffele, at + 2200, this week, has been playing just fine. The X man just hasn’t won in awhile, and he hasn’t won a major. Yet.
In fact, it’s been since the PGA Tour’s Tournament of Champions in 2019 since Schauffele has cashed a winner’s check. But don’t go feeling sorry for him just yet. He’s still been plenty relevant in that time as he’s teed it up in 69 events. In that span he’s got an impressive 49 finishes in the top 25.
It gets better. He’s also finished in the top five in 14 tournaments and has finished solo second or T-2 an impressive (or depressing depending on your point of view) eight times in that timeframe.
Sure, he’s never won a major. But he’s coming into this event way under the radar with so many other storylines grabbing the headlines.
A win to snap out of a slump as well as it being a major would be quite the week for Schauffele.
Now, Back To Tiger Woods
Until he isn’t on the first tee, he’s got to be in the conversation. At +5000, that lets you know to never count him out. But it’s been forever since he’s walked four rounds and had the pressure of shot after shot.
Will he show up? Can he hold up? Is there a chance he’s a factor come Sunday?
We’re going to say yes, no and no. But, as the saying goes, stranger things have happened.
The Masters is his No. 1 goal in the golf world every year. He is going to make every effort to get here in 2022 because waiting until 2023 means 365 days of missing out on his best place–with a limited field of less than 100 golfers–to move closer to Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 majors.
Also read: Masters Odds 2022