To study for this article, I watched close to 6 hours a day during Foxsports’ marathon dedicated to the Masters. What I derived from that is that Fred Couples not only has the smoothest swing in golf, but is also a timeless marvel. We’re all across the feats of Tiger Woods & Phil Mickelson and as Aussies, we’ve ridden the lows of Greg Norman’s collapse in 1996 and the highs of Adam Scott’s win in 2013 when he belted out the infamous, ‘Come on Aussie!’
The Masters in 2020 has been pushed back to a November 12 start date, which for us Aussies mean we will probably just be getting over our AFL/NRL grand final hangovers, rolling into a Melbourne Cup carnival and State of Origin, so let’s call that a bender of mass proportion. The morning after Origin II, in the wee hours of the morning, we’ll be asked to wake up early and tune into The Masters - it’ll be tough, but I’ll get it done.
The PGA Tour is back soon, with the Charles Schwab Challenge kicking off on June 11. But whilst I’ve been locked up in isolation, I’ve been thinking about who will have the game to conquer Augusta National in 2020 and take home the most coveted prize in all of golf.
Tiger Woods' 5th green jacket in 2019 capped off one of the great sporting comebacks.
I doubt we will see anything like what we saw in 2019 with Tiger Woods completing one of the greatest comebacks of all-time in winning his 5th Masters green jacket. Probably the only thing that could top that would be if he made it his 6th in 2020?
I think there’s a few leading candidates in 2020, although you never know who’s been working their arse off during quarantine and who’s been living too much of the good life. That aside, I’ve narrowed it down to 5 leading candidates:
Patrick Cantlay - Cantlay currently shares the 7th ranked spot in the world with crowd favourite (pun intended), Patrick Reed. For a fleeting moment in last years’ Masters, Patrick Cantlay eagled the Par 5 15th and held the lead on his own, a few closing bogeys put an end to his challenge but he showed he can handle the conditions. Further to that, he only made the cut on the +2 number last year before surging back over the weekend.
Marc Leishman - I see big Leish as the Aussie hope this year, he’s had two Top 10 finishes at The Masters in 2013 & 2018 respectively. He is currently ranked 15th, boasts 5 wins on the PGA Tour and a further 5 around the world, his short iron game will hold in good stead if he can navigate this way around the Par 5’s.
Matt Kuchar - Time might be running out for ‘KUCH’ to win a green jacket, indeed any major for that matter. Kuchar has had 4 Top 10’s in 11 starts at Augusta and finished in a T12 in last years’ event. He’s got the game and consistency to contend again in 2020, I feel there’s a potential fairytale in Kuchar pulling off a BIG win, whether that’s at the Masters, I am not sure, let’s just hope he pays his caddy.
Louis Oosthuizen is my pick for the 2020 Masters (Photo credit: Golf365)
Louis Oosthuizen - The consistent South African is always around the mark in the majors. Of course the winner of the 2010 Open Championship, Oosthuizen has also came runner-up on four other occasions in major tournament golf, including 2nd at Augusta in 2012 behind Bubba Watson. Louis is capable of going very low, and I think he get out of the blocks early and be a big player this November.
Tiger Woods - the obvious choice and gunning for his 6th green jacket. Tiger was under an injury cloud prior to the tournament being postponed, presume the time off will only do him good. Who’s to say he can’t do it again and tie the great Jack Nicklaus for most wins at Augusta National.
So there’s your Top 5, you can bet confidently around those names and whilst I’d love to see Tiger go back-to-back, or indeed big Marc Leishman bag another green jacket for Australia, I am going to put my faith in Louis Oosthuizen, who I think will win the 2020 Masters. Honourable mentions of course go to the World Number 1, Rory McIlroy and 3-time champion Phil Mickelson.
Only 5 months or so to go, who do you think will be winning the most coveted prize in all of golf?