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Can a Masters Rookie Slip on the Green Jacket in 2020?

| November 11, 2020 4:22 am PDT
5 Masters Rookies Who Could Defy the Odds in 2020

Wondering how many golfers have won the Masters in their first appearance at Augusta?

Well, Horton Smith won the inaugural Masters in 1934. Gene Sarazen slipped on a Green Jacket in his debut the following year. Since then, we’ve seen just one Masters rookie win the tournament in their first attempt.

Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979, and that’s it.

Is it conceivable that the 41-year drought could come to an end this week?

There are 26 Masters rookies in 2020 and most are just happy to be on the premises. Then again, there are 5 first-timers at Augusta who I could legitimately see as the last man standing on Sunday.

Take a look.

Collin Morikawa

Nothing about Collin Morikawa’s golf game resembles “inexperience.” Sure, the 2020 PGA Champ has never teed it up at a Masters, but Morikawa noted a distinct advantage due to the lack of patrons present.

“I think I got very lucky showing up to the Masters in November this year, having no fans, because I was able to step up to No. 1 this morning and just go out and play golf. I didn’t have to look at the fans line the fairways or see the grandstands wherever they might be. I saw the course for what it is.”

Augusta National has long been hailed as a “second-shot golf course,” so keep this stat in mind:

Collin clocked in 2nd on the PGA Tour last season in SG: Approach.

Matthew Wolff

4th at the PGA Championship, 2nd at the US Open.

Given the way the golf course has softened up, I’ll just be brutally honest.

It’s hard to envision a scenario in which Matthew Wolff isn’t contending coming down the stretch at the 2020 Masters.

We all know about Wolff’s jaw-dropping length, but it’s his scintillating short game and ability to send his irons to the moon that makes him a strong candidate at this venue. I just hope I’m not kicking myself over the weekend for not showcasing Matthew as one of my DFS picks for the Masters.

Jason Kokrak

17th or better in six of his last starts – including a victory at the CJ Cup @ Shadow Creek – why isn’t more attention on Jason Kokrak this week?

This guy bombs it off the tee (9th in SG: Off-the-Tee in 2019-20) and currently sits 3rd in SG: Putting.

Since posting a top-20 at Winged Foot, Kokrak has logged 10 rounds on tour. All he’s done is shoot 41-under-par and record nothing higher than 70.

Of the Masters rookies who could defy the odds in 2020, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better option. 

Scottie Scheffler

Scottie Scheffler might be a rookie at the Masters, but a trip to the Peach State to play Augusta National in college should help him feel at ease.

You know what else will make Scottie feel relaxed when he pegs it on Thursday morning?

The fact that he ranks 2nd on tour in total driving and has no problem turning it over from right to left. Scheffler warmed up his putter last week in Houston and arrives fresh off shooting 65 during the final round.

As far as sleeper picks for the 2020 Masters, you could do a lot worse than this man.

Abraham Ancer

Here’s another rookie at the Masters who has the skillset to shock the world on Sunday. We all saw Abraham’s potential pour out with clutch performances at the Presidents Cup, and he’s been knocking on the door to pick up his first win ever since (two solo-seconds in 2020).

Conclusively one of the best iron players on tour, Ancer hits a lot of fairways and is a great short putter. His lower trajectory would hinder him more if the putting surfaces were baked out, but that won’t be the case in the first November Masters.

Will a Rookie Win the 2020 Masters

History tells us it’s highly unlikely. On the other hand, the veterans are the ones who have to adjust their expectations and get used to the “different conditions.” The Masters rookies who could defy the odds don’t have that aspect to worry about.

Guys like Matthew Wolff and Collin Morikawa are simply going to take what the golf course gives them.

Thus far, that formula has worked out pretty darn well.

For additional content such as Masters predictions and betting picks, sort through the posts below.

Michael Wynn
Michael Wynn

As a former Division I collegiate golfer, Michael Wynn loves writing about golf. He's also an expert in most of America's most popular sports, writing extensively for GamblingSites.com on football, basketball, and baseball.

Michael's a Las Vegas native and has been with the company since 2017.

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