An early look at the favourites for the men’s 2020 golf majors

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick July 1, 2020 10:13

The 2020 men’s golf majors won’t be what we expected but we’ll soon have the best players in the world vying for the biggest honours in the sport.

Three of the four major competitions will take place between August and November in what will be a memorable few months of golf. As has often been the case in recent years, the field is wide open with a dozen conceivable winners for each of the three 2020 majors. Let’s take a look at some of the leading candidates.

PGA Championship – TPC Harding Park, August 3rd

The first major of the year will be the PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco. It’s the 102nd edition of the tournament and the first to take place at TPC Harding Park, the course that hosted the 2009 Presidents’ Cup. It’s the first PGA Championship help in California since 1995. Steve Elkington lifted the Wanamaker Trophy that year but it will probably be a much-changed field this time around, 25 years later.

Brooks Koepka is the two-time reigning champion and the man to beat. The Florida-born 30-year-old lifted his first PGA Championship title back in 2018 and came out on top in Farmingdale, New York last year. Another win at TPC Harding Park would put him behind only Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, and Walter Hagen in terms of players with the most PGA Championship titles. These are true greats of the sport. Not bad for a player who only played in the tournament for the first time in 2013.

But Koepka faces a tough test to retain his title. Rory McIlroy is the favourite with the bookmakers to come out on top in San Francisco and lift the Wanamaker Trophy for the first time since 2014. The Northern Irishman is 8/1 to lift the crown on Betway as of July 1st even though he has finished in the top-15 of the tournament just once since then. Koepka isn’t far behind at 12/1.

But there will be plenty of other competitors ready to take the crown. Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth both performed well in last season’s tournament and the latter will be going all out to win this one. Spieth finished 3rd in 2019 and just missed out on his chance to become the first player since Tiger Woods to secure a career grand slam in men’s golf.

The 120th US Open will take place in mid-September at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, New York. It is the sixth time that the course will play host to the major and the first since 2006. Geoff Ogilvy lifted the title that year but it’s a tournament-best remembered as the one that could have been for Phil Mickelson. His double-bogey on the 18th on Sunday denied a career grand slam and he would love a bit of retribution here.

But lefty is far from the favourite. He’s 66/1 on Betway as of 1st July to pull off a shock win which isn’t a surprise considering he hasn’t finished in the top ten of a major since 2016. Once again, Rory McIlroy is the favourite even though the Northern Irishman has failed to make the cut in three of the last four editions of the tournament. Koepka, Jon Rahm, and Bryson DeChambeau are also expected to be in the running in September.

The Masters Tournament – Augusta National Golf Club, November 12th

The world’s best golfers will have to wait until November to compete for the coveted green jacket. Augusta National will host the 84th edition of The Masters Tournament and the eyes of the world will be on one man. Tiger Woods is the defending champion after his extraordinary comeback last year that showed what golf is all about. The American great secured his fifth green jacket with a one-stroke lead last April and is amongst the favourites to add to that this November. He’s 14/1 to secure the title but he’ll face stiff competition.

Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka did extremely well last year, as did the American Xander Schauffele as the three men shared second place. All three are amongst the favourites along with Jon Rahm and Jordan Spieth. However, all of them are behind the favourite Rory McIlroy.

The Northern Irishman has unfinished business at Augusta National. The Masters is the only major that McIlroy hasn’t won as he vows to complete a career grand slam. He tied for 21st last season but that was an anomaly for one of the most consistent performers at The Masters. McIlroy secured five consecutive top-ten finishes before that but now needs to make that final step. He’ll be going all out to end 2020 on a high.

 

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick July 1, 2020 10:13
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