The Masters is more than just one of golf’s four majors. It’s the first major of the year. It is the only one held at the same location every year. Plus, it’s an invitational event, making the elite field the smallest among golf’s majors.
But it’s more than that as well.
The Masters and Augusta National Golf Club where it’s played is where the best golfers in the world make history. It’s the place where their careers are defined.
Golfers who win a green jacket are remembered. Theirs are the names forever etched in the game’s annals.
Plus, those who don’t win often spend a lifetime chasing Masters’ glory and become completely consumed by it.
It is far and away the biggest golf tournament in any year. And this year it’s even bigger, with anyone in New Jersey now legally able to bet on the Masters for the first time.
With the Masters set to tee off on Thursday, we look back at some of its biggest moments. It’s the upsets that have had a major impact on the game’s history and should help you see that when it comes to laying down a bet on the Masters in 2019, anything can and will happen in golf’s greatest event.
5. Danny Willett – 2016
The Masters has been around since 1934, but one of the biggest upsets in the event’s history happened just three seasons ago.
Defending champion Jordan Spieth held a five-shot lead with six holes to play and looked like a sure thing to win back-to-back green jackets.
Then he suddenly faltered, and the UK’s Danny Willett was there to fill the void, making three birdies over the final six holes to shock the world and become just the second-ever English player to win the Masters.
4. Charl Schwartzel – 2011
Rory McIlroy had a four-shot lead to start the final round Sunday at the 2011 Masters.
South African Charl Schwartzel erased that early on but slipped back to second as the final round wore on. Then Schwartzel birdied the final four holes to come back and win the green jacket, becoming the first in Masters’ history to accomplish such a feat.
Nobody was betting on Schwartzel to win it, and he proved everyone wrong with a historic finish.
3. Jack Nicklaus – 1986
It’s hard to call a Master win for the man who has won more green jackets than anyone else an upset. But that’s exactly what it was in 1986 when golfing legend Jack Nicklaus won his sixth Masters’ title.
He was 46 at the time and really finishing up the back nine of his career.
Then Nicklaus shot a 7-under 65 in the final round, including just 30 strokes on the back nine to deny Seve Ballesteros a third green jacket and cement his legacy as one of golf’s greatest.
2. Larry Mize – 1987
Aussie Greg Norman secured a spot in a playoff with two-time green jacket winner Ballesteros and Augusta, GA, native Larry Mize.
Mize was clearly the underdog of the three, and when Ballesteros went out after the first hole of the sudden-death playoff, it was Norman’s tournament to win.
Then, on the second playoff hole, Mize ended it all, chipping it in for a birdie from the fairway some 140 feet away.
Norman was sadly denied as the local boy made good with the shot of a lifetime. A shot that made Mize’s win arguably one of the biggest upset ever at the Masters.
1. Nick Faldo – 1996
Norman had already claimed two major titles in his career. He looked like a lock to win his first green jacket with a six-shot lead over two-time Masters’ winner Nick Faldo heading into Sunday’s final round in 1996.
It was as if the sudden-death playoff loss in 1987 never happened.
Then Norman completely collapsed. He shot a 6-over 78 on Sunday while Faldo pulled off a 5-under 67 to win his third green jacket.
Norman had previously admitted to being obsessed with winning the Masters. The pain of this loss was written all over his face at the time.
Many consider this moment golf’s most spectacular meltdown and certainly the biggest upset ever at the Masters.
Longshots to consider at NJ online sportsbooks
Keeping all of that in mind, let’s consider whether the favorite bet should be replaced with a longshot bet in your decision making before tomorrow.
Here are a few longshot bets at the Masters to perhaps add to that bet slip (odds via FanDuel Sportsbook as of April 10):
|Golfer||FanDuel odds to win|