Phil Mickelson didn’t need a bogey-free final round to win The Masters in 2006. On the 18th green at Augusta National, Mickelson, at 8-under, needed a double bogey to earn a one-stroke win over Tim Clark, the leader in the clubhouse at 5-under.
Mickelson didn’t need and didn’t get the bogey-free round, bogeying the par-4 18th, but he did get a second straight major championship win and a second green jacket in three years. That was the last Masters win for a golfer who opened the tournament with odds better than +1000.
Tiger Woods held off David Duval with a final-round 68 in 2001 to win his second Masters. Three days earlier, Woods opened the tournament as the betting favorite at +150, as he did before winning the 2002 Masters (+200) and 2005 Masters (+350), giving him three wins as the betting favorite over five years. Over the last 20 years, Mickelson is the only other golfer to win after opening with triple-digit plus-odds, a run that continued with Dustin Johnson’s victory last year.
In search of his first green jacket after four previous top-10 finishes, Johnson sat behind only Bryson DeChambeau entering last year’s tournament. While he floated around +800 and +900 for several weeks before the first-ever November Masters, he closed at +1000. And with his five-stroke victory, Johnson became the 14th straight winner who opened at +1000 odds or worse.
Masters odds for the last 20 winners:
Now attempting to become the first back-to-back champion since Woods in 2001 and 2002, Johnson is the Masters betting favorite. And at +900, Johnson is the only golfer with odds better than +1000. As of Wednesday night, Johnson led Justin Thomas (+1000), Bryson DeChambeau (+1100), Jon Rahm (+1100), Jordan Spieth (+1100), and 83 others.
“He doesn’t live in the past,” Johnson’s agent Danny Winkle told ESPN. “He lives in the present and the future. He doesn’t spend one second of his time worrying about things he can’t control, and things in the past certainly fall into that category. You can’t change things that have already happened.”
That’s good because one piece of history isn’t on Dustin Johnson’s side this weekend at Augusta.
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Andrew Doughty is a writer for BetMGM and host of High Motor by BetMGM, an NFL and college football podcast available on Apple Podcasts and everywhere else. He has written for Sports Illustrated, HERO Sports, Bleacher Report, and SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter: @DoughtyBetMGM