Which players with Masters invites have played best in the year’s first two majors?
The 2020 majors season has been so confused that it’s hard to think in terms of which player deserves consideration as “champion” of that portion of the schedule.
After all, one of the four majors – the British Open – isn’t even being played this year. Two of the others – the US Open and November’s Masters – have been moved to the 2020-21 portion of the golf calendar. So from the Tour’s standpoint, they’re not even 2020 events.
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Still, recognizing the player who has performed best in the majors is such an honor that it deserves not to be overlooked.
With completion of the US Open, a total of 27 players merit consideration for the honor. Those 27 made the cut at both the PGA and the US Open, and have invitations into the Masters field.
That group, by the way excludes some huge names, among them PGA champion Collin Morikawa, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Brooks Koepka. Morikawa, Woods and Mickelson all missed the Open cut, and Koepka did not compete due to physical issues.
This list of the 10 2020 major season “leaders” entering the Masters is based on the sum of the standard deviations of their finishes in the PGA and US Open.
10. Jason Day, -1.33. Day tied for third at the PGA, and for 38th at the Open.
9. Jon Rahm, -1.35. Rahm tied for 13th at the PGA, and tied for 23rd at the U.S. Open.
8. Louis Oosthuizen. -1.60. The South African tied for 33rd at Harding Park and finished solo third at Winged Foot.
7. Patrick Reed, -1.84. The leader midway through the third round of the Open has been a model of major consistency. He tied for 13th at both the PGA nd US Open. If you are into prop bets, lay a buck on Reed to tie for 13th at Augusta National.
6. Paul Casey, -2.52. The top six on this list have stood out from all the others. Casey finished second to Morikawa at the PGA, and tied for 17th at the Open.
5. Xander Schauffele, -2.54. The top five players on this list all were top 10 in both majors to date. Schauffele tied for 10th at the PGA and finished fifth at the Open.
4. Tony Finau, -2.63. Finau tied for third at the PGA, and tied for eighth at the US Open.
3. Dustin Johnson, -3.01. Johnson has disappointed some of his fans by failing to win either major. But he’s been in contention, coming home in a tie for third at Harding Park and in a tie for sixth at Winged Foot.
2. Matthew Wolff, -3.61. Wolff may not have beaten Bryson deChambeau Sunday, but his major season shouldn’t be overlooked. He tied for third at the PGA and was solo second at the US Open.
1. Bryson deChambeau, -4.58. DeChambeau and Wolff are the only two players to claim top five finishes in both majors this calendar year. Prior to winning the Open, DeChambeau tied for third at Harding Park. That gives him the inside track on the honor of “major champion” for calendar year 2020.
For the record, the other 17 Masters invitees who have made the cut at both the PGA and US Open are: Abraham Ancer, Patrick Cantlay, Lanto Griffin, Adam Hadwin, Billy Horschel, Shane Lowry, Hideki Matsuyama, Rory McIlroy, Erick van Rooyan, Adam Scott, Webb Simpson, Cameron Smith, Justin Thomas, Brendon Todd, Matthew Wallace, Bubba Watson, and Bernd Wiesberger