The Most Extraordinary Method For Picking Winners of The Masters

Everybody wants to figure out who’s going to win the Masters before it happens, mainly because they want to place a bet with friends or in the office pool or with a wagering company, now legal in many US locations. 
Bryson DeChambeau - The Masters
Bryson DeChambeau - The Masters / Warren Little/GettyImages

One company has come up with some amazing statistics, oddball facts, and downright crazy criteria that define past Masters winners. Will that predict the next winner?  Nobody knows until Sunday evening. Hopefully, Sunday evening, weather permitting.

All this data can be found at a website called SportsHandle.

Admittedly it's a little crazy. For instance, Winners most often have first names that begin with the letter B. That’s like Ben Crenshaw, Ben Hogan, Billy Casper, Bob Goalby, Bubba Watson and Byron Nelson. Even though Bubba is a nickname, it counts. They calculate that the letter B counts for 12.5 percent of all the winners since 1934. 

The next most often first letter for winners is a tie between C and J. Think Cary Middlecoff, Claude Harmon, Craig Stadler, Craig Wood, Charles Coody, and Charl Schwartzel for the C’s. For the J’s you don’t have to go farther than the defending champion, Jon Rahm. But then there’s also Jose Olazabal, Jordan Spieth, Jack Nicklaus, Jimmy Demaret, and Jack Burke.

Now the odd thing about this is that they don’t count multiple victories, which is a shame because that would throw the whole thing into a completely different result. Jack Nicklaus, for instance, is almost his own category with six victories. Nicklaus plus Tiger Woods, that’s 11 titles.  

And what would happen if last names were used instead of first names? The letter S has seven champions with last names starting with that letter. Horton Smith, Gene Sarazen, Sam Snead, Craig Stadler, Charl Schwartzel, Adam Scott, Jordan Spieth and Scottie Scheffler. That’s eight players, making it a higher total than the Bs. 

The age of the winners is interesting. 

The average age of the Masters winner is 32 years old.

But recently, they’ve been younger. Jon Rahm was 29, Scottie Scheffler, 26, Hideki Matsuyama, 29. Dustin Johnson, though, was older, 36.  

Nobody predicts things like Jack Nicklaus winning at 46. Phil Mickelson was not quite 34 when he won the Masters for the first time.

If you like birthday months, the winners born in February and November were tied with the most victories. If you prefer astrological signs, watch out for Pisces ( Feb. 19th to March 20), the leader, followed by Cancer (June 21 – July 22) and then Virgo (August 23 – September 22).   

If you want to pick a state, hopefully, you like Texas, because it has 9 Masters champs, followed by California with 5. There was no mention of Ohio, but if it's like the initial names, they don't count Nicklaus and Ohio for 6. They give him only one.

Green jackets fit all height categories with George Archer at 6ft 5.5 inches being the tallest and Ian Woosnam at 5ft 4.5 inches being the “least tall.”

The one that has added value for friends of the late sportswriter Dan Jenkins is hat color because apparently 39.3% of the winners, that’s 24 of them, wore white hats while 24.6% of the winners, or 15 of them wore black hats. Jenkins used to say Greg Norman never won wearing a black hat. He may have been right because when it came to golf, he knew his stuff.   

However, the hat color thing was complicated by the fact that the survey committee couldn’t find color photos of winners before 1963. 

In the logo wars, most golfers today will be able to guess which logo was worn most often by Masters champs.  It is Nike, thanks to Tiger Woods and others, including Scottie Scheffler, who do or did sport that brand. Most people will miss the second-place logo, however. It’s Lacoste.

Now, taking all this into consideration, if you can find someone whose first name begins with the letter B who is about 32 years old, from Texas, born in late February or early March, you are well on your way to picking the eventual winner!

Just looking at the B names, the choice is Bubba Watson, Brooks Koepka, Brian Harman, Bryson DeChambeau, and Byeong Hun An. If the winner comes from that list, it will be the most amazingly ridiculous way ever to gauge the next green jacket wearer at the Masters.

Next. Tiger and company on Augusta National changes. Tiger and company on Augusta National changes. light

No place in the analysis is there room for Rory McIlroy. And it would also leave out names like Seve Ballesteros, Nick Faldo, Adam Scott, Fred Couples, Augusta's own Larry Mize, and numerous others. So use this method at your peril!