The Masters is by far the biggest golf tournament on the PGA calendar each year. That means that winning has a major impact on the golfer who comes out on top. If they are already a star then their legacy and reputation will be enhanced, and they will be even more popular in the eyes of fans and bettors. If they have not won majors or high profile tournaments before, though, then they are going to be thrust into a whole new level of stardom and attention. In an instant they have become household names – at least for a while. Some winners will experience an entirely different competitive experience – they no longer need to worry about struggling to qualify for the biggest events each year.
Whatever the status of the golfer’s career before his Masters win you can be sure that there will be a big impact on that career because of the win. Bettors need to get a good sense of what that impact is going to be. The public will assume that the golfer will continue their hot streak and will enhance their opinion of the golfer because of the win. If you can have a more accurate opinion of what impact the win is likely to have then you can be well positioned to find nice value – especially if the impact is likely to be different than the public expects. Here are four factors to consider when looking at the impact of a Masters win on a golfer:
What have they won before? – Unless they have won the Masters before this will be by far the biggest win of their career. The more events, and the more higher profile ones, that they have won in the past, though, the better idea they will have of the pressure they will face and the challenges of maintaining focus. If the Masters was the first career win for a golfer then he’s in for a very rough ride, and it would be hard to trust him in the short term as he is overrun by attention. On the other end of the spectrum, if he has not won a Masters before but has won several tournaments and other majors then he’s likely to handle the win reasonably well, and the impact will be far less.
Was it a totally unexpected win? – When you head into the Masters every year the analysts and writers will come out with all sorts of lists about who the contenders are. You can fit the field into two basic groups – those that show up on those lists, and those that don’t. By the nature of the tournament, though, it is certainly possible for the winner to be someone that wasn’t talked about as a potential winner by anyone, and who was seen as a longshot heading into the tournament. The more of a longshot the golfer is the harder it might be for him to deal with the attention because he certainly wouldn’t have been expecting it, and he likely isn’t used to getting much attention from week to week.
How visible are they after the win? – The more demands for his time a golfer faces after a win the harder it is going to be for him to focus and perform up to the expectations that are on him as a result of the win. There are many factors that can contribute to the visibility of the golfer after the win. If he was popular before – a guy on the rise, or an established star – then he’ll be even more popular now. If he has a particularly compelling story that the public will be attracted to then he’ll get attention. If he is a particularly charismatic guy then he’ll become a star. If he comes from a country that hasn’t had a lot of golf success then he’ll be heavily in demand back at home. When Mike Weir won his Masters, for example, he was instantly vaulted into superstardom in Canada.
What is their short term schedule? – Some guys set up their schedule to take some time off after big events like the Majors, while others roll right into their next event. These schedules are set before the golfer knows he is a new Masters winner. The more time he has off before his next tournament, the less the impact will be. He’ll have time to deal with the demands on his time without having to try to play as well. You can also look at whether the golfer changes his schedule at all. The more he changes his schedule in the weeks following the Masters, the more likely it is that he is feeling strain from the win, and the more impact it is likely to have when he does return.