Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Masters odds


2024 Masters odds, picks, daily fantasy: Xander Schauffele, Viktor Hovland among best bets

PALM HARBOR, FLORIDA - MARCH 21: Xander Schauffele of the United States plays his shot from the 14th tee during the first round of the Valspar Championship at Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club on March 21, 2024 in Palm Harbor, Florida. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)
By Dennis Esser
Apr 9, 2024


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Masters week is here, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. This past weekend, the sports world was blessed with exciting college basketball in both tournaments, and in the golf world, there was a playoff on both the PGA Tour and LIV Golf Tour.

The Masters brings so much excitement to not just golf fans, but the average sports fan as well. The first major championship of the season coming right after March Madness brings all the focus in the sports world to Augusta, Ga. This year’s tournament looks to be as strong as ever with Scottie Scheffler being back on top of his entire game and LIV Golf’s Jon Rahm coming back to defend his 2023 tournament win. Even the Masters rookies look stronger than most years, as Wyndham Clark has already won a major championship, and Ludvig Åberg is inside the top 10 in the world rankings.

Those teeing it up at this year’s Masters will be facing a lengthened golf course that will be wet on Thursday and possibly early on Friday as well. Rain is forecast for Wednesday night, and rain and thunderstorms for Thursday.

Here’s how I make my picks in this scenario: My model for the Masters focuses on strokes gained tee to green, driving distance, strokes gained around the green, strokes gained at Augusta National, birdie percentage, bounceback percentage, and double bogey avoidance.

Today we’ve got Masters odds, best bets, daily fantasy picks and one and dones. Stay tuned for sleepers and prop bets tomorrow.

Course information

Course: Augusta National Golf Club — Augusta, Ga.

Designed by: Alister MacKenzie

Par: 72

Yardage: 7,545 yards

Average green size: 6,486 square feet

Features: The tee boxes and fairways feature Bermuda grass that is overseeded with rye grass in the fall. The greens are very large and feature bent grass. The fairways are large with elevation changes as well as undulations throughout. The rough is kept short, which allows wayward tee shots to find the pine straw that sits beneath the trees that line many of the fairways. The back nine has water in play on five of the nine holes.

Past champions: Jon Rahm 2023, Scottie Scheffler 2022, Hideki Matsuyama 2021, Dustin Johnson 2020, Tiger Woods 2019, Patrick Reed 2018, Sergio Garcia 2017, Danny Willett 2016, Jordan Spieth 2015

Odds are from BetMGM and update live.

Best bets

Xander Schauffele +1800 comes into the 2024 Masters in some of the best form of his career. He has three top-five finishes in his last four starts. He has gained over 2.5 strokes with his driver in each of his last four tournaments. He has two top-three finishes in the last five years at the Masters, with one missed cut in 2022. His current stat profile looks a lot like it did in 2019 when he finished T2. Schauffele has struggled to win when in contention, but a big win is coming, and I think it could be this week.

Joaquín Niemann +2500 is in the conversation for being the second-best golfer in the world despite his OWGR ranking. He has two wins on the year, coming at LIV Golf Mayakoba and at LIV Golf Jeddah and hasn’t finished outside of the top 10 since mid-February. Now that I can see the strokes gained statistics from LIV Golf, I can’t ignore the ball-striking form of Niemann. He has gained over 1.2 strokes off the tee in three straight tournaments while gaining over 11 strokes combined on approach in that same time frame. He has finished better each of the last three years at the Masters, with a T16 last year being his best finish. He gained over 5.2 strokes off the tee last year at Augusta National.

Viktor Hovland +3500 was in the conversation for the second-best golfer in the world as recently as last November. He was coming off of a T2 at the DP World Tour Championship and seemed to have figured out his short-game issues. He then lost over eight strokes combined in his next three tournaments on approach and started a downward trend with his around the green game that culminated in losing almost seven strokes around the green at the Players Championship. He hasn’t teed it up since then and his odds are the best they have been to win here since before he won the Tour Championship at the end of the 2023 season. I like that he has continued to be almost elite with his driver even while he struggled with parts of his game. He gained strokes across the board here on his way to a T7 last year and he has gained over 2.7 strokes with the putter in each of his last two tournaments here.

Matt Fitzpatrick +4500 was killing it at the end of 2023, culminating in a win at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. He has been inconsistent since then, and more concerning, he has struggled with his driver, which had become a weapon. They may have found the issue, as Fitzpatrick has back-to-back top-10 finishes at the Players Championship and the Valero Texas Open. He has two straight top-14 finishes here, and he loves to hit the driver at Augusta as he has gained over three strokes off the tee in three straight Masters tournaments. He gained over three strokes on approach on Sunday at the Valero, so I hope he can keep that feel this week.

Cameron Young +5500 was back to being dominant with his driver early in 2024. He gained over 3.8 strokes off the tee at the Dubai Desert Classic, WM Phoenix Open and the Genesis Invitational. He wasn’t quite as good at the Arnold Palmer Invitational or the Players Championship; his finishes were below the top 35 despite gaining over 10 strokes on approach for those two weeks. He needs to be hitting his driver very well, and at Valspar he got back to his mashing ways, gaining almost five strokes off the tee for the week. He finished T7 here last year gaining over 6.6 strokes off the tee.


Scottie Scheffler $12,100 comes into the Masters as the best golfer in the world by a wide margin. He struggled with his putter through most of 2023 and the early part of 2024, but found his way ever since switching to a mallet putter at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He has two wins and a T2 since that switch and this DFS price should be higher based on his win odds and the fact that he has won here already. He is going to be highly owned and for good reason. I have a hard time not seeing him being in contention on the back nine on Sunday unless the putter completely abandons him.

Jon Rahm $11,200 has the perfect off the tee game for the Masters. He controls his fade with power and precision and hasn’t lost that while joining LIV Golf. He has gained over two strokes off the tee in every tournament while finishing no lower than eighth. He has great hands around the green, and his only hiccup at this price is that he hasn’t gained over two strokes on approach in any tournament since joining LIV. He has the added responsibility of being the defending champion this week and will be facing a ton of questions over the state of golf overall, so I could see some of that weighing him down a bit. I still think by the weekend he will be high on the leaderboard, but I won’t be playing him as heavily as most people. He has gained over 4.2 strokes off the tee in four of his last five Masters tournaments, but he has only gained more than two strokes on approach once, and that was his win last year.

Rory McIlroy $10,800 was dominant on the DP World Tour in January with a T2 and a win in Dubai, but struggled to keep up that momentum when he came back to the PGA Tour. His iron play has been inconsistent until the last two weeks, when he gained over 11.5 strokes on approach combined at The Players Championship and the Valero Texas Open. He wasn’t quite as dominant off the tee either week and will need to fix that this week to finally finish the career grand slam. He has seven top-10 finishes here in the last 10 years. He missed the cut twice in the last four years but finished top five the other two years. Fade McIlroy at your own risk.

Brooks Koepka $10,200 comes into this week in poor form, with his iron play in particular. I know we always throw out his numbers when it comes to a major, but I’m having a hard time looking past his iron play, as well as the fact that he has lost over 3.3 strokes putting in two straight coming here. He lost over five strokes on approach at LIV Miami and hasn’t been nearly as good since mid-February at LIV Mayakoba. He has two second-place finishes here and looked to be in line to win his first Masters before folding down the stretch on Sunday last year. I’m out on Koepka this year, but I won’t begrudge you for ignoring me.

Wyndham Clark $10,000 is teeing it up at the Masters for the first time, which will keep his ownership percentage low. His game is almost ideal for Augusta National Golf Club. He is long off the tee with a big power fade and has shown he has excellent hands around the green. He finished second to Scheffler two weeks in a row in Florida and only a slight back injury kept him from playing better in Houston. I’m not sure this is the year for Clark because it’s his first trip, but I will be overweight as a game theory play because Schauffele and McIlroy will be heavily owned. The only issue I see in his game is his proximity numbers from 200 to 225 yards.

Xander Schauffele $9,900 See above.

Joaquín Niemann $9,600 See above.

Viktor Hovland $9,500 See above.

Ludvig Åberg $9,100 might be an even better fit for Augusta National as a rookie than Clark. He is coming off of back-to-back top-14 finishes while losing over three strokes combined with the putter those weeks. He has gained over 20 strokes ball striking combined in that time frame and is a dominant force off the tee at just 24 years old. The last first-time Masters player to win at Augusta was Fuzzy Zoeller, and I don’t think Åberg is going to break that streak, but I can see him contending on the weekend and being a decent pivot from the heavily-owned Matsuyama.

Hideki Matsuyama $9,000 is in the middle of a great run of form and is a former Masters winner just to add to his appeal. He has gained over 18 strokes ball striking combined in his last two tournaments. The only issue I see is that he has lost his alignment on his putts and it has led to him losing over four strokes combined on the greens the last two weeks. He is coming off of back-to-back top-seven finishes and won at the Genesis Invitational, so trying to talk you into fading him at this relatively low price is going to be hard, but I would watch his ownership projection if I was only playing a few lineups and would try not to touch 25 percent.

Cameron Smith $8,900 had to withdraw from LIV Miami with an illness that wasn’t from cutting his signature mullet off. He had his best finish with LIV in Hong Kong with a second-place finish since his win at LIV Golf Bedminster last June. His driver will always be erratic, but here he doesn’t get hurt quite as badly as at other places. His elite play around and on the green keep him from making big numbers even if he ends up behind a tree once in a while. If he can hit his irons like he did at Hong Kong, where he gained over 3.7 strokes on approach, we could be talking about Smith contending at Augusta again. He has three top-five finishes in the last six years. Another great pivot from Matsuyama.

Dustin Johnson $8,800 won the 2020 Masters in November with a record performance that will probably never be duplicated. He is still good off the tee while playing on the LIV Golf Tour, but I wouldn’t say he is near his elite level. He also hasn’t gained over 2.5 strokes on approach since his win at LIV Vegas in February and has struggled around the green for much of the year.

Justin Thomas $8,700 split from Bones Mackay just before this tournament. I thought the timing was a little odd after struggling for most of 2023 and then bouncing back in the fall and the early part of 2024. He had six top-12 finishes with four of them being top-six finishes before missing the cut at the Players Championship. He has scuffled a bit with the driver since the Genesis Invitational, but more concerning is that he lost over seven strokes combined with the putter in his last two tournaments. He has two top-eight finishes here, but he has never gotten comfortable off the tee here. His price is low, but I am looking elsewhere.

Tony Finau $8,600 was a balky putter away from winning in Houston again. He gained over five strokes off the tee for the week and comes in priced in a spot that is a go for me despite his struggles with the putter. He has three top-10s here, and he has gained over 2.3 strokes off the tee three times in his last six trips to Augusta National.

Cameron Young $8,500 See above.

Bryson DeChambeau $8,200 has four straight top nine finishes on the LIV Golf Tour after winning twice in individual tournaments in 2023 on the LIV tour. He has struggled at the Masters ever since he said it was a par 68 for a player with his length. I don’t think we can overlook him this week, even if it is fun to root against him sometimes. He gained over 6.2 strokes off the tee at LIV Miami and seems more mature in the last year. The thing that scares me is that he has lost over 2.4 strokes around the green in each of his last four trips here. Maybe the one-length club system is just not good for this particular golf course.

Shane Lowry $8,000 comes into this year’s Masters in fine form. He has gained over 2.8 strokes off the tee while gaining over nine strokes combined on approach in each of his last two PGA Tour tournaments. He has four straight top-25 finishes here and absolutely loves playing in front of this crowd.

Matt Fitzpatrick $7,900 See above.

Sahith Theegala $7,700 has gained strokes off the tee in five straight tournaments while finishing top nine in three of them. He has gained over 3.1 strokes on approach in each of his last two tournaments. He gained strokes across the board in his first trip to the Masters last year, finishing ninth. His game is like Jordan Spieth’s to a certain degree, and Spieth has thrived here.

Tyrrell Hatton $7,600 is priced too low to ignore, even if he hasn’t had the best results in Augusta. He has four top-15 finishes on the LIV tour since making the jump in January. His best finish came this past week in Miami, where he finished T4, gaining over 5.1 strokes on approach. He is still one of the funniest live mic players in the world as was seen with a recent wayward tee shot. He hasn’t had a good Sunday at the Masters since 2021, when he had his best finish — a T18. Hatton, Patrick Reed, Russell Henley and Si Woo Kim will be my heaviest-owned $7K-range players, with Hatton being the least of the four.

Corey Conners $7,500 continues to be himself. He hits the cover off the ball with his irons gaining over 2.9 strokes on approach in five straight tournaments while struggling with his putter. He lost over 1.7 strokes with his putter in four of his last five tournaments. He had three straight top 10s here before missing the cut in 2023. He lost over 5.4 strokes around the green in two days. I expect him to bounce back from that this year, but I don’t see him contending with his current confidence on the greens.

Patrick Reed $7,400 has two straight top-nine finishes on the LIV tour and has shown his great hands around the green. The 2018 Masters winner has three top-10 finishes here in the last four years. It’s going to be hard not to play him at this price.

Akshay Bhatia $7,200 dramatically won the Valero Texas Open in a playoff over Denny McCarthy. That earned him his Masters’ invite and made him the first Drive, Pitch, and Putt contestant to earn an invite to the Masters as a professional. He injured his shoulder fist-pumping his made putt to force a playoff and needed to be taped up before hitting a wedge from 85 yards to within eight feet on the playoff hole. I was hoping he would come in priced below $7,000, but you can’t ignore his current ball-striking form and the fact that he’s a lefty. He has gained strokes off the tee in 11 straight tournaments while gaining over 15 strokes combined on approach in his last two.

Russell Henley $7,200 has three top-four finishes on the PGA Tour since January, with two coming in his last three starts. He is putting better than he has in a long time while continuing to be an excellent ball-striker. If he is going to contend, he will need his wedge game to be great, as he will give away a ton of distance to the top players. He did finish T4 here last year and is priced too low when you consider his form.

Si Woo Kim $7,100 is driving the ball so well in 2024, and he has gained over nine strokes combined on approach in his last three tournaments. He has made the cut six straight times with three top-25 finishes. He has only lost strokes with the putter once in that time.

Nick Taylor $7,000 has missed the cut once since the Open Championship in July. He has a win under his belt at the WM Phoenix Open and has contended at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Sony Open. He finished T29 in his one trip here. He will struggle off the tee here and isn’t quite as good around the green as I would want, but he’s cheap.

Sergio Garcia $6,800 is playing better from tee to green than I expected. He was excellent at LIV Golf Miami, gaining over 6.2 strokes ball-striking, and he actually looks like he got comfortable with a new putter. He gained over five strokes on the green. He has missed the cut at the Masters in four out of his last five tournaments since he won in 2017, but I have to admit I like him at this price.

Tiger Woods $6,800 can’t be trusted to finish this tournament and shouldn’t be in your plans. If he does make the cut and can get through the tournament without injuring himself or suffering from a mysterious flu, then kudos to the fans who played him.

Adrian Meronk $6,500 has a game that fits Augusta National nicely. He is long off the tee and has four straight top-17 finishes on the LIV tour despite struggling a bit with his driver at Jeddah. He has gained strokes on approach in four straight, and he has gained over 10 strokes combined with his putter in that same time frame.

Kurt Kitayama $6,400 missed the cut in his first Masters appearance, but he has a very nice game for this golf course. He is long off the tee and makes birdies in bunches. He struggles a bit around the green, which is the only thing I don’t like about his game and how it fits here. He has gained over five strokes combined off the tee in his last two tournaments while gaining over three strokes on approach in each of those tournaments.

Austin Eckroat $6,400 has gained more than 5.2 strokes tee to green in four out of his last five tournaments. He has gained 2.9 or more strokes off the tee in three out of his last four tournaments.

Taylor Moore $6,400 has gained almost 10 strokes combined around the green in his last three tournaments. He has made 14 straight cuts and finished T2 at the Houston Open. He finished T39 here last year in his first try, and will be heavily owned at this price.

Gary Woodland $6,400 gained over 8.8 strokes on approach and over 12 strokes tee to green at the Houston Open. He continues on his journey recovering from brain surgery and is only being held back by a terrible streak of putting. He finished T14 here last year in his best finish since 2014.

Ryo Hisatsune $6,300 has the short game that could surprise this week. This is his first trip to the Masters, so I wouldn’t go all in on him, but a flier may pay off in a GPP if he gets hot with the putter.

Denny McCarthy $6,200 is playing the Masters for the first time and is coming off of a devastating loss in a playoff to Bhatia. He had a magnificent back nine and made a putt on 18 that would have crushed most golfers, but Bhatia rose to the occasion. McCarthy got distracted by a bug on his ball and flubbed a wedge into the hazard, and that was all she wrote. McCarthy’s price was set before he played his way into a playoff, and that gives us quite a discount. His ownership number will be high but don’t try to fade him with the way he is playing right now.

One and done

Each week, we will pick in reverse order of the standings, and we can’t duplicate picks in the same week. Reference this spreadsheet tracking who we have used.


Brody Miller: $5,740,592.83
Hugh Kellenberger: $3,692,699.13
Dennis Esser: $1,776,619

Dennis Esser: While Alex Noren made a cut for me this past week (on the number!), he couldn’t keep up his Saturday momentum, and I have fallen further back in the standings. I was looking hard at the LIV Golf guys this week but I decided to take Xander Schauffele. His form in all aspects of his game is the best it has been in a long time.

Hugh Kellenberger: Like Dennis, I’m looking for value by looking at the LIV ranks this week. Unlike Dennis, I’ll pull the trigger on a LIV player. Jon Rahm comes into this Masters undoubtedly yearning to remind everyone how good he is, and that gives him unique motivation for a returning champion.

Brody Miller: With Hugh taking Rahm, I just don’t feel good enough about the other LIV guys, even if I want to use them. Niemann hasn’t proven it in majors. Koepka hasn’t looked good lately. And DeChambeau hasn’t done well at Augusta. So, after all that, I’m taking the 2021 champ Hideki Matsuyama, who is killing it this year.

(Photo of Xander Schauffele: Douglas P. DeFelice / Getty Images)

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Dennis Esser is a contributor to The Athletic, covering golf through the lens of sports betting and fantasy sports. A resident of New Jersey, Dennis' writing has appeared in numerous fantasy and betting outlets.

Huey Lewis


The New York Times
The Great Read
April 10, 2024, 2:01 p.m. Eastern time

On weekdays and Sundays, we recommend one piece of exceptional writing from The Times — a narrative or essay that takes you someplace you might not expect to go.

A portrait of a man who is wearing a blue suit and who is glimpsed between two glasses while sitting at a table.

Peter Fisher for The New York Times

Huey Lewis Lost His Hearing. That Didn’t Stop Him From Making a Musical.

“The Heart of Rock and Roll,” a Broadway show built around the songs of Huey Lewis and the News, has given the singer a reason to “get out of bed.”

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Huey Lewis Lost His Hearing. That Didn’t Stop Him From Making a Musical.

“The Heart of Rock and Roll,” a Broadway show built around the songs of Huey Lewis and the News, has given the singer a reason to “get out of bed.”

On a table with a white tablecloth, pink peonies and red coffee cups and saucers, a man’s reflection can be seen in a mirror that is sitting in the center of the table.
“To see the songs take on this other life,” Huey Lewis said of his new musical, “it’s like seeing your children grow up and get a job.”Credit...Peter Fisher for The New York Times

After Huey Lewis learned that a syndrome of the inner ear called Ménière’s disease had caused him significant hearing loss and left him unable to play or hear music, he faced the difficult task of having to tell his friends and peers.

Lewis, whose wry lyrics and rumbling vocals powered Reagan-era pop hits like “I Want a New Drug” and “If This Is It,” turned to people like Tico Torres, the longtime Bon Jovi drummer, whom he’d gotten to know on golfing trips. But their conversation proved to be an unexpected source of the pragmatic philosophy that Lewis built his career on.

Over a breakfast interview last month, Lewis delivered a lively, solo re-enactment of that fateful talk with Torres.

“He goes, ‘Hey, Huey, how ya doing?’” Lewis recalled. “I say, ‘Tico, it’s not good.’ And I begin to explain. I said, ‘I’ve lost my hearing and I can’t hear pitch. I can’t sing.’”

“I’m telling him the whole story and he’s going like this” — here, Lewis lowered his head, furrowed his bushy brows over his eyeglasses and shook his head in dismay. Slipping into an imitation of Torres’s New Jersey accent, Lewis said, “When I finish, he goes, ‘Whaddaya gonna do?’”

Three people are standing together in front of a blue curtain and posing for photographs.
Lewis, center, flanked by the show’s director, Gordon Greenberg, and its choreographer, Lorin Latarro, at a special presentation before the musical began performances at the James Earl Jones Theater.Credit...Peter Fisher for The New York Times

“So that’s my mantra,” Lewis continued. “What are you going to do? Really, it’s a pretty good question. I don’t know. Still working on it.”

Lewis had already halted his performing career before he went public with his diagnosis in 2020. But while his relationship to his art has fundamentally changed, he has continued to work on a new Broadway musical, “The Heart of Rock and Roll,” which is built around many of the songs he made famous with Huey Lewis and the News.

The musical, which opens on April 22 at the James Earl Jones Theater, spins Lewis’s tunes like “Hip to Be Square,” “Workin’ for a Livin’” and the title track into a fictional story set in the 1980s about a couple (played by Corey Cott and McKenzie Kurtz) torn between pop-star ambitions and corporate opportunities.

It is a project more than a decade in the making, one that began before Lewis learned about the disease that has upended his life and given the musical an unexpected sense of urgency.

As Lewis, 73, explained, “Zen Buddhists say you need three things: Something to love, something to hope for and something to do.”

“I got plenty to love,” he continued. “So this is my hope-for and my to-do. It keeps me from reflecting on my [expletive] hearing.”

A gregarious, exuberant storyteller, Lewis will readily regale a listener with tales from his picaresque career, like his formative days in Clover, a Bay Area band that arrived in London just in time to see their country-rock sound become swept away by the punk movement; or the hours he spent driving to set with Robert Altman when Lewis played a role in the filmmaker’s 1993 ensemble comedy-drama “Short Cuts.”

A man in a blue shirt is singing to an audience while ensemble members look on in the background.
Corey Cott, above, stars as Bobby in “The Heart of Rock and Roll,” about a rocker at heart who has taken a corporate job.Credit...Peter Fisher for The New York Times

Recalling some of Altman’s advice, Lewis said, “He told me, ‘Learn the script. Read it every day. Find your character to the point where you know what he had for breakfast. And then don’t listen to anybody.’”

Lewis’s fellow musicians describe him as dedicated and reliable, which comes across in Bao Nguyen’s documentary “The Greatest Night in Pop,” about the making of the 1985 all-star charity song “We Are the World.”

In response to email questions, Lionel Richie recalled Lewis coming onto the project at the last minute, taking over a part that had been written for Prince.

Even so, Richie said, “I remember him eagerly jumping in with confidence and patience.”

“The Huey we saw in the documentary all those years ago is the same Huey we see today,” Richie added. “Fast forward to the night of the documentary premiere — he was still a nervous wreck over that night while watching the screening! His humor, his compassion and his welcoming spirit are just a few of the things that haven’t changed since the day I met him.”

In person, Lewis can hear well enough to conduct face-to-face conversations. He sometimes uses a discreet, disc-shaped listening device, which broadcasts wirelessly to a hearing aid in his ear.

But when he is in group settings, Lewis said, it can feel as though he is “in a cocoon.”

“I sit there like this,” he said, pretending to nod and smile at nothing in particular. “Can’t hear a thing.”

Lewis is also candid in talking about the despair he felt after learning that he might never be able to perform music again. Though he had experienced hearing loss in his right ear since the 1980s, he said the hearing in his left ear became suddenly and significantly distorted before a show in Dallas in January 2018.

“I’m mainly a half-full guy,” Lewis said, but what followed were “the most miserable six months of my life.”

“I contemplated my demise,” he said. “I laid in bed. I tried acupuncture, cranial massage, chiropractors, all-organic diet.” No matter which doctors he spoke to or which cures he tried, Lewis said they all yielded the same results: “Nothing.”

A wall is covered with photographs of iconic 1980s cultural touchstones, like images of a yellow Walkman, a poster for the film “St. Elmo’s Fire,” exercise videos, a portrait of Huey Lewis pulling down his sunglasses and Phylicia Rashad on “The Cosby Show.”
Nostalgia factor: An inspiration board for the musical, which is set in the ’80s.Credit...Peter Fisher for The New York Times

In that period, Lewis said that talking to his grown children — his son, Austin, and his daughter, Kelly — is what eventually gave him the confidence to move forward. “They said, ‘Come on, Dad. Get out of bed, Dad,’” he explained.

When Lewis felt able to resume work, “The Heart of Rock and Roll” — several years into its development — was ready for him to return to it.

The production’s origins trace back to 2009 when the producer Tyler Mitchell contacted Lewis about turning his music into a stage show.

Mitchell, who once bagged the musician’s groceries as an adolescent when they both lived in Ross, Calif., said several songs already had a narrative thread.

“His songs resonate with so many people because they tackle a lot of relatable subjects: following your dreams versus playing it safe, love and relationships, friendship, blue-collar working,” Mitchell explained. In his idealized version of the show, he said, Lewis’s songs would provide not just the score but “a massive part of the actual storytelling.”

But Lewis, who has done two stints as Billy Flynn in the Broadway revival of “Chicago,” had been approached with similar offers and was wary.

When it came to the genre of jukebox musicals — he and his creative partners prefer the term “catalog musicals” — a show was not guaranteed to be a hit just because it used popular songs.

As Lewis put it, “If the Beach Boys can’t succeed, and Abba does? I’m just saying. But what we forget about ‘Mamma Mia!’ is that the book really is great.”

Lewis wanted a show to tell a compelling story, and he felt he found that in a pitch from the screenwriter Jonathan A. Abrams (“Juror No. 2”).

A large group of people are crowded into a small area for a portrait.
“He was there every day in rehearsals, 9 a.m. with us, laughing and offering suggestions,” Greenberg said of working with Lewis through the development process.Credit...Peter Fisher for The New York Times

Abrams said he began constructing the musical’s book by writing down lyrics to the group’s various songs, hanging them on his wall and studying them in obsessive detail.

“I stood back like I was looking at a painting,” he said. “And words would jump out. ‘Hip’ and ‘heart,’ and ‘soul’ and ‘power’ and ‘love.’ From there, I was able to start to formulate what this thing is demanding to be.”

Lewis did not particularly mind that the show does not tell an autobiographical story, explaining that many of his best-known songs were only ever loosely based on his life.

“You know, the muse comes when she comes,” he said. “It’s usually from something personal. And when you begin to write the song, you exaggerate. You embellish.”

Readings and workshops followed, but only a few weeks before announcing that the show would have its premiere at the Old Globe Theater in San Diego, Lewis experienced his abrupt hearing loss in Dallas.

The show’s collaborators learned about this from Lewis soon after.

“It was very, very painful to watch that happen to such a great person who loves music, and loves performing so much,” Mitchell said. “To have that part of his life taken from him was truly difficult.”

But Mitchell said he did not contemplate halting or canceling the plans for the musical. “Huey would never let that happen,” he said. “Huey doesn’t give up.”

At the Old Globe, Lewis was on hand to contribute — and to step back when he felt he wasn’t needed, said the musical’s director, Gordon Greenberg, who directed the 2016 Broadway production of “Holiday Inn.”

A portrait of a man who is wearing a blue suit and who is glimpsed between two glasses while sitting at a table.
“I don’t miss doing five shows a week,” Lewis said. “I don’t miss travel at all. But I do miss a show once in a while. And I miss the circus that was our show.”Credit...Peter Fisher for The New York Times

“He was there every day in rehearsals, 9 a.m. with us, laughing and offering suggestions,” Greenberg said, “and also understanding, where he said, ‘Here’s what I’m seeing — but I’m going to just let you guys go.’”

Lewis, who attended several performances of “The Heart of Rock and Roll” at the Old Globe, said with a chuckle, “I kept wanting to redirect — to change things. ‘Oh, no, he’s doing that all wrong.’”

He added, “I can’t get objective about it and that’s what I’ll do with this show forever. But I love it, and I like where we’re going.”

Reviewing the Old Globe production for The Los Angeles Times, Charles McNulty wrote that one’s enjoyment of the musical will most likely depend “on how nostalgic you are for Huey Lewis & the News,” adding that his own “surreptitious survey of theatergoers suggests this kind of material must have a pleasant tranquilizing effect.”

Lewis has contributed a new song for the Broadway production, called “Be Someone,” for which he shares credit with his bandmate Johnny Colla and the show’s musical director, Brian Usifer.

“I sang the parts into my iPhone and sent them to Johnny and Johnny demoed it all up and tweaked it,” Lewis explained in a phone interview, adding that this was a new process for him.

“I can sing to myself,” he said, “but I can’t sing to anything because I can’t hear pitch. We just changed the lyric two days ago. You got to pick your battles.”

Lewis is considering cochlear implant surgery and is scheduled to have a consultation this spring. He said that in his day-to-day life, he has gained a greater appreciation for pastimes like reading and fishing, but that nothing will ever quite replicate the pleasure of simply listening to a jazz album while he’s cooking at home.

“I don’t miss doing five shows a week,” he said. “I don’t miss travel at all. But I do miss a show once in a while. And I miss the circus that was our show. But OK — take away singing. Take away performing. I can’t even enjoy music.”

And yet, Lewis said “The Heart of Rock and Roll” has given him a new appreciation for his own music because the show presents it in new ways and makes narrative connections across his body of work.

“There’s a personality in the songs that I only recognized when I saw them performed in the show,” Lewis said. “I realized, wow, there’s a thread that runs through all these. It’s not my story but there’s a sensibility that pervades everything.”

Seeing his decades-old music reflected back at him, Lewis came to realize it was not just working but living and thriving in the production.

“To see the songs take on this other life,” he said, “it’s like seeing your children grow up and get a job.”

Dave Itzkoff is a former Times culture reporter. More about Dave Itzkoff

A version of this article appears in print on April 14, 2024, Section AR, Page 4 of the New York edition with the headline: Losing His Hearing but Keeping the SmileOrder Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe