Rory Mcilroy comes into the week as the favourite to win the Masters. He has won the last two majors and the Masters is the only one of golf’s four majors that he has not yet won.
For me, Mcilroy is too short to back at 11/2. He is the best player in the world and deserves to be favourite, but there are other players, even ones at pretty short prices that I would rather back.
Jordan Spieth (10/1) is second in the betting but I have doubts about him this week. He comes into the week in wonderful form. A win and two seconds in his last three starts make it easy to see why many are picking the 21-year-old to win this week but Spieth isn’t the longest player on tour and with rain forecast he may struggle to keep up with some of the bigger hitters.
Defending champion Bubba Watson (11/1) is more appealing to me. Spieth is the form player coming into the week and Bubba isn’t too far behind. Watson played wonderfully last year as he took apart Augusta with his long hitting. He did not fare too well when defending his title in 2013 but he has the experience to deal with that better this time around.
Jason Day (12/1) started the year well with a win and two other top 10s. It feels like he is on the leaderboard at every major over the past few years but just hasn’t been able to get over the line to win a major. Day is certainly appealing but at a similar price I prefer Watson.
Jimmy Walker (22/1) feels like he is in a similar spot in his career to Spieth, just 15 years older. Walker had not won until the 2014 season but now has 5 wins on tour in that time. Walker looks ready to take that step up and win a major and 22/1 seems like a nice price for a player who won on his last start two weeks ago.
The slightly longer prices
A few years ago, not many would have predicted that Tiger Woods would fall into this category. Injuries and struggles with his short game have seen him slip to 111th in the world. There have been positive reports about his form in practice and whether you buy into that is up to you but I do. Any time he tees it up he is a threat to win the tournament and 33/1 is just too tempting for me.
Rickie Fowler (33/1) finished in the top 5 at every major last year. It is a surprising that Fowler has not managed to win more. Only one win on the PGA tour is not enough for somebody as talented as him. He hasn’t been in great form so far this season and I am not too keen on him this week.
Of all the players making their Masters debut, Brooks Koepka (80/1) is the one that I feel has the best chance to do well. Spieth and Jonas Blixt manage to finish tied for second on their first appearance last year and Koepka has all the tools to challenge this week. He is one of the longest players in the game, has two wins in the since November and a top five finish at last year’s US Open. He suffered a rib injury at Bay Hill but should be fine now and I like him to get his Masters career off to a good start.
When you get this far down in the betting you are obviously looking to take a flyer on somebody. I think you could do a lot worse than picking Danny Willett (200/1). The Englishman is the current leader of the Race to Dubai on the European Tour. He has finishes of T12 and T13 in strong fields at the WGC Cadillac Championship and Dubai Desert Classic this season. He is a good driver of the ball, hits lots of greens in regulation and putts well. That’s not a bad combination and could see Willett up near the top of the leaderboard on Sunday.
One other player stands out when looking through the stats. Of the players at the Masters this year, this player is 5th in scoring average over the last six years. That is behind Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth, Jonas Blixt and Lee Westwood. He is a major winner and has won three WGC events in his career. He may not be in the best form coming into the week but at 400/1, Geoff Ogilvy seems like he is worth a small each way bet and is my pick for a longshot this week at Augusta.
(All prices from SkyBet)