Probably the most eagerly anticipated and most exciting week of the golfing year has finally arrived. It’s Masters week. With Tiger back and three European Winners in the last four weeks on the PGA Tour (Casey, McIlroy & Poulter) and two time winner Bubba Watson fresh off his WGC Matchplay Win and here at golfgeardirect.co.uk we really feel it could be a memorable masters in 2018.
The bookies have spoken and here are their top 10 selected odds:
Dustin Johnson 10/1
Rory McIlroy 10/1
Justin Thomas 10/1
Tiger Woods 10/1
Jordan Spieth 12/1
Justin Rose 12/1
Bubba Watson 14/1
Jason Day 16/1
Phil Mickelson 16/1
Rickie Fowler 18/1
Dustin Johnson. The current World Number 1 has not shown great form of late and his record at The Masters is nothing to be proud of. His best finish to date being T4 in 2016 when Danny Willet won. In his last 22 rounds at Augusta he has only broken 70 once so for me he doesn’t get my vote this year.
Rory McIlroy. Which Rory will turn up? If it’s the one who demolished all comers in the last round at The Arnold Palmer Invitational three weeks ago then the rest may as well not bother to turn up! However you just never know with Rory. His stats for the season so far would not lead one to believe he will prevail. He is 121st in driving accuracy and you certainly need to be in the fairway to score well at Augusta. He is 188th in Greens in regulation too but his pitching game must be hot as he ranks in the top 10 for most elements of putting!
Justin Thomas. He’s the most prolific winner on tour of late so you would have to fancy him in the first Major of the year and his last two rounds at Augusta showed that he may be getting the hang of the golf course and learning how to play it. One suspect area is his inconsistent putting but it didn’t stop Sergio from Winning last year!
Tiger Woods. Can he, can he really? I would say recent showings, yes he can. He is a course expert, his record is incredible even throughout his long barren spell and his short game seems to be a good as it ever was. Watch out field. Tiger’s back, argh!!
Jordan Spieth. Here’s one of my picks. He seems to be returning to form just at the right time and he certainly knows how to play Augusta. 7 rounds under par out of his last 12 rounds including a 64 and two 66’s. If his putting is ‘on’ then he’s going to be hard to beat.
Justin Rose. This player is so consistent at Augusta. He just needs to find his form on the greens and the Green jacket is his. Tee to green he will be number one for that’s for sure.
Bubba Watson. The two time Masters Champion has recently returned to form after a barren 2017. With his power, incredible creativity and record at Augusta he is a firm favourite in my book.
Jason Day. His odds at 16/1 look way too short to me. No form to speak of. He has performed consistently at Augusta over the last few years so he clearly knows how to handle the vagaries of the course but he will need to find some form very quickly if he is to triumph on Sunday.
Phil Mickelson. What will Phil do next? You just never know! His recent win demonstrates that there’s ‘life in the old dog yet’. His driving may be one area to challenge him though as even with his creative genius it’s hard to score unless you are in prime position on most holes at The Masters. One thing’s for sure and that’s that Phil will create excitement, no matter where he finishes.
Rickie Fowler. Similar to ‘JDay’ his odds seem far too short to me. His is out of consistent form and he missed the cut by a margin last year after an opening round of 80. He has managed a few good rounds over the years at Augusta so he clearly knows how to score there so he needs a good start and then who knows, he may be in the mix come Sunday afternoon.
There are many players with longer odds who are worth a look too. Henrik Stenson 45/1, Hideki Matsuyama 40/1, defending Champion Sergio Garcia 25/1, Patrick Reed 50/1 and John Rahm 28/1 to name but a few.
Let’s just hope the ’the back nine on Sunday’ at Augusta lives up to it’s billing and we are all glued to our TV’s until the early hours cheering on a worthy winner.
Opinions are those of the author and odds are for illustrative guidance only.
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