It is finally here…..the Masters. In its 80th edition, the Masters is the biggest tournament in the world. Year in and year out Augusta National Golf Club (ANGC) hosts the best golfers in the world. This year is no different. Two of the biggest names in golf are not playing however, Tiger Woods and Fred Couples, both injured.
There is no doubt that the years of a clear favorite are over. Although some have shown dominance, no golfer has been the clear favorite in every tournament they played in like Tiger Woods did during his prime. This week anyone can win. The betting favorite right now is Jason Day at +650 (Bovada.com). He currently is ranked #1 in the world and has won his last two tournaments.
The Masters is the toughest tournament to pick a winner. Obviously I would pick Spieth, Day and McIlroy this week but that’s not fun. Here is my top 5 not named Spieth, Day or McIlroy:
1. Rickie Fowler- Everyone is all over the big three of Day, Spieth and McIlroy. What about Fowler? Fowler is a gamer plain and simple. In 2014 Fowler finished 5th or better in all four majors. Talks began that he couldn’t win the big one. Fowler answered the following year by winning the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass. At ANGC Fowler has made the cut every time and has posted a T12 and T5 in his last two tries.
Betting odds- +1600
2. Bubba Watson- Watson has been hit or miss here at ANGC but he has won twice (2012, 2014). This course sets up great for a player who shapes it right to left on the tee. Watson does that great. Not to mention he is ranked high in a variety a categories that will help his chance of winning on this course: driving distance (4th), greens in regulation (1st), stroked gained tee to green (1st) and strokes gained total (4th) (pgatour.com). I’ll go with his current trend of winning the Green Jacket on even years.
Betting odds- +1000
3. Hideki Matsuyama- In his last eleven majors he has only missed the cut once. Shot a Sunday 66 last year to finish 5th. Matsuyama has also posted a solid year so far posting a top 25 finish in six of nine starts including a win at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Lots of pressure on him to become the first golfer from Japan to win a major.
Betting odds- +3500
4. Justin Rose- Rose has never missed a cut at ANGC in ten tries and has finished top 25 or better in eight of them. Finished with a career best T2 here last year. It may get windy this week. I love players from across the pond when the weather turns. I expect a good week for Rose.
Betting odds- +2500
5. Phil Mickelson- Mickelson is trying to join elite company. If he wins he will join only Tiger Woods (4), Arnold Palmer (4) and Jack Nicklaus (6) as players who have won the Masters four or more times. This is Mickelson’s 24th Masters. Along with his three wins he has had great success at ANGC posting eleven top 5 finishes. I could see the 45 year old Mickelson with his knowledge and success on this course making some noise come Sunday.
Betting Odds- +1600
Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson, Charl Schwartzel, Dustin Johnson and Patrick Reed
Guys with great odds to win:
Sergio Garcia- +6600
Ryan Moore- +12500
Lee Westwood- +17500
One and Done Pick: Rickie Fowler