Try as you might to talk up Matt Kuchar and Dustin Johnson as picks to be named top American at the Masters, it remains difficult to overlook a living legend of the US game: Phil Mickelson.
Winner of the Masters on three separate occasions – with the last of these victories coming back in 2010 – Mickelson has managed a sensational 14 top 10 finishes in his 21 outings at this Major as well as 10 top five finishes, including a tied 3rd place just two years ago.
Last year’s 54th place may have disappointed but it evidently did little to dent the American’s confidence with a tied for 3rd finish following at the US Open before Mickelson was celebrating Major success yet again with an Open Championship victory – his first ever.
It would also be fitting for the California-born star to shine again at Augusta– a decade on from his first Major success on this very course.
Mickelson warmed up with a tied 12th placed finish at the Houston Open last week, an event where one of his US rivals Matt Kuchar impressed.
The 35-year-old is 8/1 to be the top American at the Masters, following on from a tied 3rd place finish at the 2012 edition of the tournament.
A high placing at Houston certainly suggests he is in form heading into Augusta where he finished 8th last year and this record, along with recent successes such as victory at the Memorial Tournament last year, make him among the best of the rest.
Elsewhere, Dustin Johnson is a solid 10/1 shot following victory at a WGC event in Shanghai last November, but with just one top 25 finish to his name at the Masters, it may prove wiser to look to a long shot alternative.
At 14/1, Hunter Mahan could be one to watch as a contender to finish top American, having picked up a solid five tournament titles over the past seven years, as well as featuring regularly at both the President’s and Ryder Cup.
A back injury may have curtailed his recent efforts but after appeared in full working order out in Houston, and with two top 10 Masters finishes to his name, he could be the David to Mickelson’s Goliath.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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