Rose ready to bloom while McIlroy wilts at the US Masters

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Rory McIlroy represents a pre-tournament favourite heading into the Masters but with 2011’s final round flop fresh in the mind and with his form over the past 12 months proving patchy, he could struggle in Augusta.

The 24-year-old is 6/5to finish the event as the best placed player from Great Britain and Ireland but given his recent record, that looks a little short.

He has had a tough time on the Georgian course of late, tying for 40th place two years ago before a slight improvement and a tied 25th place finish last time out.

Then there was his famous blow-up in 2011, which saw McIlroy fumble a four-shot lead going into the final round which, despite subsequent US Open and PGA Championship success, still hangs over him.

The past year has been a difficult one for the Irishman with issues both on and off the course, coupled with an ill-advised equipment switch, creating problems.

A December victory over Masters champion Adam Scott at the Australian Open boosted morale, along with impressive showings at the Honda Classic and Houston Open, but McIlroy remains unconvincing with his scoring irons going into Augusta.

With the Masters regarded among the top second-shot courses on the professional circuit, any problems could see the Irishman maintain his record of failing to finish in the top 10.

Instead, it would be wiser to look to Justin Rose to finish the best of the bunch from GB and Ireland, given his success last year and solid form in Georgia.

Available at 5/1 with Ladbrokes, the 33-year-old has come in under the radar despite being the reigning US Open champion and a player with a pedigree of some success on the course.

His record going into the event bears a striking resemblance to the one he had at Pinehurst prior to his 2013 victory, with two top 10 finishes achieved in both majors and that could bode well for his chances this time round.

The closest of these came in 2007 when Rose went into the final two holes of the tournament one shot behind eventual winner Zach Johnson and with the pressure off and confidence high following his US Open success this is the perfect opportunity for the British star to shine once again.

Meanwhile Lee Westwood remains a worthy outside shot at 6/1 to finish top of the pile from the GB and Irish stars, despite slipping down the rankings in recent months.

The Nottingham-born star has finished in the top 11 in each of the last four Masters events and despite his rankings drop, it wouldn’t be a shock to see him impress again and regain a place at golf’s top table.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Jack Beresford

Jack Beresford is a content writer with over five years of experience in writing about sport and betting, including a two-year spell with Axonn Media. Contributes articles to HereIsTheCity and Lad Bible, while previous credits include Bwin, FTB Pro, Bleacher Report and the QBE rugby. Avid follower of tennis, rugby union, motorsport and football, Jack also writes about poker for Cardspiel.com alongside Guardian journalist Dominic Wells.