Side with lefties as Mickelson and Watson ready to pounce at Masters

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There are 30 players within five shots of the lead at the Masters at the half-way stage, but it may come down to a battle between two left handers by the close as Bubba Watson and Phil Mickelson look like they have much more to give still yet.

It is Fred Couples and Jason Dufner who share the lead but a host of big names are in position to strike, most notably European trio Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia.

Despite the current leaderboard, Dufner is 16/1 in the Masters odds and Couples 25/1.

Yet this could be for good reason, as Dufner has a track record for starting events strongly and fading at the mid-way point, while Couples will become the oldest major winner ever at 52 if he triumphs.

Of the chasing pack, Watson and Mickelson look primed to challenge and an improvement in a particular part of their game will see them take charge.

Watson looks to have considerably underachieved by only shooting two-under through the par 5s so far given his almighty length off the tee and this is largely due to his troubles on the greens.

He is the first to admit that he is a “not very good putter”, but despite this he has still managed to shoot under-par in both rounds so far.

Watson is more than capable of adding a few eagles to his scorecard and if improving slightly in the putting department, he looks a big challenger.

Holing putts has proved no issue for Mickelson, but he has had difficulty in getting himself into positions in which to make birdie.

Mickelson is a three-time Masters winner, but has struggled in reaching greens this year, finding the green in regulation in just 19 of the 36 holes thus far.

Things can only get better from this figure and Mickelson still managed to shoot 68 in the second round, which was bettered by only Couples.

If he begins to find the putting surface with more regularity, he can make up his current three-stroke deficit in a flash.

Mickelson is 9/1 to win the Masters after two rounds, with Watson 12/1.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.