Amazingly it’s that time of year again as the golfing world turns attention to the famous Augusta course as the US Masters prepares for its 80th edition. But who will be wearing the sought-after Green Jacket come Sunday night?
Jordan Spieth produced a stunning performance last year, breaking record after record to win by four strokes with a score to equal the Augusta record of -18 set by Tiger Woods in 1997.
But the pre-Augusta chat isn’t about Spieth this year, or even Rory McIlroy, with Jason Day the main man heading to Georgia.
Here’s the lowdown on the top 10 contenders for Green Jacket glory…
Jason Day – 7/1
It’s no surprise to see 28-year-old Day topping the betting, with the Australian heading to Augusta following victory in both the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the WGC Match Play.
With a T2 and a third at the Masters in just five entries, the big-driving world number one should be right at the sharp end from the off and is very much the form man.
Rory McIlroy – 8/1
It’s rather rare for the Northern Irishman not to be the talk of the town ahead of a Major, but he might just enjoy going under the radar as he returns to the scene of his infamous collapse in 2011.
McIlroy has won just one tournament since missing the Open last year through injury, though top-four finishes at the WGC-Cadillac and WGC Match Play show he’s in decent nick. Can he claim that elusive Masters crown?
Jordan Spieth – 10/1
Not a headline could be written in 2015 without including Jordan Spieth, but the American star has been off-colour this season since opening the year with a win at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. A scrappy performance at the Shell Houston Open last weekend made it six successive tournaments without a top 10 finish.
Will Spieth pull it together and repeat last year’s incredible Augusta performance? Or has he run out of time to find form?
Bubba Watson – 10/1
Bubba has only made the top 20 in three of the last 16 Majors, but he went on to win two of those, at Augusta of course.
With a win at the Northern Trust plus runner-up in the WGC Cadillac, the long-hitting Watson is in fine fettle, and he’s always made the cut at the Masters. Bubba loves the Green Jacket, and if he connects his drives sweetly, a solid short game will make him a major contender once again.
Adam Scott – 12/1
Mr Consistency of recent Majors, 2013 Augusta champ Scott has landed top-20 finishes in 15 of the last 20 big ones and is heading back to his best after a somewhat quiet 2015.
The Australian has finished inside the top-20 in five of the last six Masters, and after victories at the Honda Classic and WGC Cadillac, Scott has the nous and the form to be a major player this week.
Rickie Fowler – 16/1
After a stunning 2014 which saw him card a T5, T2, T2 and a T3 across the Majors, 2015 was always going to be hard for Rickie Fowler to replicate.
The American failed to post a top-10 finish in any of last year’s big four, but he’s shaping up nicely for a Masters tilt this time around, posting five top-10s from six tournaments in 2016.
Dustin Johnson – 20/1
After a suspect start to the year, Dustin Johnson looks to be getting into the groove with a fourth, a T9, a T14 and a third across his last four events.
Last year’s tied for sixth was Johnson’s best Masters result, and he’ll have no shortage of supporters this year, but as he begins his latest bid for a first Major, the big question will be once again; can he bring his short game across all the full weekend?
Phil Mickelson – 20/1
As is his traditional custom, Mickelson sacrificed his Shell Houston hopes last weekend to focus on Augusta prep, as he seeks a fourth Green Jacket.
Lefty is set to be firmly in the hunt too after a fifth at the WGC Cadillac and second at Pebble Beach this year. Runner up 12 months ago, the American should at least be adding to his stunning record of 15 top-10 Augusta finishes in 21 years.
Justin Rose – 25/1
Second in Georgia a year ago, Justin Rose followed up his best Masters result with top-six finishes at the Open and the PGA and in any other year his scores would have won at least one Major.
The Englishman has been mightily consistent this year, failing to make the cut just once while posting four top 20s from his last five events. Very much under the radar ahead of the weekend, Rose won’t mind that at all.
Henrik Stenson – 25/1
If it’s form you want as a precursor to Masters glory, then Stenson is set for a big tournament after a T3 and a second in his last two events.
The Swede has finished runner-up an incredible eight times since his last win, but with five top-three finishes in nine events, has rarely been in better form to beat his Augusta best of T14 two years ago.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.