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McIlroy roars into contention after a stunning opening round of 65

| 08.04.2011

As opening rounds in the Masters go, Rory McIlroy’s 65 is up there with the best of them and the 21-year-old from Northern Ireland is now the Masters favourite.

McIlroy is now 4/1 to win his maiden Major and after a bogey free first round, the Ulsterman is in a great position in which to build.

Ladbrokes are offering in-play betting throughout the Masters tournament and the Masters odds are constantly changing as the world’s best battle to put themselves in a strong position to challenge over the next three days.

Of the golfers safe in the clubhouse, Matt Kuchar is next best at four-under but at the time of writing, Y E Yang is five-under through 14 and looking to challenge McIlroy for the lead.

Tiger Woods finished with a respectable one-under par 71, and considering he’s only broken 70 in the first round of the Masters once, he’s still a huge danger to the field.

Woods is steady in the betting at 12/1 – he was the same price in the Masters odds before the tournament began – and that could be a huge price come Sunday.

Pre-tournament favourite Phil Mickelson has started strongly if not spectacularly, and he currently finds himself 6/1 to win the Masters having opened at 7/1.

There’s still a long way to go in this first round and the fact there are four golfers in the clubhouse tied at three-under, and six in the clubhouse tied at two-under tells us that birdies are needed to keep in contention.

But seven-under is a brilliant score to take into the second round and McIlroy will take some catching now he finds himself at the head of the leaderboard.

A £20 stake on McIlroy winning the Masters would return £100. New customers can sign up here for up to £60 in free bets.

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Author

Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.