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World No.1 McIlroy joins Woods as favourite for the Masters

| 05.03.2012

Rory McIlroy climbed to the top of the world rankings thanks to his win at the Honda Classic on Sunday and was immediately cut to 5/1 to win the US Masters next month.

The 22-year-old held off the rest of the field to claim his first win of the season and snatch the No.1 spot from Englishman Luke Donald.

However, that was only half the story on a thrilling Sunday at Palm Beach Gardens.

Former World No.1 Tiger Woods produced an incredible final round 62 – his lowest ever fourth round score in a PGA Tour event – to put himself firmly in the hunt and leave McIlroy having to play out the final holes with a slim two-shot advantage.

McIlroy produced some brilliant putting though and now we have the mouth-watering proposition of a resurgent Woods and McIlroy battling each other for the Masters.

Both players are priced at 5/1 to win the Green Jacket and both have performed well at Augusta.

Woods is obviously a four-times champion but even in recent seasons when his form and fitness have been far from the standards we’ve come to expect, he’s finished up the leaderboard.

He’s finished tied fourth the previous two seasons and hasn’t been outside the top six since 2004 – the year before his last win.

Meanwhile, McIlroy may have only tied for 15th last season but he held a four-shot lead heading into the final round before collapsing under the pressure and shooting a closing 80.

McIlroy bounced back in the next major to claim the US Open in record-breaking fashion and the way he finished at the Honda on Sunday shows he now has more than enough to deliver when the pressure in cranked up.

With both Woods and McIlroy in such fine form, this year’s US Masters has all the making of being a fantastic spectacle.



Richard Anderson