Luke Donald can finally bag first major with Masters victory
World number one Luke Donald looks set to prove that he can win a major at the 76th Masters Tournament at Augusta. The Englishman comes into the tournament in good form after a victory at the Transitions Championship in Florida and at odds of 16/1 looks good value to land a maiden major here.
The win in Florida saw Donald reclaim his place at the top of the world rankings from Rory McIlroy. Despite never carding less than a 68 at Augusta, his exquisite short-game and the experience of being in the hunt for so long last year, before finishing tied fourth, could drive him to victory this weekend.
However, the Masters usually produces a home-grown winner with seven of the last 11 winners being American. Augusta has been witness to four of Tiger Woods’ major wins and the 14-time major winner is the favourite at 5/1.
At 50/1 Steve Stricker looks fantastic value for an each-way punt. The 45-year-old has long been tipped for major success and finished tied sixth here in 2009.
If Stricker can control his long game and avoid any recurrence of last season’s shoulder injury then he is in with a real chance of becoming the third oldest man to claim a major victory, behind Jack Nicklaus and Julius Boros.
Closer to home many punters will be looking to second favourite Rory McIlroy. McIlroy has has dreadful memories from last year’s event where he scored an 80 on the final day after leading from the off.
McIlroy recovered to win the US Open just two months later and is 6/1 to claim his second major crown in Georgia.
Current champion Charl Schwartzel also looks an interesting proposition at 40/1 as he aims to become the first man to score consecutive Masters victories since Woods in 2001 and 2002. The South African has a fifth and a fourth to his name on the PGA Tour this season but clearly knows how to deal with the challenges of the Augusta course.