With two weeks left to run before the start of the first Major tournament of the golfing season, the sight of Rory McIlroy as a stick-thin 5/1 market leader pricks a slight needle into the growing balloon of anticipation.
The Northern Irishman’s dominance in the market isn’t such a sorry scene for those not looking to plough into the favourite though, as it means the rest of the betting is flushed out to accommodate the world number one’s position.
In that regard, finding the men in the field that are most likely to play far better than their odds suggest is the real challenge for the tournament.
Below are our three suggestions:
The man they call “Kooch” has made consistent golf his trademark since 2010, where he has managed at least 10 finishes of 10th or better in each year since.
So it has really been no surprise to see the world number 14 put in three impressive performances at Augusta in the last three years, although the fact that it hasn’t seen his price shorten is.
Two top-five finishes in 2012 and 2014 bookended his eighth place in 2013 and his unrelenting brand of golf has shown no signs of waning this season, with two top-three results (and nothing worse than T33) in the books already.
It happens every year and on each occasion it’s a surprise, but Fred Couples performing well at Augusta National is a common occurrence.
2015 will be the 1992 winner’s 31st appearance at the Masters and his record of 11 top-10 finishes in that time is not to be sniffed at.
Since missing consecutive cuts in 2008 and 2009 Couples has defied both his years and price with an Augusta form line of 6-T15-T12-T13-T20.
Just three appearances across the PGA and Champions Tour this term shouldn’t put punters off as he made just four outings before taking on the toughest course in the sport last year.
The smooth-swinging Fijian is enjoying something of a renaissance this year, having registered a T12 and a T10 at the Northern Trust Open and Valspar Championship respectively.
Before those results Singh’s previous best PGA Tour finish was the silver medal he earned at the Frys.com Open in 2013.
Based on his form, backing him to turn back the Masters clock – he hasn’t finished in the top 10 since 2006 – at a huge price isn’t just a punt for the romantics.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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