Justin Rose opened his eighth Masters account with a solid 70 and recent history suggests that his second round score will be low enough to trump playing partners Brant Snedeker and Ryo Ishikawa.
The American and Japanese swingers also preserved their chances of a maiden Major victory with rounds of 70 and 71 respectively but both have been guilty of letting their prospects slip after they’ve completed 36 holes.
In Rose’s last three appearances at Augusta he has matched his opening score once and improved it twice, by two strokes in 2011 and four in 2009. Conversely, Ishikawa in his last four starts here has got worse on three of those occasions, twice seeing his card disintegrate by four shots.
Snedeker is also prone to getting worse as the half-way mark approaches, following a first round 72 with a 75 last year and going round in two more shots at the second attempt the campaign before.
Ishikawa has only made the cut once in his four attempts here and although Snedeker has two top-20 finishes to his name, Rose has got the closest of the trio with form of T8, T11 and T20 the last three years. At 11/10 Rose represents some serious value.
Past performances also suggest that Graeme McDowell has an excellent chance of putting behind a disappointing round and bouncing back to out-score his three-ball companions Zach Johnson and KJ Choi.
The Northern Irishman was the fat friend of the party, labouring to a 73 after bogeying his last two holes, and although his company began with far more success, their pedigree in Georgia suggests they won’t be able to match that standard.
Johnson was the best of the bunch but in his last six outings here he has shot a worse score in his second round five times, on four of those occasions carding a score four strokes inferior. Choi’s second-18 demise is less dramatic but in 2011 and 2010 he was three and four shots respectively worse after his second day.
The 2010 US Open winner on the other hand, has only got better in the last three years here, improving his score by at least one shot every time in his second 18. At 6/4 the popular Ryder Cup star is a worthy favourite.
The double pays out at just over 4/1.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.