This time next week Europe’s first Grand Slam-winning golfer may have been crowned, if world number one Rory McIlroy takes his third Major in a row at the US Masters, but punters seem to have gone off backing the 25-year-old in recent weeks.
McIlroy is still the clear favourite at 6/1 for the Augusta National spectacle, but he was 5/1 only a few days ago, so the expected surge to back him for such an historic achievement has failed to materialise.
It’s hard to see why not, as McIlroy has been steadily finding his feet in the campaign, finishing in the top 12 in his past two tournaments, and has plenty of previous for peaking at important points, having bagged half of last season’s Majors and starring for triumphant Europe in the Ryder Cup.
He also holds some pretty hot form in Georgia, losing the Masters rather spectacularly on the final day of the 2011 renewal, when shooting an 80 after going into Sunday four shots clear, and managed his best finish at Augusta last April when tied for eighth, eight shots back from winner Bubba Watson.
The two-time Masters-winning Floridian ranks high on the list of McIlroy alternatives and is joint-second favourite at 10/1 alongside Jordan Speith, who tied for second in his first Masters 12 months ago.
Speith has been in ferocious form of late, winning two tournaments since the start of December and posting top-seven finishes in five more, but at 21-years-old he’s looking to match Tiger Woods’ feat in 1997 to land this with such little experience.
Australia’s Jason Day is an interesting challenger at a double-digit top price of 16/1 with Ladbrokes, as the 27-year-old has been in excellent form so far this term, winning once and landing three more place finishes.
Day finished tied-second and third respectively in the 2011 and 2013 Masters, and has five top-five Major placings to his name.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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