by Jeff Skinner
The scuttlebutt is that this Masters is wide open and there is no clear favorite. While Tiger Woods watches it from his couch like the rest of us there may not be an overwhelming favorite but there are certainly players with a better chance to wear that green jacket come Sunday evening.
Ladbrokes has decided that in Tiger’s absence, two time major champion, Rory McIlroy is their choice to lead the field at 10-1. If you are looking to make a killing with an out of the blue, dark horse you can put your money down on past Masters Champions like Sandy Lyle, Larry Mize, Ian Woosnam, Craig Stadler, and Ben Crenshaw all at 5000-1. Two time Masters Champion Tom Watson is a sure thing at 1000-1 and if you like the amateurs at Augusta, U.S. Amateur Champion Matthew Fitzpatrick is also at 1000-1. Here are the current favorites at the 78th Masters.
Rory McIlroy 10-1 Rors hasn’t started well but looks to have put 2013 (a disaster) behind him. A third major here and he would be three quarters of the way to the career grand slam and in rare company indeed.
Adam Scott 12-1 The ’13 Masters Champion has had an amazing year as he shared his good fortune with his entire country and represented Augusta National with class and humility. Back to back isn’t easy at Augusta but Scott has the game to do it. No one wears a green jacket better than Adam Scott.
Phil Mickelson 14-1 Philly Mick simply loves Augusta National and with three victories and fourteen top tens here it is easy to understand why. More good things have happened to Phil here than anywhere in golf. This isn’t the U.S. Open. His game has been erratic at best in 2014 but this course, this tournament, this place brings out the absolute best in Mickelson.
Jason Day 16-1 Day is coming off a six week layoff due to an injured thumb but insists he is fully healed and it is not a factor. With his superb record here I think he would have been more of a favorite if he had not been sidelined. Day is trying to keep the Aussie streak alive and if Scott has to slip the green jacket on a new champion he won’t mind it being his buddy Day.
Sergio Garcia 20-1 Who would have thought that Sergio would be one of the favorites at Augusta? With Garcia’s fine play lately and his strong iron game he certainly has the tools to contend. Two things could keep Garcia from winning here: his putter and his head. He needs to have control of both to be a factor.
Matt Kuchar 20-1 Kuch has squandered leads in his last two outings but he sees the silver lining. He is playing well and been on the brink of winning a major for some time now.
Dustin Johnson 25-1 DJ has been so close in so many majors it is getting painful. There is always that one shot, that one hole where he blows up and takes himself out of contention. His length will allow him to eat up the par fives and if he isn’t close on Sunday it would be a surprise.
Bubba Watson 25-1 Bubba rode the high from his 2012 Masters victory for over a year. He finally won earlier this season and is playing solid golf once again. I can’t even begin to think of the tears that would flow if he was to win another Masters this year.
Miguel Angel Jimemez 150-1 Now Miguel isn’t a favorite to win here but he is the favorite for many of us. The Coolest Guy in Golf loves Augusta National and has a decent record here. He may not win but I guarantee this: his name will be on that leaderboard sometime during the week. Stay thirsty my friend.