Masters Favorites Preview: Rory, Bubba, DJ, Tiger and More

Masters Favorites Preview: Rory, Bubba, DJ, Tiger and More

Golf

Masters Favorites Preview: Rory, Bubba, DJ, Tiger and More

The odds for the 2018 Masters have been updated and quite a few players have jumped ahead of Tiger Woods, who was the leader the last time we published the odds.

Rory McIlroy

Odds: +950 (Via BetDSI Sports)
Best Finish: 4th (2015)
2017 Finish: 7th
2018 Wins/Top Finishes: Win at Arnold Palmer Invitational

Rory McIlroy got back into the favorite talk of this year’s Masters with his win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. McIlroy figured something out with his putter, which he had been struggling with, and lit it up in the final round. While he has yet to win the Masters, the four-time major champion is more than capable of turning it on when he needs to. This is a good year for him to do just that if he can keep his putter in check on the slick greens at Augusta.

Bubba Watson

Odds: +1000
Best Finish: 1st (2012, 2014)
2017 Finish: Missed Cut
2018 Wins/Top Finishes: Win at Genesis Open, Win at WGC Dell Match Play

Augusta is a perfect course for a lefty. Several left-handed golfers have won the Masters over the last decade, Watson being one of them. He knows the course well and although he had gone a while without a win, he seems to be reinvigorated this season after winning the Genesis Open and WGC Match Play. I’ll go into it in another post, but Bubba is deserving of your attention this year at Augusta and he could quite possibly be considered THE favorite to win.

Dustin Johnson

Odds: +1100
Best Finish: T4 (2016), T6 (2015)
2017 Finish: Withdrew after falling down stairs
2018 Wins/Top Finishes: T2 at WGC HSBC Champions, Win at Tournament of Champions, T2 at AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

DJ got over the major hump in 2016 when he won the U.S. Open, but last season he had a freak accident before the Masters when he fell down the stairs in the rental home he was occupying. He attempted to start the tournament, but ultimately wound up not being able to go at the last minute. DJ already has a win under his belt this year, and although it came early in the season, he has played well minus getting bounced from the WGC Match Play early.

Justin Thomas

Odds: +1100
Best Finish: T22 (2017)
2017 Finish: T22
2018 Wins/Top Finishes: Win at CJ Cup, Win at the Honda Classic, 2nd at WGC Mexico Championship

Justin Thomas has not fared particularly well at Augusta in the two appearances he’s made there. He finished T39 in 2016 and T22 in 2017, but he also wasn’t quite the golfer then that he is now. Thomas won his first major at the PGA Championship last season, and that, along with four other wins he collected last season, have propelled him onto another level. Since winning the PGA Championship, Thomas has climbed all the way up to second in the world rankings behind only Dustin Johnson, and he had a shot at taking over the number one ranking at the WGC Match Play. He always seems to be near the top of the leaderboard in every tournament he’s played in since.

Thomas also has a chance to take over the number one ranking with a win or any of the following happen: solo second place finish and Dustin Johnson finish outside top three, a solo third finish and Johnson finish outside top eight, a solo fourth finish and Johnson finish outside the top 20, and neither Rahm nor Spieth win, or a solo fifth place finish and Johnson missed cut (or finish outside the top 60), and neither Rahm nor Spieth win.

Tiger Woods

Odds: +1200
Best Finish: Really? Fine … Win (1997), Win (2001), Win (2002), Win (2005)
2017 Finish: Didn’t play
2018 Wins/Top Finishes: T2 at Valspar Championship, T5 at Arnold Palmer Invitational

Obviously, Tiger will be the guy most fans want to see this week. How will he do in his first Masters appearance during this comeback? Who knows, but it’s hard to say that he won’t be around on Saturday and Sunday considering the way he’s played recently. In his last three events this season, he’s finished T12, T2, and T5. For a guy who was “bedridden” a year ago, that’s impressive. We also should consider the fact that Woods has had a bit of success at Augusta in his career. He knows the course, knows the greens, and knows what he needs to do and where he needs to put the ball to maximize his strengths. That will be very crucial for him this year as he’s struggled off the tee with his driver.

Jordan Spieth

Odds: +1300
Best Finish: T2 (2014), Win (2015), T2 (2016)
2017 Finish: T11
2018 Wins/Top Finishes: T3 at Hero World Challenge, T3 at Houston Open

Spieth is almost like the forgotten man this season. Prior to the Houston Open last weekend, I wrote that he would get his putting back on track. He entered the tournament with some astonishingly bad stats with the flat stick, but after a T3 finish in Houston, he appears to have corrected some of the bad. Obviously, Spieth has also enjoyed success at Augusta, and knows how to win at this venue, of course he must remember that the Masters doesn’t start until the back nine on Sunday.

Spieth can reclaim the number one world ranking with a win and DJ finish outside top 10 and Thomas finish outside top three.

Phil Mickelson

Odds: +1500
Best Finish: Umm … Win (2004), Win (2006), Win (2010)
2017 Finish: T22
2018 Wins/Top Finishes: T3 at Safeway Open, T5 at Phoenix Open, T2 at AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, T6 at Genesis Open, Win at WGC Mexico Championship

Lefty has been playing some of the best golf of his illustrious career lately. He’s missed only one cut this season, and has finished in the top 10 five times in the 10 events he’s competed in. He’s won in March at the WGC Mexico Championship, and although he finished T24 last week in Houston, he still shot 10-under. Phil’s former caddie, Jim “Bones” McKay, believes that the three-time Masters champion will win another even though he is now 47-years-old, and I agree. Just two years ago, Phil went down to the wire in the Open Championship with Henrik Stenson. He’s got plenty left in the tank, and considering not only his success at Augusta, but that he’s a lefty and loves the course, he could easily grab another win sooner than we all think.

Rickie Fowler

Odds: +1750
Best Finish: T5 (2014)
2017 Finish: T11
2018 Wins/Top Finishes: 2nd at Classic at Mayakoba, Win at Hero World Challenge,  T4 at Tournament of Champions

When will Rickie finally win a major? Fowler is probably the best golfer that has yet to get over the hump now that Sergio is out of that picture. While he has played well at Augusta over the last four years, he also missed a cut one of those years (2016). He’s finished as high as T5 and he’s also got a win this season, albeit at the limited field Hero World Challenge in December. Since that win, his highest finish is a T4 at the Tournament of Champions in January. He hasn’t finished inside the top 10 in the six events he’s entered since. While it always seems like he’s close to getting one, he still hasn’t shown he can finish strong enough at Augusta to deserve better odds.

Justin Rose

Odds: +2500
Best Finish: 2nd (2017), T2 2015
2017 Finish: Second to Sergio
2018 Wins/Top Finishes: Win at WGC HSBC Champions, T5 at Hero World Challenge, T5 at Valspar Championship, 3rd at Arnold Palmer Invitational

Justin Rose has had a phenomenal season that includes a win at the WGC HSBC Champions during the wrap-around portion of the season. Even though that win came nearly six months ago, Rose has continued his good play and of the seven events he’s entered, has only finished outside the top 10 twice. He finished T52 in Houston last weekend at seven-under, and while that may seem like a disappointing finish, he played well. Rose has climbed up to fifth in the world rankings after starting the season ranked 13th. He also finished second to Sergio in 2017 at Augusta, so if there’s one guy who is ready to capture a second major (Win at 2013 U.S. Open), it’s Rose.

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