There isn’t a blade of grass that doesn’t get painstaking care and attention. The Masters at Augusta National is simply the most elite of sporting arenas with a history and tradition that would put almost anywhere else to shame.
It’s the only major championship in golf that retains the same course every year. Its exclusivity is such that literally a letter from the Queen still probably wouldn’t be enough to allow you to turn up with your clubs and have a knock with your mates.
Thankfully, picking a winner throughout the years has proven to be slightly easier.
87 of the world’s best golfers will tee off tomorrow and FansBet are paying out on the first 7 places. Let’s take a look at the runners and riders with the best chance of manoeuvring themselves around the glorious contours of Augusta.
The Blue Room – US Masters Picks
Rory McIlroy arrives in Georgia in scintillating form. The world number 3 and four-time major champion hasn’t finished outside of the top-10 in any tournament he’s played in since November last year. From that point of view, 8.00 seems a very generous price.
The caveat to McIlroy’s form here is simply the fact that it IS the Masters and it IS Augusta. His final round capitulation from a 4 shot lead in 2011 is etched in the tournament’s history and it can be argued he still wears the scars of dropping 6 shots at Augusta’s infamous Amen Corner.
Of course, he’s bagged four majors and multiple tournaments between then and now, but the fact a green jacket is the only major between him and a career grand slam has become a bit of an albatross around the Northern Irishman’s neck.
It feels like Rickie Fowler (19.00) is entering the unwanted territory of great players to have never won a major.
The coin has yet to fall on the American’s side in the majors despite some outstanding chances, not least at Augusta last year where Patrick Reed was the only man in the field to finish in front of him.
Now at the age of 30, Fowler undoubtedly has the experience to get it done in at least one of golf’s big four. He’s already won this year and hasn’t missed a cut in his 7 events.
Tommy Fleetwood is another who’s spent enough time flirting with big events that he’s surely going to take his chance sooner than later.
He hasn’t missed a cut in 22 tournaments and was in contention in the Players Championship recently which was won by McIlroy.
Fleetwood’s great friend Francesco Molinari ticks all the boxes, and at 23.00 deserves serious consideration.
2018 was the year the Italian joined the game’s elite winning multiple times on the PGA Tour as well as lifting the Claret Jug at Carnoustie.
The world number 7 is at it again this year, lifting the prestigious Arnold Palmer Invitational last month. His play from tee to green is exactly what’s required.
A relatively modest record around here, a best finish of a tie for 19th, should be ignored as Molinari is completely different beast to the tentative nature he possessed in previous years.
2013 champion Adam Scott is another who has shown his class already this year.
The Australian was languishing down at 76th in the world rankings as recently as August last year, but a resurgence over the winter months and some early season top-10s see him primed for another tilt at a second green jacket at 31.00.
Another Aussie in the shape of Marc Leishman at 37.00 also stands out.
The 35-year old is typically a top-10 machine and even not at his best, he’s racked up 4 of those already having only played in 8 events this year including his last outing.
He achieved the very same at Augusta last year and is finding his best form once again.
In regards to an outsider, Si-woo Kim at 81.00 is a 23-year old with all the attributes to go well here. He finished in a tie for 4th at the Valero Texas Open last week and has already picked up another 2 top-10s.
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*odds subject to change.
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