Top Five 2019 Masters Contenders
The Masters begins in earnest on Thursday at Augusta National Golf Cup and players from around the world will be striving to take home the Green Jacket come the end of the tournament.
The prize is arguably the greatest of the four majors in the sport, holding prestige for elite company of golfers to have won the event.
Augusta can make-or-break players due to the rigours of the course and this year’s tournament should be no different. Patrick Reed won the contest last year with a fine performance. He is aiming to become the first man since Tiger Woods in 2002 to triumph in back-to-back seasons.
However, he will face tough competition from the in-form players on the PGA Tour. Rory McIlroy is one of a number of the men chasing the Green Jacket for the first time. He has old business to settle with Augusta and should be in contention come the final round.
We’ll now break down his odds and the rest of the leading contenders for the crown.
McIlroy returns for another attempt at the Green Jacket, which is the only major that has eluded his grasp in his career. The 29-year-old has not triumphed in a slam since the 2014 PGA Championship. It’s not good enough for a player of his calibre and he has to retake his place at the top of the sport. McIlroy endured the worst day of his career at Augusta in 2011. He appeared to have the competition in hand going into the final day, and even a one-over performance on the front nine saw him take a lead at the turn.
However, he collapsed on the back nine, producing an eight-over round to lose out on the crown. McIlroy endured a similar setback last year when he carded a 72 in his pursuit of Reed. The Northern Irishman has to banish his demons on the course, and he appears to be operating at the peak of his powers ahead of the tournament. He was outstanding at The Players Championship to win the event by one stroke ahead of Jim Furyk. McIlroy has finished in the top-10 in all seven of his tournaments in 2019. He will not have a better opportunity to claim the Green Jacket given his form and the perceived struggles of his rivals. Back McIlroy at odds of 7/1 with 888Sport.
Johnson has also struggled to live up to his talent on the major stage. He has been a permanent fixture at the top of the world rankings, holding down the number one spot for a significant period. Johnson enters the competition at number two in the world behind Justin Rose, although he does have form on his side. The 34-year-old won the Mexico Championship, finishing five shots ahead of the rest of the field. Johnson has been consistent in his strokeplay events since, placing in tied-fifth at The Players Championship and in tied-sixth at the Valspar Championship.
The American has been solid in his appearances at Augusta, but has not produced the brilliance needed to challenge for the Green Jacket. His time appeared to be two years ago, but a fall on the eve of the competition knocked him out of the event. Last year he was consistent, but not good enough to match the pace of the leading group. Johnson has not lived up to his potential at the majors, winning only during his career at the US Open in 2016. He has to deliver again sooner rather than later and at odds of 10/1 with Bet365 he has good value.
Rose enters the tournament as the world number one, highlighting his consistency on the course. However, numerous majors have eluded him and it’s almost six years since the 38-year-old has triumphed on the grand stage. Rose’s one success came at the US Open in 2013 when he won the event by two strokes ahead of Jason Day and Phil Mickelson. Since then he has come close on a few occasions to adding further crowns to his collection. He enjoyed a fierce battle with his long-time European team-mate Sergio Garcia at The Masters in 2017.
Rose appeared to have the edge, but a dropped shot at the 17th sent the contest to a playoff. The Englishman made the mistake that allowed Garcia to end his major drought. Last year Rose finished two strokes off the pace of Francesco Molinari at The Open, proving that he was once again in contention. The 38-year-old has finished in the top 10 four times this term, including his victory at the Farmers Insurance Open. Back him at odds of 14/1 with BetVictor to claim the Green Jacket.
On current form Spieth does not deserved to be mentioned as a leading contender for the crown. He has been underwhelming to say the least on the PGA Tour this season, failing to finish in the top 25 of a single strokeplay event. However, Spieth always manages to rise to the occasion at Augusta even when he has not been at his best.
The American produced one of the finest performances since at the venue when he won the Green Jacket in 2015, equalling Tiger Woods all-time record of 18-under at the tournament. He was on course to win back-to-back Masters’ titles, only to collapse on the back nine to finish behind Danny Willett. Last year, Spieth did apply pressure to Reed with an eight-under round on day four. It was not enough, but it highlighted his prowess at Augusta. Back him at odds of 20/1 with BetVictor to win the event.
The 28-year-old has become the man for the big occasion in the world of golf. He has won three majors over the last three years, including the US Open and PGA Championship in 2018. Koepka has displayed the composure to see off his rivals, producing his best golf when it has mattered the most. Since his triumph at the PGA Championship, he won the CJ Cup and finished second at the Honda Classic.
However, Koepka did miss the cut at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and was off the pace in The Players Championship. The 28-year-old missed The Masters last season due to injury, but made the cut in his three previous attempts, earning tied-11th placing in 2017. He has all the attributed needed to thrive at Augusta, most importantly nerves of steel. At odds of 28/1 with 888Sport, Koepka has excellent value to claim the Green Jacket on Sunday.
Rory McIlroy To Win The Masters
Thursday 11th April – Sunday 14th April 2019
- Brooks Koepka
- Dustin Johnson
- Jordan Spieth
- Justin Rose
- Rory McIlroy
- The Masters