Thomas will be eyeing his second crown

Top Five Contenders For The Masters

The Masters begins in earnest on Thursday as the great and good of golf descend upon Augusta for perhaps the most prestigious prize in the sport.

Sergio Garcia ended his major drought at the competition last season with a brilliant performance to clinch the Green Jacket. The Spaniard edged out Justin Rose to triumph and will have his sights set on joining an elite company to have won the tournament on two occasions.

The usual suspects will also be vying for the crown, including Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy. The competitions appears to be more wide open than ever, with the lack of a dominant player on the circuit. We’ll now breakdown the leading contenders for the Green Jacket for this year’s tournament.

Jordan Spieth

Spieth is out for redemption

Credit: Reuters

Spieth is now two years removed from his nightmare experience at Augusta. The American seemed destined to secure the tournament for the second year on the bounce. However, his collapse on the back nine allowed Danny Willett to snatch the crown. Last year he was in position to close, but Spieth endured another underwhelming outing, failing to put pressure on the men at the top. The 24-year-old found his form in the majors by winning The Open last season, putting a difficult spell on the big stage behind him.

Spieth has not managed to build off his win this term on the PGA Tour. He displayed flashes of his best golf at the Houston Open last week, including a round of 66 on the final day. The American’s third-place finish was his joint-best of the campaign, but he will need to be so much better when he takes to the course at Augusta. His odds of +1000   with BetVictor are solid, but better value could be found elsewhere in the field.

Rory McIlroy

McIlroy shares a similar experience with Spieth. Both unique talents have endured collapses on the final day at Augusta, although unlike his rival, the Northern Irishman is without a Green Jacket. The 28-year-old has been a constant presence in the top of major tournaments over the past two seasons. He has finished in the top 10 four times, including back-to-back times at Augusta. However, he has not looked like making a charge to add to his four crowns – the last of which came in 2014 at the PGA Championship.

McIlroy has been poor for the majority of the current PGA campaign, but put forward an outstanding performance to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational. His brilliant round of 64 was truly special, producing a flawless display on the back nine. A performance of that calibre at Augusta could be enough to secure the Green Jacket and banish the memories of his collapse for good. His odds of +1100   with 888Sport are intriguing and could be worth a punt of an each-way bet.

Justin Thomas

Thomas will be eyeing his second crown

Thomas announced himself on the major stage last season with a fine performance to win the PGA Championship last August. The 24-year-old was on the rise throughout the 2017 campaign, culminating in his victory at the event by two strokes at Quail Hollow. The American has continued his run of form, ending last term with a win ahead of Spieth in the Dell Technologies Championship.

He has added victories on the PGA Tour at the CJ Cup and the Honda Classic, while he placed in second at the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship along with a fourth-place finish in the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play. Thomas lost to Phil Mickelson in the WGC Mexio Championship and Bubba Watson in the WGC Matchplay. He has form on his side ahead of the tournament, although the 24-year-old does not have the experience of his rivals. Thomas’ odds of +1100   with 888Sport is well worth a punt given the American’s recent form.

Dustin Johnson

Johnson appeared to be the man to beat ahead of the Masters last season. The American was world number one and in great form ahead of the tournament. However, he suffered a freak injury the day before the event, slipping on his stairs. Johnson’s back injury ruled him out of the Masters and he failed to find his rhythm on the course for the rest of the season. The 33-year-old did not finish inside the top 10 of any majors last season, and although he has been consistent on the circuit he still only has one crown to his name, which came at the US Open in 2016.

Johnson had form on his side at the start of the term, winning the Sentry Tournament of Champions in January along with a second-place finish at the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions. He was in position to win the HSBC Championship, only to blow his opportunity with a poor final round. It has been the main criticism of his play, despite Johnson’s unique striking ability. On his day he can carve up any course in the world, but the American needs a strong level of consistency to win in Augusta. An +1100   shout with Betway could be a risk-reward punt.

Bubba Watson

Watson is the man in form and has a strong history at Augusta as he searches for his third crown. The 39-year-old has not been a model of consistency in his career, but when on form there are few players that can match him stroke-for-stroke. This was the case in his two Master wins in 2012 and 2014 when he emerged from nowhere to win his two Green Jackets. Since his second triumph he has not made an impression on the major scene not even placing in the top 10 in 15 tournaments.

Watson missed the cut at three of the four majors last season, but has bounced back into form this term. He produced an impressive display to win the Genesis Open and was able to maintain the high level of his play to dominate Kevin Kisner in the final of the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play. The 39-year-old has the experience and has momentum on his side. At odds of +1600   with BetVictor, Watson could be a solid bet to join an elite company of players to win the tournament three or more times.

Tips Summary

Jordan Spieth To Win The Masters
Thursday 5th April – Sunday 8th April 2018
Odds: +1000

Rory McIlroy To Win The Masters
Thursday 5th April – Sunday 8th April 2018
Odds: +1100

Justin Thomas To Win The Masters
Thursday 5th April – Sunday 8th April 2018
Odds: +1100

Dustin Johnson To Win The Masters
Thursday 5th April – Sunday 8th April 2018
Odds: +1100

Bubba Watson To Win The Masters
Thursday 5th April – Sunday 8th April 2018
Odds: +1600

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