An overview of golf’s hottest prospects for 2017

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Which youngsters should you be backing this golf season?

The year’s first major is now just a week away and all eyes will be Augusta National between April 6 and 9 for the Masters.

Young American Jordan Spieth won the title in 2015 but lost out to England’s Danny Willett last year with a well-documented back-nine implosion during his final round.

The 23-year-old cannot be separated from compatriot Dustin Johnson in the market this year, with the duo trading at around 6/1 to take the Green Jacket.

Rory McIlroy (8/1), Jason Day (12/1) and Japanese star Hideki Matsuyama (14/1) might also have a say in proceedings while the likes of Justin Rose (25/1), Rickie Fowler (28/1) and Adam Scott (28/1) are usually never far away in the majors.

While the Masters is generally considered the greatest tournament of them all, high-class action continues on both sides of the Atlantic when the stars have left Georgia, with the Players Championship – the so-called ‘fifth major’ – set to take place in mid-May.

Day is the defending champion at Sawgrass and by then the Australian’s form, that has wavered slightly of late, will surely return as he is a class act and someone who will win many more titles worldwide.

The European Tour’s flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship, sees England’s Ryder Cup star Chris Wood defend his title at Wentworth at the end of the month in what is always a high-class field in Surrey.

The majors then come thick and fast in the summer as possibly the world’s toughest assignment, the US Open, is scheduled to take place between June 15 and 18 at Erin Hills in Wisconsin.

This is the first time the prestigious event has been staged at the Washington County course and so, despite McIlroy currently holding sway in the market at 9/1, there is every possibly that a player from  outside of the ’big four’ might prevail.

As far as wagers go, these golf predictions from Free Super Tips could offer punters some guidance as to who they should back in what is always an exciting tournament.

The 2017 Open Championship comes from Royal Birkdale on Merseyside between July 20 and 23 where Sweden’s Henrik Stenson will look to defend his title.

The Ryder Cup ace won a battle royal with Phil Mickelson last year in one of the greatest head-to-head duels ever seen and can be backed at 16/1 to repeat the dose.

Mickelson, who will be 47 when the Southport showpiece begins, is a former Open champion and is on offer at 33/1 to pull another rabbit out of the hat.

US star Jimmy Walker (66/1) is the US PGA champion and will try to make it back-to-back wins in the year’s final major at Quail Hollow between August 10 and 13.

McIlroy is the current 7/1 favourite and it is easy to see why as the Northern Irishman secured his first PGA Tour title at the venue back in 2010, carding a final-round 62 to beat Mickelson by four strokes.

That win put him on the map and he currently has four majors under his belt, with the prospect of many more.

Outside of the majors the World Golf Championships dominate, with the Dell Technologies Match Play next on the agenda between March 22 and 26 in Texas, while early August sees the ever-popular Bridgestone Invitational from Akron in Ohio.

The lucrative FedEx Cup play-offs concludes the PGA Tour’s schedule while the European equivalent, the Rolex Series, will see the Race to Dubai champion crowned in November.

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