At last years Masters, 125/1 shot Danny Willett took home the green jacket following a thrilling final day that saw Jordan Spieth cave on the par-3 12th.
Here, our resident expert Steve Carroll will keep you updated throughout the week on where the best money lies at this year’s Masters…
Who’s going green?
Jordan Spieth (7/1 favourite)
Forget the 12th – Spieth already has. If you can move on from that, you should be all over him to get his hands on a second green jacket.
Just in case you’d forgotten, this is Spieth’s record at Augusta: 2, 1, 2.
He’s never finished out of the frame and should have won last year while spraying the ball all over the lush course.
Something happens to certain players when they come through the gates at Magnolia Lane: Palmer, Nicklaus, Woods, Mickelson – the Masters is the highlight of their season. I’m prepared to put Spieth in the same bracket. His phenomenal putting is perfectly suited to Augusta’s undulating greens – where a clever read is as important as a good stroke.
Spieth is the best putter in the game. If he can come so close when his game was in a funk, imagine what he can do if firing on all cylinders. I’ll expect him to be powerfully motivated.
Who’s the dark horse
Ryan Moore (200/1)
I’m going to give you a current Ryder Cupper, a man narrowly pipped in a play-off for the Tour Championship, a 2016 winner of the John Deere Classic – and you can back him at a three-figure price.
Moore took McIlroy to the brink at East Lake last September and then, less than a week later, was one of the stars of the American team who regained the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine.
It was his point over Lee Westwood that brought victory for Davis Love III’s team in what turned out to be quite a year for the Nevada resident. He’s opened the new campaign in reasonable shape too, finishing T3 in the opening Tournament of Champions in Hawaii.
Moore can look to three top 20s in eight Masters appearances and, though he missed the cut 12 months ago, there is no way he should have been able to be backed at 200/1 in some early ante-post markets.
Who’s going home early?
Branden Grace (100/1)
Augusta lore says rookies aren’t at their best at the Masters – that it takes a while to get used to the subtle nuances of the course.
Spieth might have something to say about that and, for South African Grace, his first appearance was by far his best.
An 18th-place showing in 2013 suggested good times ahead for last season’s RBC Heritage winner.
But Augusta and Grace have been chalk and cheese since – with three assaults all resulting in a blank weekend, a period where he has recorded four top 10s in the other majors.
Rounds of 75 and 77 last year had him closer – he missed by two – but he has only struck two rounds in the 60s and one of those, a 69, followed an opening 84.
I firmly believe in horses for courses and, having qualified on the back of his tied-fourth in last year’s PGA Championship, maybe Augusta simply doesn’t suit the 28-year-old.
He couldn’t, could he?
Bernhard Langer (500/1)
Langer turns 60 in August but his desire to win seems unabated. The German picked up his 30th Champions Tour victory at the start of the year and appears as focused and disciplined as ever.
Now there’s a huge difference between the rigours of the Champions and PGA Tours but Augusta is a place where time can stand still. Langer has benefited from this in the past and, at 500/1 in the outrights, is he really the worst bet for a top- 20 spot?
He finished T24 last year but that standing masks his overall performance.
Rounds of 72, 73 and 70 had him right there in the second last group on the final day before a bogey and a double in the opening three holes took the wind out of his sails.
He also hit a final round 69 in 2014 to finish T8 and the two-time Masters champion could yet summon himself for one last charge.
And don’t forget this guy…
Lee Westwood (80/1)
I’ve seen three-figure prices for Lee Westwood, which is bonkers given his affinity for Augusta. Here’s his record from 2010: 2, T11, T3, T8, 7, T46, T2. At a place where form counts for so much, why wouldn’t you have him as an each-way bet?
Jordan Spieth 7/1
Dustin Johnson 9/1
Rory McIlroy 11/1
Jason Day 25/2
Hideki Matsuyama 14/1
Adam Scott 25/1
Henrik Stenson 28/1
Justin Rose 30/1
Justin Thomas 30/1
Phil Mickelson 33/1
Bubba Watson 35/1
Rickie Fowler 40/1
Patrick Reed 50/1
John Rahm 50/1
Sergio Garcia 50/1
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