The US Masters has proved a difficult tournament for the underdog to win. Augusta National has been known to eat up debutants and send great golfers home with more mental issues than Jean an de Velde.
We’ve already looked at the Australian chances of winning the 2011 US Masters, but let’s now take a look at the top 10 favourites as listed by the majority of bookies across the globe.
1. Phil Mickelson
There is no questioning Mickelson’s favouritism. Mickelson’s victory last year included one of the great shots of all time. A great win last week with shooting some low numbers sees the defending champion in perfect position to win his fourth US Masters.
2. Tiger Woods
It is extremely surprising to see people still wanting to bet on Tiger Woods. He is now ranked number seven in the world and his form has been ordinary. He does have past experience at Augusta going for him though. He finished fourth in his first tournament back last year. Impressive to say the least.
3. Lee Westwood
Westwood has set the world on fire this year like many expected. He only held the world’s number one ranking for a short time before Martin Kaymer took over but his recent form is a promising lead up to Augusta. Three top-20’s in his last three starts would please Westwood, as would the memory of his second place finish here last year.
4. Nick Watney
It may surprise some to see Nick Watney rated this highly to win the green jacket but check out his record here. Three starts and two top-20’s and a seventh last year. Add to that three top-10’s in his last three starts and a win at the WGC Cadillac Championship. Form. Serious form.
5. Martin Kaymer
World number 1 ranked fifth to win the green jacket?
Explanation: Three US Masters appearances, three missed cuts.
6. Dustin Johnson
Dustin Johnson has a pretty poor record at Augusta too, but he is a personal favourite of many after his tragic finish to the 2010 US PGA Championship. It was tough enough to sow the seed of doubt that may re-emerge if he is in contention on Sunday.
7. Hunter Mahan
This guy is a good bet for a Top-10 finish. He has two in his last two starts at Augusta. I’m not sure his form is quite good enough to suggest he’s going to win this though. But stranger things have happened.
8. Rory Mcilroy
It is an absolute pleasure to watch Rory play golf. He has one of the finest swings in golf but I’m not sure he should be rated so highly to win this week. He has a bit of maturing to do on the golf course and course management is a huge component to winning this week.
9. Luke Donald
Since missing out on a spot in the Ryder Cup team last year, Luke Donald his been brilliant. His form this year has been superb which included a win at the WGC Match Play Championship. I like the look of Donald despite some up and down results at Augusta. He should be rated a few places higher.
10. Paul Casey
Another Englishman with some indifferent form at Augusta. His last six starts include two missed cuts and four top-20’s?! He probably shouldn’t be rated this high but has the all round game to win a major at some stage.
Tomorrow: 5 dark horses to win the 2011 US Masters