Just four Australians in the field at The 2018 Masters; can Jason Day, Adam Scott, Marc Leishman or Cameron Smith win the green jacket?
The fewest number of Australians in five years will tee it up at Augusta National this week but none of them are there to make up the numbers with all four a good shot at getting into contention on Sunday.
But who has the best form, experience and game to win at Augusta National? Here we give a quick guide to the four Aussies in the field this week: Jason Day, Marc Leishman, Adam Scott and Cameron Smith.
JASON DAY $19 (playing with Henrik Stenson, Bubba Watson)
Last five Masters: 3, T20, T28, T10, T22
After a superb start to 2018 that saw Jason Day win the Farmers Insurance Open, Day has cooled a little but there is one stat that has us very optimistic about Day’s chances this week – putting.
Day leads the PGA Tour putting stats this year making up on average 1.39 shots on the field on the green. He also hasn’t missed a putt from under 5-feet so far this year. You’d back him in coming down the stretch on Sunday to make a few big putts.
MARC LEISHMAN $51 (playing with Tiger Woods, Tommy Fleetwood)
Last five Masters: CUT, T4, CUT, CUT, T43
Marc Leishman had a stellar Masters Tournament in 2013 when he finished in fourth place. Leishman watched on as Adam Scott sunk the putt to make the playoff and go on to win, but it proved to everyone, including himself that he good enough to beat the world’s best.
Leishman’s record at Augusta hasn’t been great since with two missed cuts and a tie for 43rd place last year, but after a phenomenal end to 2017 the boy from Warrnambool is now completely at ease on the big stage.
Leishman is now ranked 16th in the world and has three top-10s to his name in seven stroke-play event starts this year and is our pick for top Aussie this week. He’s been drawn along side Tiger Woods in the opening two rounds and it’s not a silly idea to think he could upstage the big names and win.
ADAM SCOTT $67 (playing with Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm)
Last five Masters: 1, T14, T38, T42, T9
Last year Adam Scott had his best finish at the Masters since winning in 2013. Going into the final round in 2017 Scott was just three strokes behind leaders Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose but a closing 1-over par 73 moved him back into 9th place.
It’s hard to believe but Scott is now ranked 61st in the world and hasn’t had a top-10 finish since last June at the St.Jude Classic. Of course Scotty knows how to win at Augusta but poor form (mainly with the putter), not much tournament golf and arriving without Steve Williams on the bag has us unsure about his prospects this week. Round one will tell us more.
CAMERON SMITH $126 (playing with Billy Horschel, Chez Reavie)
Last five Masters: T55
Cameron Smith arrives at Augusta National for his second Masters after playing in the 2016 Masters and finishing in a tie for 55th place. Making the cut in your first Masters is a solid performance but Smith will be expecting more this year.
Smith has a superb short game that will be perfect around the greens at Augusta, but it’s the confidence from winning the Australian PGA Championship along with four top-10 finishes in his last 10 starts on the PGA Tour that has the 24-year-old ready to surprise this week. $3.30 to finish top-25 seems like a great bet but don’t be surprised to see him eyeing off at least another top-10 finish.