The golfing calendar has plenty of stand-out events on all of the main tours but every golfer dreams of winning one of the four Majors. Of those Majors, the Masters is arguably the biggest of the lot.
There are many reasons for the depth of feeling around the Masters. It is the only Major to be played on the same course every year, the almost mythical Augusta National; the tournament has an incredible history with winners comprising the best players in the history of the game; and, it has produced some of the greatest golfing moments. Who could forget Bubba Watson’s 45-yard hook with a gap wedge or Greg Norman’s collapse in 1996? With plenty of players in with a chance of victory, the 2015 Masters could be one of the best yet.
The clear favourite with the bookies this week is world number one, Rory McIlroy. McIlroy cemented his position at the top of the rankings with a wonderful 2014 summer that saw him win four tournaments including the Open and the PGA Championship. His competitive abilities that shone through in that run can propel him to a Masters victory which will complete a career Grand Slam at the tender age of 25. The best value available for Rory is the 6/1 that Ladbrokes are offering. You can’t often back McIlroy at that sort of price especially at a course that suits his game thanks to its wide fairways, short rough and the fact that it favours players who like to move the ball from right-to-left.
Another player in their twenties who should be in the reckoning come Sunday evening is Jordan Spieth. Spieth finished joint second last year and goes to Augusta with perhaps the best form of any player on the PGA Tour. Three weeks ago he won the Valspar Championship, before finishing second and the Texas Open and losing in a playoff at last week’s Houston Open. Although Spieth hits a very good fade, he can move the ball whichever way the shot requires and he clearly understands which shots to play at Augusta. The Texan is 11/1 with Bet365 to go one better than last year. It is almost inevitable that Spieth will win a major in his career. Few would be too surprised to see him open his account this week.
Our final recommendation for Masters glory is Henrik Stenson who has not had the perfect preparation for this week having suffered with an acute case of man-flu. Like many players, the Swede entered the Houston Open as the course has many similarities to Augusta. However, he was forced to withdraw and has been concentrating on recuperating. It was a shame not to see him at Houston as Stenson has been playing very well this season. He took a while to get going on the European Tour’s desert swing but has placed inside the top five in each one of the PGA Tour tournaments he’s played in. Stenson has an incredible, high ball flight which could be key to stopping the balls in the right places on the fast Augusta greens so Coral’s 22/1 looks generous indeed.