It’s time for the world’s best golfer to make that famed trip up Magnolia Lane to Augusta National for a crack at the Masters. The first major of the year is one of the most highly anticipated tournaments in all of sport so turn off your phone, cancel your plans and get comfy on that sofa.
Augusta has always been the host venue for the Masters. Designed by Alister Mackenzie and Bobbie Jones in the early 1930s, Augusta has changed significantly over the years to ensure it remains a fearsome test of golf. Those changes have largely involved adding length and Augusta now measures a challenging 7,435 yards from the back tees.
It’s not just a test of length though. Sand and water hazards are placed in tricky places while the trees that line the fairways will punish the seriously wayward. However, it’s on and around the greens where Augusta really bites. Scrambling for par is vital to keep round-wrecking scores off the card and it is simply impossible to have a bad four days with the putter and win the Masters.
Can Anyone Stop DJ?
Ahead of the 2016 Masters, people were questioning whether Dustin Johnson had what it takes to win a major championship. Fast forward a year and he’s playing so well he could win them all in the next couple of years.
Johnson bagged his first major win at last year’s US Open and on the back of three straight wins, he goes into this week as the bookies’ favourite. Some people will point to his relatively poor Masters record and the fact that he prefers a fade whereas a right to left shot is preferable at Augusta but Johnson’s golf is just so good at the moment that he will take some stopping at odds of 11/2 with Bet365.
Unflappable Rahm Set For Another Big Week
There is no question who will be named PGA Tour rookie of the year. In his first full season on Tour, Rahm has already picked up a win at the Farmers Insurance Open and he made it to the final of the WGC Match Play a fortnight ago. Those in the know have talked about Rahm as a potential superstar for some time but few people thought he would ascend to just outside the world’s top 10 so quickly.
Rahm’s got all the necessary power to cope with Augusta and the way that he’s adapted to new courses so far suggests he’ll have few problems adapting his game to this new challenge. At 28/1 with Betfred, Rahm should put together yet another impressive performance.
Fitzpatrick Hoping To Take Another Green Jacket Back to Sheffield
Like Rahm, Matt Fitzpatrick has quickly gone from upstart to genuine major contender. The 22-year-old already has three European Tour titles to his name and even managed to finish in a tie for seventh last year at Augusta. Fitzpatrick will need his best stuff on the greens but at odds of 70/1 with BetVictor, he looks a very tempting price to follow in the footsteps of fellow Sheffield lad, Danny Willett.