One of the highlights of the sporting calendar, the US Masters is, for many, the golf tournament to win. Now in its 78th year, and hosted by the stunning Augusta National course since 1934, it‘s the first chance for Tour players to win a Major in 2014.
Adam Scott won the title last year meaning that it’s now been 15 years since a European won the tournament. Can Scott defend his title? Will an American take the crown? Or will we celebrate the first European winner since 1999? We look forward to this year’s Masters.
The European challenge
Former world number one Rory McIlroy is the 13/2 favourite for this year’s tournament as he seeks to get his career back on track after a disappointing 2013.
Over the years, the Northern Irishman’s form at Augusta has been mixed. The 24 year old headed the Masters leaderboard from the very early stages three years ago and he went into the final round four shots ahead of the chasing pack. However a final round 80 undid all his previous good work and he finished outside the top ten.
Two years ago, he was one shot off the lead going into the weekend before fading and finishing T40 while last year he was never really in contention and finished eleven shots off the lead.
Lee Westwood’s last four trips to the Masters have seen him finish second, T11, T3 and T8 and he has given his backers plenty to cheer in recent years. While he hasn’t been in great form this year – his best finish was the T20 at the Northern Trust Open – his form at Augusta in recent years has been terrifically consistent. At 45/1 he could be a great each-way bet.
Luke Donald hasn’t been in contention at a couple of Masters – T32 and T25 in the last two years – but can boast three top 10 finishes at this event and is one to watch at 35/1. Sergio Garcia also reserves his best form for Augusta and has finished T12 and T8 in the last two years. The Spaniard could go well at 21/1.
We also think Matteo Manassero is due to break through at a major tournament. The 20 year old has enjoyed four top 25 finishes on the PGA Tour this year including an impressive T8 at the Valspar Championship in March. The young Italian is 115/1.
US and the Rest of the World
Phil Mickelson is a three time Masters winner and, at 11/1, will always be a danger on this course. If you’d backed him to 5 places each way you’d have got a return on your investment in five out of the last eight years but his form in 2014 is mediocre. He finished T16 at the Cadillac Championship despite only shooting one round under par and he withdrew from the recent Valero Open after two rounds.
Adam Scott is the reigning champion and the Aussie could well become the first man since Tiger to retain the Masters title. His worst performance so far this year is a T25 at the Cadillac Championship and he has recorded five top ten finishes. Scott finished T8 in 2012, won the tournament in 2013 and can go really well this year at 15/2.
After Stephen Bowditch’s recent win at the Valero Texas Open, Australian golfers have now won three of the last seven PGA Tour events. Jason Day was second at the Masters in 2014 and has a win under his belt on the Tour this year so could go well at 13/1 while John Senden could be a great each way bet at 135/1.
American golfers have won eight out of the last thirteen Masters tournaments and there are plenty of talented home-grown players to follow. 2012 champion Bubba Watson is 23/1 to regain his title while we really like the chances of Matt Kuchar who has finished in the top 8 at Augusta in each of the last two years. Kuchar is 21/1.
Check out all our pre-tournament odds on the 2014 US Masters over at our main site at https://www.betbright.com/golf/51633018/56404148/63451652