Legend has it, Donal ‘Doc’ Hughes from GolfCentralDaily was a Bloodhound in another life. Who better then to sniff out a winner amidst the azaleas and pines needles of Augusta National than the man himself?
Jon Rahm 18/1
Rahmbo has been knocking on the door this season but despite six top-10’s, he has yet to break through and win. It’s only his third Masters but the improvement from T27 on his debut to solo 4th last year was impressive even when giving the field a headstart with an opening 75. There’s a massive Spanish tradition at The Masters with Seve, Ollie and Sergio, and Jon Rahm is a winner in waiting. Whether it happens this year remains to be seen but he’s definitely worth an each way shout.
Justin Rose 14/1
There’s a couple of conflicts at play here but Justin Rose still remains the most consistent Masters performer in recent years. Five consecutive top-15 finishes, twice T2 in the last four years, winner of the 2019 Farmers and T8 at The Players all suggest he’s primed to contend again. More than anywhere, the player-caddie relationship at the Masters is key and with regular caddie Fooch still recuperating from heart surgery, let’s hope he lends Gareth Lord his Augusta yardage book!
Tiger Woods 16/1
Without really contending this year you get the feeling that Tiger Woods is building towards The Masters. His journey from injury and where his personal life was to claim the Tour Championship last season is for me, one of the great comeback stories in golf and I’m convinced that fully fit, he has another Masters win in him. Granted the last of his four wins was in 2005 but with nobody in world beating form at the moment, the stage is set for Tiger. Matching Rors shot for shot at the Match Play was the final bit of assurance I needed to convince me!
Paul Casey 28/1
Second at Pebble, T3 in Mexico, winner at The Valspar… Casey is a man in form, his GIR stats are stellar and if you heard him interviewed at the Match Play you’ll know he’s not short on confidence! Casey’s Masters form from 2015 on is T6, T4, 6th, T15 and you have to think he can contend for a place. Can he win? The doubt for me is can he putt well enough to win a Major and every year he seems to throw in one poor round (2018-75, 2017-75, 2016-77).
Hideki Matsuyama 33/1
With six top-20 finishes from his last seven starts, Hideki is building a nice run of form again and impressed with a T8 at The Players. It’s hard to believe that this is his eighth Masters and since 2015, he’s gone 5th, T7, T11, 19th. One of the few players that brings a methodology to managing Augusta which, amidst all the calamity that lies in store, will stand him in good stead.