Post by: Mike Philipps
The first major of the year and the surefire sign that Spring is here takes place this week, as the golf world descends upon the hallowed grounds of Augusta National Golf Club (par 72, 7,435 yards) in Augusta, Georgia for the 2017 Masters.
According to the extended forecast, it looks like it could be a wet week, with a strong chance or thunderstorms leading into the tournament. Thursday and Friday should be dry, but expect big winds to take over, making the course that much more difficult. Once the weekend arrives, those who survived the wet and windy conditions should find soft greens and good scoring conditions.
Where to Bet on the Masters Online
There is a lot of data to digest when looking to pick a winner, but here are a few historical trends that may help narrow the field and give you a golf betting edge. The average Masters champ is 32 ½ years old when he wins and the average player gets his first Masters win on his sixth try. That has not been the case the last two years, though, as Jordan Spieth and Danny Willett were both much younger and each won in their second attempt. In fact, four of the last five first-time winners got the job done in their fourth attempt or sooner.
Another more recent trend is players coming from outside the top 10 of the World Golf Rankings to win. From 2000 to 2006, all seven winners were ranked in the top 10 entering the Masters. However, seven of the last 10 winners were ranked 12th or lower when they teed it up at Augusta National. During the last 10 years, two of the lowest ranked players in Masters history have come out of the field to win – Zach Johnson was ranked No. 56 in 2007 and Angel Cabrera was ranked No. 69 in 2009. Tiger Woods is the only player over the last 28 years to enter the Masters as the No. 1 ranked player and leave with the Green Jacket, winning it in 2001 and 2002.
While this information doesn’t guarantee 2017 Masters betting success, it may be comforting as you watch if your pick isn’t at the top of the leaderboard. In the last 15 years, just two first-round leaders have gone on to win (Jordan Spieth, 2015 and Trevor Immelman, 2008), and both led wire-to-wire. Bubba Watson joined that pair as the only other player during that stretch to have the 36-hole-lead and hold on when he won his second Green Jacket in 2014. More than half the time, the eventual winner didn’t hold the lead going into Sunday. At Augusta, comebacks are a regular occurrence.
Last year, Jordan Spieth was on the cusp of becoming a two-time Masters winner by the age of 22, and earning his third major in his last five starts. But that was before the wheels came off on No. 12, as he dropped two into Rae’s Creek to allow an opening for Danny Willett to walk right through. Of course, Willett had to do his part, too, and his round of 67 is often overlooked when thinking about last year’s final round at Augusta.
The Masters has the smallest field of any major, and just 94 will tee it up this week. Of course, that field is highly concentrated with talent which provides us with many solid options this week. The players have been broken up into five categories for today’s post:
- Top Masters Betting Favourites
- Past Masters Champions
- Other Major Winners
- Veterans Who’ve Been Close
- Young Guns
But first, we’ll be started with a look at the latest 2017 Masters betting odds according to the best betting sites. Look for more information below the odds as we break down every player worth keeping an eye on. And also note, you can see a more statistical breakdown of many of the top picks by clicking here.
2017 Masters Odds According to the Best Betting Sites
With the Masters being one of the biggest golf betting events of the year and all, there is no shortage of betting markets to choose from at all the top golf bookmakers. We are only comparing the outright odds for the top 20 players here today, but picking the winner is just the tip of the iceberg as far as wagering options go.
And for our readers in the USA, here are the betting odds from the best US-friendly sportsbooks:
When choosing which betting sites to recommend here at OBS, the most important two factors we consider are safety and the general value offered by the oddsmakers (i.e. is the book stingy or not). Beyond that, we also consider variety in betting markets. For the 2017 Masters, there is most certainly no lack of markets. In addition to betting on the outright winner, you can also choose from a ton of alternative options such as:
- Player to make/miss the cut
- Player to have top-5 finish, top-10 finish, top-3 finish, top-20 finish
- Whether or not there will be a playoff
- Whether or not there will be a hole-in-one
- Top player from each country
- Who will be the first round leader
- Top senior, top amateur and even top left-handed player
- Read more about types of golf bets
Top Masters Betting Favourites
These are the consensus five players with the best odds to win the Green Jacket.
- World Golf Ranking: 1
- Odds to Win: 11/2
- Things to Like: What more can you say about the reigning PGA Tour Player of the Year? Johnson could not be hotter heading into the Masters. The No. 1 ranked player in the world has won his last three starts, including two WGC events. In the last 12 months, Johnson has 14 top 5s and six total victories. His confidence has to off the charts, as there are no real holes in his game right now.
- Things Not to Like: Johnson is the favorite heading into the Masters. Maybe that will add some pressure.
- At The Masters: After little success at Augusta in his first five tries – he cracked the top 30 just once – Johnson has strung together consecutive top-6 finishes the last two years.
- Last event: Johnson swept through the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, eventually defeating Jon Rahm 1 up in the championship. Five of his seven matches were won by a score of 3 & 2 or better. The only slight chink in the armor was the fact that DJ couldn’t slam the door on Jon Rahm in the finals when he jumped out to a 5 up lead on the front nine.
- World Golf Ranking: 6
- Odds to Win: 7/1
- Things to Like: After what was deemed as a “down” year, Spieth has come out strong in 2016-17. His first four starts this season resulted in a win, a pair of T-3s and a T-9. Spieth not only hits greens in regulation at a remarkable rate – he leads the PGA Tour in GIR Percentage – but he hits it close, too. He ranks 2nd in Strokes Gained: Approach-the-Green. And when he’s on the green, Spieth is one of the best putters in the game. He’s ranked in the top 3 in total putts the last two years at Augusta.
- Things Not to Like: That back nine on Sunday at last year’s Masters. It started with a pair of seemingly harmless bogeys, but Spieth was still 2-under for the day. Then No. 12 happened, and Spieth’s chances went down the drain as he put two in the water to card a quadruple bogey.
- At The Masters: Spieth’s collapse on the back nine last year is still fresh on the mind, but the accomplishments for the 2015 champ are still pretty remarkable. He has never finished lower than T-2 in any of his three Masters. In fact, he has been inside the top 3 at the end of all but one of his career rounds at Augusta. He also shares the record for the lowest ever total score with Tiger Woods and in 2015, he became the only player to ever touch 20-under.
- Last event: Spieth carded six bogeys and just one birdie in a disastrous second-round 77 at the Shell Houston Open last week. He missed the cut by two shots.
- World Golf Ranking: 2
- Odds to Win: 17/2
- Things to Like: Going back to last September, McIlroy has finished outside of the top 10 just twice in nine starts. During that span, he has five top-4 finishes, including two victories. He also has the motivation of completing the career Grand Slam with a Masters victory.
- Things Not to Like: McIlroy has struggled with his short game on the PGA Tour this season, ranking 179th in Strokes Gained: Around-the-Green and 112th in Putting. Augusta is not one to reward subpar play around the greens.
- At The Masters: Much like Jordan Spieth this year, the most vivid memory of McIlroy at the Masters came when he blew up while holding a big lead. After holding the 36- and 54-hole leads, McIlroy melted under the major pressure and shot an 80 (43 on the back nine) on Sunday. But it’s far from all negative for Rory. He’s finished in the top 10 each of the last three years, with his 4th in 2015 being his best result.
- Last event: McIlroy lost his match to Soren Kjeldson and halved with Emiliano Grillo during the Group Play portion of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. His only win of the week came when Gary Woodland conceded, and that wasn’t enough to move McIlroy to the Round of 16.
- World Golf Ranking: 3
- Odds to Win: 16/1
- Things to Like: Day has a remarkable run going in the majors. In his last 16 starts in major championships, Day has 10 top-10s, with six being in the top-5. The putter was his biggest strength as he climbed to the top spot in the World Golf Rankings, placing 1st on the PGA Tour in Strokes Gained: Putting last season. If he hits the ball from tee to green like he’s capable, he can definitely win on the greens.
- Things Not to Like: Day held an emotional press conference two weeks ago, explaining that his mother has been battling lung cancer, so he may not be in the best mental state. Dealing with those kinds of personal issues can either drag a player down or lift a player up.
- At The Masters: Day was painfully close to winning in his first ever start at Augusta, finishing T-2 in 2011. He backed that up with a 3rd in 2013 and finished T-10 last year.
- Last event: Before withdrawing from the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, Day finished T-23 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
- World Golf Ranking: 4
- Odds to Win: 25/1
- Things to Like: Matsuyama has finished in the top 7 in three of the last five majors, including the last two Masters. Add that to the five worldwide wins he has already this season, and the 24-year-old looks like a top option for a first-time major winner this week.
- Things Not to Like: Once the hottest player in the game, Matsuyama has struggled over the past few months. Since winning the Waste Management Phoenix Open, Matsuyama hasn’t finished in the top-20 since.
- At The Masters: Matsuyama twice played the Masters as an amateur after winning the Asian Amateur in consecutive years. He made the cut both years, earning low amateur in 2011, finishing in a tie for 27th. Since turning pro, Matsuyama has continued to perform well. He has consecutive top-10 results, finishing 5th in 2015 and T-7 last year.
- Last event: Matsuyama was a surprising casualty in group play of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, failing to win a single match.
Past Masters Champs
They’ve won it before, so they know what it takes.
- World Golf Ranking: 18
- Odds to Win: 18/1
- Things to Like: Mickelson might be the most prepared player in the field, with a career full of experience at his disposal from 24 career starts at Augusta. The three-time winner has every shot needed, and still one of the best short games around – he ranks 2nd on the PGA Tour in Stroked Gained: Around-the-Green. And you know that there isn’t a shot that Lefty won’t try…and pull off.
- Things Not to Like: Mickelson has not been at his best on the tee box this season. He ranks 166th on the PGA Tour in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee and 190th in Driving Accuracy. He will need to control his driver better to take pressure off the rest of his game.
- At The Masters: Mickelson is the second-most tenured player at Augusta this week (Fred Couples is the most), and his results are easily the best. In 24 career starts, Mickelson has won three times (2004, 2006, 2010) and finished in the top 5 an astounding seven more times. He’s missed the cut two of the last three years, but he finished T-2 during that stretch as well.
- Last event: Mickelson carded four rounds in the 70s and finished at even par at last week’s Shell Houston Open. He finished in a tie for 55th.
- World Golf Ranking: 9
- Odds to Win: 35/1
- Things to Like: Scott has finished in the top 14 in five of his seven starts this season, and he’s putting as well as he ever has. He ranks 38th on the PGA Tour in Strokes Gained: Putting. If Scott can putt like that and get his normal ball striking performance, he has a great chance of earning a second Green Jacket
- Things Not to Like: Scott has been known as a player that wins with his ball striking in spite of his putting. That hasn’t been the case this season. So far in 2016-17, Scott ranks just 55th on the PGA Tour in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee – he hasn’t ranked lower than 20th in the previous seven seasons – and 120th in Greens in Regulation.
- At The Masters: The 2013 champion will be making his 16th straight Masters start this week and hoping to make his 14th Scott’s victory was the culmination of a three-year stretch that saw him finish in the top-8 each time. His results have been going in the wrong direction since the win, though, falling to T-42 last year.
- Last event: Scott played the back nine on Friday at the Shell Houston Open in 40, leaving him at five-over for the day and one shot outside of the weekend field. For the day, Scott carded six bogeys and one double bogey.
- World Golf Ranking: 19
- Odds to Win: 35/1
- Things to Like: Watson is one of just two multiple-time Masters winners in the field this week. He has the length – he ranks 6th on the PGA Tour in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee and 14th in Driving Distance – to use short clubs into many greens, and the experience to get the job done. He can hit any shot necessary and any shot imaginable.
- Things Not to Like: Watson has managed just one top-10 in a full-field stroke play event over the past 12 months. He didn’t finish better than T-37 in any of the four majors in 2016.
- At The Masters: Watson has been a boom or bust proposition at the Masters, as he either wins or doesn’t even sniff contention. Since 2009, the only two times he finished in the top 35 were the times he put on the Green Jacket – 2012 and 2014.
- Last event: Watson was unbeaten during Group Play at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, making it to the Round of 16 before he fell to Ross Fisher by the score of 4 & 3.
- World Golf Ranking: 29
- Odds to Win: 75/1
- Things to Like: The 2011 Masters Champ has three top-6 finishes in his last eight starts this season. He also has the history of being able to make a late rally at Augusta on his side.
- Things Not to Like: Statistically, there isn’t much to like about Schwartzel. He ranks 116th on the PGA Tour in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee, 133rd in Strokes Gained: Around-the-Green and 203rd in Greens in Regulation. He doesn’t rank inside the top 40 of a single major statistical category this season.
- At The Masters: Schwartzel became the first player in history to birdie the last four holes on Sunday to win the Green Jacket back in 2011. Entering the final round in a three-way tie for 2nd, but four shots back, Schwartzel shot the round of the day – a 66 with five birdies and an eagle. Since his win, he has just one top-25 and two missed cuts.
- Last event: Schwartzel won two of his three matches in Group Play at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, but his 4 & 3 loss to Paul Casey kept him from advancing.
- World Golf Ranking: 49
- Odds to Win: 85/1
- Things to Like: Johnson is not a very long hitter, so he relies on his short game and accuracy to stay in contention. He currently ranks in the top 25 on the PGA Tour in the following categories: Strokes Gained: Around-the-Green (24th), Putting (22nd) and Driving Accuracy (23rd).
- Things Not to Like: Johnson’s wedge play the year he won his Green Jacket was impeccable, but he doesn’t seem to have that part of his game clicking right now. He has ranked in the top 15 each of the last three years in approach shots from 50 to 125 yards, but finds himself in 105th place on the PGA Tour in 2016-17.
- At The Masters: Johnson became the first player to be ranked outside the top 50 of the World Golf Rankings to win the Masters when he won in 2007 (Angel Cabrera joined him with this distinction in 2009). At 1-over-par, he tied the record for the highest winning score in Masters history. The most notable aspect of Johnson’s win was how he approached the par 5s. Not one of the longest hitters on the planet, he vowed to lay up on every par 5, and that’s exactly what he did. The strategy allowed him to torch those 16 holes to the tune of 11-under-par. His best finish since the win came two years ago when he finished T-9.
- Last event: Johnson had three tight matches in Group Play, but managed to win two of them and advanced to the Round of 16 at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. Unfortunately, that meant a match with eventual champion Dustin Johnson, who disposed of the Iowa native 5 & 4.
- World Golf Ranking: 17
- Odds to Win: 125/1
- Things to Like: Willett was able to fly under the radar during last year’s final round at Augusta, and he pounced when the opening presented itself. The 29-year-old Englishman won’t be overlooked this year as the defending champion, but he has shown he can play a near perfect round when he needs it most.
- Things Not to Like: Willett has struggled with consistency ever since his Masters victory last year, and that has continued into the 2016-17 season. In his last 13 starts, he has a pair of top-6 finishes, but he’s also been outside the top 50 or missed the cut in eight of them. Willett also has to contend with the fact that there have only been three repeat winners in the history of the Masters – Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo and Tiger Woods.
- At The Masters: Willett earned his first Green Jacket (and first major, period) last year in just his second start at Augusta. While everyone focuses on Spieth’s collapse, Willett’s bogey-free round of 67 – including birdies on three of the last six holes – was awfully impressive. Willett’s win was unorthodox in the fact that he did his damage on the par 3s and 4s – he led the field in scoring on both – not the par 5s. He tallied only 13 birdies for the week, but managed to avoid the big number, carding nothing worse than bogey the entire week.
- Last event: Willett was dominated in his first two matches at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play before defeating Russell Knox 4 & 2. His 1-2 record was not enough to advance past Group Play.
Other Major Winners
They’ve won some of the biggest tournaments in the world, but never at Augusta National.
- World Golf Ranking: 5
- Odds to Win: 32/1
- Things to Like: In nine starts this season, Stenson has six top-10s already, including two runner-ups. The British Open champion obviously has the game to win against any field, and getting that first major could free him up to win more.
- Things Not to Like: Stenson has never cracked the top 10 in his career at Augusta National. He’s also missed his last two cuts heading into the first major of the year.
- At The Masters: Stenson’s results at Augusta are solid, but unspectacular. He has six top-25s in his 11 starts there, including four-in-a-row, but has never finished higher than T-14.
- Last event: Stenson birdied four of the first nine holes on Friday at the Shell Houston Open, but he added three bogeys and a pair of double bogeys to miss the cut.
- World Golf Ranking: 14
- Odds to Win: 35/1
- Things to Like: Rose has finished in the top-15 in five of his last seven starts, thanks in part to his excellent ball striking. He ranks 8th on the PGA Tour in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee, 11th in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green and 11th in Total Strokes Gained. He also has four top-10s in the Masters over his last nine starts.
- Things Not to Like: Putting is what has kept Rose from being a multiple major winner. Over his last six Masters, his average rank in the field in total putts is 40th. Even with that, he hasn’t finished lower than 25th during that stretch.
- At The Masters: Rose has been in contention regularly in his 11 career starts at the Masters. He has the highest number of starts without a missed cut in the field, and four of those have resulted in top-10s. He finished 2nd to Jordan Spieth in 2015 and T-10 last year.
- Last event: Rose finished at 7-under-par last week at the Shell Houston Open, good enough for a tie for 15th
- World Golf Ranking: 28
- Odds to Win: 55/1
- Things to Like: Oosthuizen has not missed a cut in his last 15 starts and has three top-10s in his last nine. Blessed with one of the sweetest swings in the world, he ranks 22nd on the PGA Tour in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green.
- Things Not to Like: While Oosthuizen has been making the cut a regular occurrence, he hasn’t been in contention too often, lately. Six of his last 11 starts have resulted in finishes outside of the top 25.
- At The Masters: Oosthuizen went to a playoff in 2012, but lost to Bubba Watson on the second extra hole, earning his lone top-10 in his Masters career. Oosthuizen has something that is even rarer than a Masters victory – a double-eagle. In fact, Oosthuizen’s deuce in the final round in 2012 on the par-5 2nd is the only one on that hole in Masters history. He added an ace on the par-3 16th hole in the final round last year to lift him to a T-15 finish, his best since his runner-up.
- Last event: Oosthuizen defeated Hideki Matsuyama 6 & 4 and Ross Fisher 4 & 3 during Group Play at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. Despite those two wins, he fell to Fisher in a sudden death playoff and failed to advance.
- World Golf Ranking: 59
- Odds to Win: 160/1
- Things to Like: Furyk hasn’t played as well the past few years, but he’s the wily veteran you can never count out. From the 2013 PGA Championship to the 2014 PGA Championship, he never finished lower than T-14 in five majors. He also unexpectedly finished T-2 at last year’s U.S. Open, bringing his career total for top-5s in a major to 16.
- Things Not to Like: Furyk has finished in the top-10 just once in his last 11 Masters starts, and just once in seven starts in 2016-17. His average finish over his last five starts is 47th.
- At The Masters: Furyk is a 19-start veteran of the Masters, earning four top-10s since 1997, though he has just one in the last 11 years (T-10, 2009). From 1998 to 2003, Furyk finished in the top-6 three times, twice earning his best result, a 4th place finish (1998, 2003). He didn’t play last year due to injury.
- Last event: Furyk earned a win, a loss and a tie at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play two weeks ago. He failed to advance to the Round of 16.
Veterans Who Have Been Close
They have the game and the experience, but haven’t been able to get over that major hump…yet.
- World Golf Ranking: 8
- Odds to Win: 20/1
- Things to Like: Fowler earned his sixth worldwide win on a major tour with his victory at the Honda Classic in March, holding onto a 54-hole lead in the process. 2016-17 has been a big bounce back year for the former Oklahoma St All-American. He leads the PGA Tour in Scoring Average, ranks 2nd in Total Strokes Gained and 9th in Strokes Gained: Putting. He’s got a lot of momentum going into Augusta as he seeks his first major.
- Things Not to Like: Fowler really struggled in the majors last year, especially the Masters. He carded an 80 in last year’s first round at Augusta, on his way to missing the cut.
- At The Masters: Fowler finished T-5 back in 2014 – the year he finished in the top 5 of all four majors – thanks largely in part to a round of 67 on Moving Day. He matched that score in the final round the next year, lifting him into a tie for 12th.
- Last event: Fowler’s round of 64 gave him the first-round lead at the Shell Houston Open, but he couldn’t hold on, despite a couple of good runs on the weekend. He wound up finishing T-3, his third top-5 in his last five starts.
- World Golf Ranking: 11
- Odds to Win: 30/1
- Things to Like: Garcia has finished in the top 20 in six of his last eight starts, including a win at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic in February. As usual, Garcia is carried by his ball striking. He is 1st on the PGA Tour in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee and 3rd in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green.
- Things Not to Like: It’s been the same issue for Garcia for years – putting. He ranks 191st on the PGA Tour in Strokes Gained: Putting.
- At The Masters: Garcia has made the cut in seven of the last eight years at the Masters, last finishing in the top 10 in 2013 when he earned a T-8. His best finish came in 2004 when he finished T-4. Garcia entered the weekend in the top 10 last year before an 81 on Saturday moved him in the wrong direction.
- Last event: Garcia fell victim to fellow Spaniard Jon Rahm during Group Play of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, earning just one win over Kevin Chappell (4 & 3).
- World Golf Ranking: 22
- Odds to Win: 50/1
- Things to Like: Snedeker has finished in the top 20 in five of his eight career starts at the Masters. He has the exact same streak going on the PGA Tour this season. A quality putter – Snedeker has ranked in the top 10 of the PGA Tour in Strokes Gained: Putting in five of the last eight seasons – with good results and fairly lofty odds has a lot of appeal.
- Things Not to Like: Snedeker has a lot of solid results in majors in his career, but he hasn’t finished in the top 5 since the 2012 British Open.
- At The Masters: Last year, Snedeker earned his third top-10 in nine career starts at Augusta. Twice he has entered the final round in the top two, but averaged rounds of 76 on Sunday in those spots.
- Last event: Snedeker earned a pair of victories during Group Play, but he lost his first match to William McGirt, which kept him from advancing in the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.
- World Golf Ranking: 16
- Odds to Win: 50/1
- Things to Like: Casey’s skills around the green will serve him well as he tries to add a third straight top-6 finish to his resume. He ranks 5th on the PGA Tour in Strokes Gained: Around-the-Green.
- Things Not to Like: While Casey has been a regular contender, he hasn’t won a professional event in two-and-a-half years.
- At The Masters: Casey finished in the top-6 each of the last two years after a two-year-hiatus from the Masters. In his seven career starts at Augusta National, Casey has finished in the top 11 four times.
- Last event: Casey built on his excellent match play record, winning all three of his matches in Group Play and advancing to the Round of 16 at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. Unfortunately for Casey, he ran into a red-hot Hideto Tanihara and advanced no further.
- World Golf Ranking: 21
- Odds to Win: 55/1
- Things to Like: Kuchar is one of the most consistent putters on the PGA Tour, which has helped him make the cut all seven times he’s played the Masters. The former Georgia Tech star has finished seven of the last eight seasons ranked 30th or better on the PGA Tour in Strokes Gained: Putting.
- Things Not to Like: Kuchar has just one top-10 finish in his last 10 full-field events, including four missed cuts. He isn’t playing his best entering the week.
- At The Masters: From 2012 to 2014, Kuchar finished in the top 8 at Augusta each time. His best result came in 2012 when he finished T-3 thanks to his ball striking. He led the field in Driving Accuracy and Greens in Regulation. Had he not had his worst career performance on the Augusta greens, he may have a Green Jacket in his closet.
- Last event: After an opening-round 73, Kuchar came out and birdied the first hole on Friday, but the wheels fell off coming in. He played the last 12 holes in 6-over-par, missing the cut by six shots.
- World Golf Ranking: 13
- Odds to Win: 60/1
- Things to Like: If anyone has a home-course advantage, it’s Reed, who went to college at Augusta State University, though it hasn’t exactly led to great results at the Masters. If he can control his ball flight, he has the knowledge and the putting ability to earn his first top-10 in a major.
- Things Not to Like: Reed has just two top-10s in 13 starts this season. His average finish over his last seven starts is 50th, including a missed cut.
- At The Masters: Reed has just one top-25 in his three starts at the Masters, finishing T-22 in 2015. He has yet to break 70 at Augusta National in his 10 career rounds there. Last year he shot 73 or worse each day to finish T-49 at 12-over-par.
- Last event: Reed came out with a 42 on his opening nine on Thursday – three bogeys and a triple bogey – and could never recover. He fought back with a 1-under 35 on the back nine and a 69 on Friday, but he couldn’t dig out of the hole he dug for himself, missing the cut by two shots.
- World Golf Ranking: 27
- Odds to Win: 65/1
- Things to Like: Leishman is coming off a victory three weeks ago at the Arnold Palmer Invitational when he led the field in Greens in Regulation. He also has experience seeing his name on the first page of the Masters leaderboard, finishing each round of the 2013 Masters inside the top 5. One stat that really stands out for the big Aussie is his putting – he ranks 2nd on the PGA Tour in Strokes Gained: Putting this season.
- Things Not to Like: Leishman has missed the cut three of four times at the Masters, and before his recent hot streak, had only finished inside the top 20 once this season.
- At The Masters: Leishman has been boom or bust in his four career Masters starts. He’s missed the cut three times, but finished T-4 in 2013 after an opening-round 66 propelled him to the top of the leaderboard.
- Last event: Leishman defeated Lee Westwood and Pat Perez in a playoff to advance from Group Play at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. He lost to Phil Mickelson 4 & 3 in the Round of 16.
- World Golf Ranking: 54
- Odds to Win: 85/1
- Things to Like: Westwood’s ball striking seems to always be on point at Augusta National. Over the last 10 years, he has finished in the field’s top 10 in Greens in Regulation seven times, the top 25 in Driving Accuracy eight times and the top 25 in Driving Distance nine times. That’s probably why he’s finished in the top 10 in half of those 10 starts.
- Things Not to Like: With ball striking stats that good, there must be something keeping Westwood from the Green Jacket, and it’s his putter. In perfect contrast with his great ball striking performances, Westwood has finished in the field’s top 25 for putting just twice in nine years.
- At The Masters: Westwood will be making his 13th straight and 18th overall start at the Masters. Over the last seven years, the former No. 1 ranked player in the world has been so close to collecting that elusive first major. Since 2010, he has found his way into the top 11 six times with a pair of 2nd place finishes.
- Last event: Westwood never got anything going at the Shell Houston Open last week, carding rounds of 77 and 74 to miss the cut by seven shots.
- World Golf Ranking: 46
- Odds to Win: 100/1
- Things to Like: Hadwin already has more top-10s this season (four) than he’s ever had in a single season on the PGA Tour, along with his first PGA Tour victory at the Valspar Championship four weeks ago. He’s also one of the best putters on Tour, ranking 6th in Strokes Gained: Putting.
- Things Not to Like: Hadwin has never played in the Masters. In fact, this will be his first major since 2013 when he missed the cut at the U.S. Open.
- At The Masters: This will be Hadwin’s first time playing the Masters.
- Last event: Hadwin finished in 6th place at the Arnold Palmer Invitational three weeks ago, backing up his first PGA Tour victory from the week before.
- World Golf Ranking: 36
- Odds to Win: 100/1
- Things to Like: Woodland already has any many top-5s this season in 11 starts (three) as he did all of last season in 27 starts. He ranks in the top 25 on the PGA Tour in the following categories: Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee, Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green, Driving Distance and Greens in Regulation.
- Things Not to Like: Much like Jason Day, Woodland is dealing with some very difficult circumstances right now, as he and his wife lost one of their twin babies during pregnancy. Woodland is expected to play this week, but this will certainly weigh heavily on his mind.
- At The Masters: Twice Woodland has gotten off to strong starts at the Masters, finding his way on the first page of the leaderboard after day one in 2011 and 2014. Unfortunately for the former Kansas Jayhawk, he fell off the pace in the second round each time, resulting in T-24 (2011) and T-26 (2014) finishes. Woodland missed the cut in his last start in 2015.
- Last event: Woodland defeated Emiliano Grillo in his first match of Group Play, but withdrew due to personal reasons, so he finished with a 1-2 record at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.
- World Golf Ranking: 10
- Odds to Win: 130/1
- Things to Like: At the end of last June, Noren ranked 108th in the World Golf Rankings. Nine months later and seven top-10s (including four worldwide victories) to his credit, and Noren is ranked in the top 10. He ranks 13th on the European Tour in Greens in Regulation at over 78%.
- Things Not to Like: Since winning his fourth event in four months at the Nedbenk Golf Challenge in November, Noren has just one top-10 in seven events. His T-5 last week broke a string that saw Noren with an average finish of 32nd and a missed cut. Combine that with the fact that this will be the Swede’s first experience at Augusta National, and his odds don’t match up with a player ranked in the top 10.
- At The Masters: This will be Noren’s first time playing the Masters.
- Last event: Noren went undefeated during Group Play at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, advancing to the Round of 16. After defeating Brooks Koepka 3 & 1, Noren fell to Dustin Johnson 3 & 2 in the quarterfinals.
- World Golf Ranking: 38
- Odds to Win: 135/1
- Things to Like: Moore is coming off a career year in 2015-16, reaching career-highs in top-5s and top-10s and earning his first spot on the U.S. Ryder Cup team.
- Things Not to Like: Moore has just one top-10 through 10 starts this season despite posting the best scoring average of his career thus far. Over his last six starts, his average finish is 34th place along with a missed cut.
- At The Masters: Moore twice played the Masters as an amateur, including finishing as low amateur in 2005 when he earned a T-13. He has only bested that performance once in six starts as a pro, finishing T-12 in 2015. That week, he led the field in Driving Accuracy.
- Last event: Moore didn’t lose a single match at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, but he also didn’t win, halving all three during Group Play.
Players age 27 and under that have the skills to win big.
- World Golf Ranking: 12
- Odds to Win: 18/1
- Things to Like: Rahm has been on fire the past two months, catapulting in the top 15 in the World Golf Rankings. Since winning in dramatic fashion at the Genesis Open in February, he’s backed it up with three more top-5s, including going toe-to-toe with Dustin Johnson in finals of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. The 22-year-old Rahm ranks 4th on the PGA Tour in Total Strokes Gained and 7th in Scoring Average.
- Things Not to Like: Rahm just got his first look at Augusta National a few weeks ago. It’s tough for a someone with no experience to come away with the Green Jacket.
- At The Masters: This will be Rahm’s first time playing the Masters.
- Last event: Rahm played the weekend in 8-under-par to earn a T-10 finish at the Shell Houston Open. He carded seven birdies on Sunday on his way to a 67.
- World Golf Ranking: 7
- Odds to Win: 35/1
- Things to Like: Thomas is having a breakthrough season in 2016-17. He’s already won three times and added two more top 10s to vault near the top of the FedEx Cup Points Standings. He currently ranks in the top 10 on the PGA Tour in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green (6th), Total Strokes Gained (7th), Scoring Average (5th) and Birdie Average (1st).
- Things Not to Like: After coming out on fire this season (three wins in six starts), Thomas has cooled off considerably. In his last six starts, he has three missed cuts and two T-39 finishes. The high ceiling is evident, but it might be tough for him to get back to that level right away.
- At The Masters: Thomas finished T-39 in his first start at the Masters last year, totaling 10-over-par. He did leave on a high note, scoring his only under-par round of the week on Sunday.
- Last event: Thomas opened with a 2 & 1 win over Chris Wood before losing his next two matches at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. His 1-2 record was not enough for him to advance.
- World Golf Ranking: 15
- Odds to Win: 55/1
- Things to Like: Hatton has made the cut in all 12 events he’s played during the 2016-17 season, and each one has resulted in a top-25 finish with five top-5s. Hatton has played mostly on the European Tour, but his last four starts have been in North America, and his statistics have been very strong. He ranks 1st on the PGA Tour in Putting and 4th in Scoring Average.
- Things Not to Like: Hatton has been tremendous with the putter this season on the PGA Tour, but not so much around the green. He loses an average of .405 strokes per round to the field around the green, which ranks 194th. Augusta will not stand for poor chip shots.
- At The Masters: This will be Hatton’s first time playing the Masters.
- Last event: Hatton was one of three players in his group at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play that went 2-1, but he lost in a playoff when he failed replace his ball after it inadvertently moved at address. A tough way to go down.
- World Golf Ranking: 25
- Odds to Win: 65/1
- Things to Like: Koepka has been very solid in the majors over the past three years. He’s made the cut in all 10 that he’s played and has three top-10s. Despite scuffling so far this season, Koepka appears to be healthy and has a boatload of talent.
- Things Not to Like: Koepka has not looked good for much of 2017, missing four of his last seven cuts and failing to break the top 40 until last week at the Match Play event.
- At The Masters: Koepka improved on his debut in 2015 with a T-21 last year, despite finishing five strokes higher. He ranked in the top 15 of the field in Fairways, Driving Distance and Greens in Regulation.
- Last event: Koepka won all three of his matches in Group Play at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, including two landslide victories over Kevin Kisner and Jason Dufner by the score of 6 & 5. In the Round of 16, he fell to Alex Noren 3 & 1.
- World Golf Ranking: 31
- Odds to Win: 65/1
- Things to Like: Fitzpatrick has finished in the top 20 in eight of his last 10 starts, including a victory at the DP World Championship Dubai in November. Fitzpatrick’s final-round 67 at last year’s Masters was his best ever round in a major (5-under).
- Things Not to Like: Fitzpatrick has struggled on the greens at Augusta in his two starts there. He’ll need to improve on his T-55 standing from last year in that category.
- At The Masters: After missing the cut in his first try, Fitzpatrick bounced back in a big way in 2016, finishing T-7 thanks to a final-round 67. He led the field in Greens in Regulation for the week.
- Last event: Fitzpatrick won two of his three matches at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, defeating Justin Thomas and Chris Wood, but fell to Kevin Na on the first hole of a sudden death playoff. His 2-1 record earned Fitzpatrick a T-17 finish.
Past winners in the field: Danny Willett, Jordan Spieth, Bubba Watson (2), Adam Scott, Charl Schwartzel, Phil Mickelson (3), Angel Cabrera, Trevor Immelman, Zach Johnson, Mike Weir, Vijay Singh, Mark O’Meara, Bernhard Langer, Fred Couples, Ian Woosnam, Sandy Lyle, Larry Mize.