The opening Major of the year is upon us and we can expect a weekend of excitement, drama and great golf. The US Masters 2015.
Some will argue that the magic that the Augusta course brings to the game makes it the most sought after of the four Majors. Is it sought after by anyone more than the winner of the last two majors? Rory McIlroy is looking to complete his ‘career slam’ in Georgia. The ‘career slam’ is complete when a golfer wins all four majors at some time during their career. If the Irishman wins the 2015 Masters then he will join an elite group made up of Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as the only players to complete this conquering feat.
Augusta National is the home of the Masters, the only tournament of the four Majors to have a permanent home. The course is one of the most beautiful, yet potentially punishing in professional golf. The scenic views, the vivid colours and the tournament traditions are all part of what makes the April Major wonderful, but the highly volatile weather conditions always add to the excitement and drama come Sunday afternoon. Four seasons in one day is a saying often heard during the weekend.
Since the demise of Tiger Woods it has become far more difficult to predict winners of golf tournaments, especially the Majors, but a focused McIlroy seems to be in a different class to most, if not all, of his competitors.
So, who are we tipping to be there or thereabouts on Sunday evening?
Rory McIlroy – He is the best player in the world right now, he is in a different class when he is focused and performs to his potential. However, his best finish in the Masters is eight place. The course would appear to suit him as distance and precision as well as fine putting on highly contoured greens are some of his many fortes, but he hasn’t delivered for four consecutive days in Augusta yet. I expect Rory to feature in the top three this weekend.
Bubba Watson – This man is aiming to take his third Green Jacket in four years, an achievement that will surely inspire him to find his form again. He is also the reigning champion and has everything it will take to regain the honours.
Jordan Spieth – One of the most exciting prospects on the tour, Spieth is only 21 years old and was runner-up in this event last year. He has form and already has a title this season. I expect Jordan to be in the top three with Rory.
Jimmy Walker – The 36 year old was a debutant at the Masters last year. He finished the tournament tied for 8th place. Walker is in magnificent form this season and holds the distinction of being the only player to have won two tournaments this season. I expect him to be in the shake-up.
The outsiders that we think could be a good each-way bet are;
Angel Cabrera – Can be brilliant in Augusta, he is a former champion and narrowly lost out on a second title in a play-off two years ago. A great each-way bet at about 100/1.
Brandt Snedeker – On two occasions Snedeker has been in contention going into Sunday at August, on each occasion he seemed to buckle under the pressure. He can play the game, he can play the course, if he has learned from his two previous failures then he should feature in the top six at least.
Rickie Fowler – Fowler can play on the big occasion, his form at the minute is far from brilliant but it has to be noted that last season he featured in the top 5 in all four majors.
Shane Lowry – The Irishman is unpredictable, he can be terrible at times, but when he is focused and enjoying his game he is consistent. He is enjoying his golf at the minute, he can hit the distances and he can putt. This could be his breakout performance and with odds of about 250/1 he is definitely worth an each-way punt.
So, who do you think will win? Have we left the champion off our list? Let us know.
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