No Tiger? No problem. While golf’s biggest name won’t be participating in the Masters tomorrow, there are still plenty of reasons to watch the first major championship of 2017. Can Jordan Spieth bounce back from his Augusta collapse last season? Will Rory McIlroy capture his first major in two years? And, most importantly, what do the odds say about the PGA’s most historic tournament?
The usual names appear atop Vegas Insider’s tournament outlook. Spieth and McIlroy are joined by world #4, Dustin Johnson. Johnson has been dubbed the overall favorite to sport the green jacket on Sunday with 11/2 odds. Last year’s U.S. Open winner has been the hottest golfer of 2017, capturing three PGA victories in the span of forty days. Vegas anticipates some stiff competition for Johnson, though. Spieth enters the tourney with 13/2 odds, looking to win his second Masters in three years. McIlroy continues to chase an elusive Augusta win of his own, officially listed with 17/2 odds.
While he hasn’t played his best golf as of late, odds makers still give Phil Mickelson a healthy chance at victory (18/1). Same goes for 2013 champion, Adam Scott. Prognosticators likely believe that Scott’s strong performances at the Masters will continue. The Aussie has finished in the top-20, in five of his past seven appearances at Augusta National. Jason Day figures to make an impact in the tournament as well, as he seeks his second major victory. Vegas tentatively lists Day as a 20/1 participant.
Golf’s first major of the year doesn’t present as much unpredictability as other tournaments (See: PGA Championship), but there are some sleepers that fans need to watch out for. Bubba Watson is one of the least celebrated two-time winners and is currently ranked #3 in the world. Can he join elite company by capturing another green jacket? Will 37-year-old, Sergio Garcia finally breakthrough to take home his first major win? He has some favorable odds, at 30/1.
Some intriguing golfers for bargain betters looking for low-risks and high-rewards, include Marc Leishman and returning champ, Danny Willett. Leishman currently holds 65/1 odds, but has been at the top of his game recently. He won the Arnold Palmer Invitational less than a month ago, as he too chases his first major. Willett returns to Augusta as the forgotten man. While most golf fans remember last year’s tournament as the unraveling of Spieth, Willett was the one who ended up victorious. Vegas shows little love, giving Willett a 110/1 chance at a repeat.
Even as a second straight year of a Tiger Woods-less Masters rolls around, PGA fans have a lot to look forward to, starting tomorrow morning. As the explosion of youth phenoms continues to reinvigorate the game of golf, all eyes will likely be on Johnson, McIlroy, Day……and the money line, of course!
Prediction: Jordan Spieth totally redeems himself by winning his second Masters Tournament.