It’s Masters week, and in this space we’re not going to get into any kind of syrupy soliloquy about pimento sandwiches, pink azaleas, or a cabin for the butlers. It’s time to place your bets, and make up for all those lost bets on the Suitcase Open – otherwise known as the PGA Tour events that fill time between the majors.
The field teeing it up this year at Augusta National Golf Club (love writing that BTW), is the smallest in 21 years, but it is of course loaded with every big name in the world, including all of the top-50 ranked golfers in the world.
With so many stars, there is no clear favorite. Rory McIlroy, who can complete the career grand slam this week, has been made a slight favorite at 9-1. He’s followed by Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas at 10-1, with Dustin Johnson and Tiger Woods rounding out the top 5 favorites at 11-1.
A red-hot Bubba Watson, a winner of two green jackets, is listed at 14-1, alongside last year’s runner-up Justin Rose. Jason Day is 16-1, as is three-time Masters winner Phil Mickelson. Rickie Fowler, at 18-1, is the only other player with odds better than 20-1.
Jon Rahm is 20-1, just ahead of Paul Casey, who’s available at 22-1. Finally, the defending champ Sergio Garcia has odds of 28-1.
Ian Poulter is this week’s payoff pick. The Englishman is coming off an impressive two weeks in Texas, with a win in Houston, and a T5 in Austin. Poulter is listed at 50-1.
Tournament: The Masters
Dates: April 5-8, 2018
Where: Augusta, Ga.
Course: Augusta National
Distance: Par 72, 7,435 yards
Architect: Alister McKenzie, Bobby Jones
Format: 72-holes, stroke play, no cut
Winning Share: $1,980,000
Defending Champion: Sergio Garcia