The Masters 2021
The wait finally comes to a close on Friday as the lavish greens and fairways of Augusta National plays host to the 85th edition of The Masters tournament.
Just like last year, a wide-open pack of contenders will be in attendance this week hoping to cap off the year with a green jacket and a share in the $11.5 million prize purse.
Last years winner Dustin Johnson heads the market along with Bryson Dechambeau but a huge pack of stars are tipped to be in the running come Sunday.
The picturesque greens of Augusta National come into focus this weekend as the 85th edition of the annual Masters tournament tees off on Friday.
Less than six months removed from the belated November edition last year, defending champion Dustin Johnson has again opened as the favourite, followed closely by the usual contingent of the world’s Top 10 golfers.
US Open winner Bryson Dechambeau and THE PLAYERS Champion Justin Thomas occupy the second line of betting, with Jordan Spieth, fresh from his first TOUR win in nearly four years last week at the Texas Open sandwiched in between.
Cameron Smith will fly the flag as the Aussie favourite following his resounding runner-up performance last year, while former champ Adam Scott slots in as a 50-1 chance.
Being April and not November, we should see Augusta play much quicker this week, but just to make things more interesting, there is also a strong chance of rain forecast.
Justin Thomas – $11.00
Where to begin?
JT finally got a well-deserved win on the board three weeks ago at TPC Sawgrass where he led the field in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green to go along with 21 total birdies.
Mastering a course of that difficulty speaks for itself, and so too does the fact Thomas has continually improved at Augusta to finish Top 25 in each of his last four appearances.
The way he handled the pressure at THE PLAYERS last month suggested to me that he’s more than capable of taking a lead into the final day of play this weekend, which is about what you’d expect from one of the most consistent ball strikers in the world.
Coming off a T4 last year, a T12 the year before, and a T17 in 2018, all signs point towards a second major title.
Xander Schauffele – $23.00
This is the longest price I’ve seen about Schauffele in quite some time, but I’m more than happy to take it considering we’re talking about one of the most consistent players on TOUR.
To be fair, the 27-year-old is yet to fully reach his peak, but the writing is certainly on the wall for a major victory sometime very soon.
So far this year we’ve seen Schauffele finish Top 5 on three consecutive occasions at the Tournament of Champions, the Farmers, and the Phoenix Open before going on to miss the cut at TPC Sawgrass three weeks ago.
His misfire at THE PLAYERS largely explains the price on offer, but fortunately, he tends to save his best golf for the biggest events – much like he did two years ago at Augusta finishing runner-up to Tiger Woods.
In an underdog role of sorts, I’m willing to bet Schauffele’s putting carries him a long way this week.
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