Jack Green's golf tips for the first major of the season at Augusta include a player to win, two each-way shouts and an outsider.
Back any player to win the Masters and Betway will pay out if they lead at the end of round one.
BACK TO WIN
It’s hard not to get excited about Spieth’s chances this week.
After a winless drought of nearly four years – during which he dropped all the way down to 92nd in the world rankings – the 27-year-old finally earned his first victory since July 2017 at last week’s Texas Open.
That triumph comes just in time for the Masters, which he won in 2015 and would have done so again a year later if not for his famous collapse on the 12th hole.
One win isn’t enough to claim Spieth is back to his best, but this return to form has been coming for a while. He’s earned five other top-15 finishes this year, including top-fives at the Phoenix Open, Pebble Beach Pro-Am and Players Championship, and he’s rediscovered the confidence with his putter that made him the best player in the world as a 21-year-old.
With four top-threes in seven career Masters starts, an in-form Spieth is a formidable prospect at Augusta and it would be a real surprise if he’s not back in contention at his favourite course this week.
Morikawa has been one of the best players in the world over the past year and looks a generous price to win the second major of his career this week.
The American has won three times in the past nine months, including last year’s PGA Championship, and has now climbed to a career-high fourth in the world rankings.
Morikawa hasn’t quite been as consistent as usual over the past few months but he did win the WGC-Workday Championship by three shots in February.
He’s only played at Augusta once before – finishing T44 last year – but the course should suit him better this week than the softer conditions of November, and he’s proven that he’s at his best when playing against the best players in the world in the biggest events.
Fitzpatrick looks a great bet at Augusta following a fine start to 2021. The Englishman has finished inside the top 20 in each of his last six starts and is not far removed from a win, having closed out 2020 with a victory at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.
Fitzpatrick finished T5 at the Genesis Invitational at Riviera – a course that matches up very closely with Augusta – and he’s made the cut in all five of his Masters starts as a professional, albeit without really contending.
A T7 in 2016 remains his best Masters result to date but Augusta’s tendency to reward short-game brilliance much more than driving distance means this is the major that Fitzpatrick is most likely to win.
The world No. 16 ranks 15th in total shots gained, 24th off the tee and 25th in putting on the PGA Tour this season, and that all-round game means better results at the Masters are sure to come.
Rose doesn’t really have any recent form to go off. In his last start at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, he retired at the halfway point with back spasms when tied for seventh and he hasn’t played since.
The 40-year-old has said he’s all about the majors at this point in his career, though, and he’s now had five weeks to recover and prepare for an event in which he’s got a great record.
Rose has five career top-10s at the Masters and has finished in the top 25 in 10 of his last 11 starts at Augusta, including last year when he arrived at the event in terrible form. He also finished ninth at the 2020 PGA Championship after coming in on the back of three consecutive missed cuts.
That proves that Rose can up his game for the big events even when he’s struggling for form, and his record at Augusta – which includes a play-off defeat to Sergio Garcia in 2017 – suggests he’ll be dangerous this week if his back has recovered and he’s anywhere close to his best.
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