Spring is here, and for many of us that only means one thing: the Masters. And with the PGA tour heating up long before the weather, we are sure to be in for a real treat come April. Betting has already started, and the latest odds from Vegas are coming in, but they all point to the same three men. Tiger Woods seems to have finally arrived back at the top-level following a difficult couple of years, both professionally and personally. Whereas Rory McIlroy had the best year of his career in 2012, but has had a rough start to 2013. Phil Mickelson is a tour legend who should never be counted out. However, there has been a late emergence of a golfer who could shake things up at Augusta. Brandt Snedeker has recently made himself a contender in a tournament which tends to favor US golfers (six of the last 10 winners have been American). Let’s take a look at each golfer in a little greater depth.
A few years ago, Tiger Woods had one of the biggest falls from grace that a professional athlete has ever experienced. Although it was a personal issue, it affected his game in ways that no one could have predicted. But a new swing and recent convincing wins at Torrey Pines and Doral have put him back in the familiar position of favorite for this year’s Masters Tournament. It will take a special performance to beat Tiger, and a brave move to bet against him.
If there is one man who can beat the mighty Tiger Woods, it is the 2012 USPGA winner Rory McIlroy. The Northern Irishman had a storming 2012, but the start of this year has left much to be desired. However, his recent play in Doral at the WGC-Cadillac Championship saw his first under par round of 2013, which could offer a glimpse of a return to form just in time for the Masters – a major that has so far eluded him. McIlroy is still looking for consistency this year however, and barely a week before Doral, we saw him walk off the course in frustration at the Honda Classic
Phil Mickelson is a player who has often struggled to find consistency throughout his golf career, but if there is one tournament in which he can always come up trumps, it is the Masters. In the last eight years, Mickelson has won three Green Jackets, and only finished outside of the top 10 three times in those eight years. Last year saw him tied for third, and he is placed third in the odds for this year at 10/1.
An outside candidate of sorts, Snedeker wins a place among the list of favorites courtesy of an excellent few months in which he has won his fifth PGA tour win, and received the February PGA tour player of the month award. A continuation of form could see Snedeker win his first major as a 16/1 outsider.
Phil Oscarson is an avid golfer/golf enthusiast. If you’re like Phil, and absolutely can’t wait for the Masters to start, you can try to pass the time by finding a golf course near you at americangolf.com.
Photo Credits: Wikipedia