We are just days away from the first Majors of the year, the Masters. The most prestigious and well established major in sport and it is gearing up to be the best one yet. With Tiger out the picture the rest of the playing field will battle it out for the infamous Green Jacket and with everyone trying it on for size a few are finding the jacket quite a snug fit.
Lee Westwood believes he is back to his best, Rory Mcilroy feels he can fill Tiger Woods’ boots and Mickelson is confident his health and form can make him a contender. Debutantes such as Victor Dubuisson, Stephen Gallacher and Juist Luiten are looking to make their first appearance in the Masters a memorable one. In just four rounds one of these players will be written in the history books, but which one?
Mcilroy makes the trip to Augusta after carding a seven-under-par 65 on the final day of the Shell Houston Open last week and is hoping this form will continue for the rest of the week. The two-time major winner held a four shot lead going into the final round of the Masters in 2011 but fell to fifteenth after a closing 80. Since his slight hiccup the Northern Irishman has excelled in all the Majors since with a win at the US open in 2011 and a win at the USPGA in 2012 both of which he won by a margin of 8 shots. The former World Number 1 is back to his best after a cagey 2013 and is looking to make 2014 a year to remember. Mcilroy is favourite this year with odds of 7/1 for the outright lead.
Last years main man Adam Scott is at an appetizing 9/1 to win outright and certainly deserves to be one of the favourites. Scott was the first Australian to win the Masters after beating Angel Cabrera in a play-off in 2013. He has finished tied 15th or better in nine of his last eleven majors which makes it hard to believe he hasn’t won more. 2014 has been good to Scott so far with the Aussie finishing inside the top 25 in his last five events, three of which were top ten finishes.
With Rae’s Creek, Amen Corner and a host of difficult holes, the players know no matter how good the conditions are the course should not be underestimated. The course has been lengthened in recent years due to the increase in big hitters participating in the event and has made the course harder than first thought. How will the players cope?