Masters Odds 2013: Latest Predictions for Golf's Top 25 Stars
Professional golf's rite of spring is here. The best golfers in the world are tackling Alister MacKenzie's masterpiece, all vying for the green jacket.
Tiger Woods enters the tournament hotter than any player in golf, having already won three times on tour this season.
Phil Mickelson, who is among the 19 past champions in the field, comes to Augusta hoping for a fourth green jacket.
Rory McIlroy seeks to continue rebounding from his walk-off withdrawal at the Honda Classic earlier this year.
Read on for odds and predictions for Tiger, Phil, Rory and the rest.
Odds to Win: 170/1
Masters History: The 2000 Masters champion, Vijay Singh had a good run at Augusta through the early 2000s, including the aforementioned win and five straight Top 10 finishes. He cooled off as he neared his 50th birthday, though, missing the cut in 2010 and 2011 before rebounding with a T-27 finish last year.
Prediction: I don't see Singh finishing much higher than the Top 30. Even with six straight cuts this year, Singh and his putter have been too inconsistent at Augusta to expect a strong finish.
Odds to Win: 120/1
Masters History: Fred Couples captured the green jacket in 1992 and has secured an additional 10 Top 10 finishes in the tournament overall. The 53-year-old had a legitimate shot at victory in 2010, eventually finishing in sixth place. He followed that fine performance with Top 15 finishes in 2011 and 2012.
Prediction: Couples has made the cut in all three of his Champions Tour starts this year. He did the same in his sole PGA Tour appearance at the Northern Trust Open. Given this and his resurgent play at Augusta National over the past three years, a Top 25 finish is not out of the question for Boom Boom.
Odds to Win: 70/1
Masters History: Jim Furyk finished fourth at the Masters in 1998 and 2003 and has notched three additional Top 10s beyond those two finishes. The Arizona State alum finished 11th last year, held back by a third-round 73.
Prediction: He's been competing in the Masters since 1996 and has been a consistent presence. Given that and the moderate uptick in his play, Furyk will perform about the same as he did last year and finish in the Top 20.
Odds to Win: 60/1
Masters History: Henrik Stenson has been competing in the Masters since 2007, but he hasn't finished better than a tie for 17th. He broke a streak of two missed cuts in the last three years with a T-40 finish last year.
Prediction: The Swede finished tied for second at the Shell Houston Open two weeks ago, establishing positive momentum heading into the season's first major. If he keeps his wits about him, he has the tools to finish inside the Top 30 this week.
Odds to Win: 58/1
Masters History: Graeme McDowell's four starts at Augusta have been a mixed bag. He's finished inside the Top 20 twice and missed the cut twice, but he did finish tied for 12th last year.
Prediction: The Ulsterman opened with a 75 last year but played well the rest of the week, eventually carding a final-round 68. Given his quality play in 2013 and the morale-boosting closing rounds last year, McDowell will finish inside the Top 20.
Odds to Win: 55/1
Masters History: Rickie Fowler has made the cut in his two Masters starts as a professional, finishing tied for 38th in 2011 and tied for 27th last year. He closed with two consecutive under-par rounds last year.
Prediction: He will take encouragement from not entirely withering against Tiger Woods at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. However, Fowler doesn't yet have the skills to conquer MacKenzie's design, but a Top 25 finish is still in the cards.
Odds to Win: 45/1
Masters History: Jason Dufner has only competed for the green jacket twice; however, he finished inside the Top 30 both times. Dufner was in great position for victory after two rounds last year, but two weekend scores of 75 sank his hopes.
Prediction: One never knows with the king of "Dufnering." The Auburn alum has made five of seven cuts this year, but he hasn't cracked the Top 10 yet in 2013. Given this, he plays better on the weekend this year and finishes inside the Top 20.
Odds to Win: 42/1
Masters History: Sergio Garcia's best finish in the Masters was a tie for fourth in 2004. He's been playing in the tournament since 1999, but he only managed to finish inside the Top 10 one other time (eighth, 2002).
Prediction: Garcia and Augusta National haven't exactly been happy bedfellows over the years. In fact, they may sleep in separate bedrooms. Garcia hasn't finished inside the Top 10 since 2004 and won't finish inside the Top 40 this year.
Odds to Win: 40/1
Masters History: The Australian withdrew from the Masters last year with an injured foot. Jason Day finished tied for second in 2011, his first appearance at Augusta, and his 12-under total was the lowest score by a first-time participant.
Prediction: He hasn't cracked the Top 30 in any of his last three starts, which is an ominous sign. However, given his superlative performance in his inaugural Masters and the fact that he wasn't able to finish last year, Day will use the added motivation and comfort with the course to make up for 2012's early exit with a Top 15 finish.
Odds to Win: 40/1
Masters History: Ian Poulter's play at Augusta National has been better over the past few years than it was in his early efforts to claim the green jacket. In 2010, he finished tied for 10th, and he posted his best Masters finish last year (seventh).
Prediction: This year has been respectable for the Englishman. He's made five straight cuts on the PGA Tour, but he didn't overwhelm last week at the Valero Texas Open. He could be dangerous if he gathers momentum early, but he's not likely to finish inside the Top 20.
Odds to Win: 40/1
Masters History: Well, he won the thing last year...in dramatic fashion, too. Bubba Watson took down Louis Oosthuizen on the second playoff hole with a shot for the ages to secure the green jacket last year. Beyond this, the left-hander hasn't finished inside the Top 20 in any of his three other Masters starts.
Prediction: Watson won't be winning this year; however, he'll certainly make the cut. It's difficult to see him finishing outside the Top 25 as long as his putter cooperates.
Odds to Win: 33/1
Masters History: Luke Donald has two Top 10 finishes in his eight starts at Augusta. He finished tied for 32nd last year, but he did close with 68 after a third-round 75.
Prediction: Donald will shake off the rust and emerge from a string of less-than-noteworthy performances at Augusta National this week. He'll finish inside the Top 20, perhaps even carding one of his patented backdoor Top 10s.
Odds to Win: 32/1
Masters History: A tie for third place in 2008 is Brandt Snedeker's best finish in the Masters. Beyond that, he finished inside the Top 20 in 2011 and 2012.
Prediction: Snedeker's red-hot start had him looking very much like a contender for the year's first major. The flare-up of a rib injury, however, has the Vanderbilt grad off his game. He's capable of stepping up his game when necessary, so he'll certainly make the cut. But finishing inside the Top 25 is the best he'll do this week.
Odds to Win: 30/1
Masters History: Hunter Mahan has played quite well in the Masters since 2009, carding finishes of T-10, T-8 and T-12 in addition to a missed cut. A final-round 74 last year kept him out of the Top 10.
Prediction: Mahan missed the cut in his final start before the Masters. However, it was his only missed cut of the year, and he's finished inside the Top 25 in seven of nine starts. Treating the missed cut as an anomaly and looking at his play from last year, Mahan is sure to finish in the Top 15.
Odds to Win: 28/1
Masters History: The 2011 PGA champion managed to make the cut in his maiden effort at Augusta National last year, finishing tied for 27th.
Prediction: It's difficult to think that Keegan Bradley will do much better in 2013 than his T-27 finish last year. Augusta National is too difficult a track for a second-timer to best (unless that second-timer's name is Tiger Woods).
Odds to Win: 27/1
Masters History: The low amateur in 1998, Matt Kuchar hasn't had great success in the Masters since that point. Prior to last year, he hadn't cracked the Top 10, and he failed to qualify or missed the cut between 2000 and 2009.
Prediction: Given Kuchar's Top Five finish last year and his excellent play on tour in 2013, he's a lock to finish inside the Top 10 this year. He's a legitimate contender to wear the green jacket on Sunday evening if he hits enough greens.
Odds to Win: 25/1
Masters History: He's participated in the Masters Tournament three times; however, Dustin Johnson has never really contended for a green jacket. He's finished outside the Top 30 all three times.
Prediction: Although he hasn't performed terribly well at Augusta—and injury kept him out of the Masters last year—Johnson has become increasingly consistent this year. This will pay dividends at Augusta, and he'll finish inside the Top 20.
Odds to Win: 22/1
Masters History: Charl Schwartzel won the Masters in 2011. In his additional two appearances in the tournament, he hasn't fared terribly well, finishing tied for 30th in 2010 and tied for 50th last year.
Prediction: The South African is clearly comfortable at Augusta National. He's a relentlessly consistent performer, and it's impossible to imagine him not finishing inside the Top 25. On paper, he's the type of player who could easily contend this week, which makes his finish last year quite bizarre.
Odds to Win: 20/1
Masters History: Adam Scott finished tied for eighth last year in the less notable of his two Top 10s in majors in 2012. He made a run at victory in 2011, eventually finishing two strokes behind Charl Schwartzel.
Prediction: Although he's only teed it up four times on the PGA Tour this season, Scott has made the cut in all of those appearances. With him, it's all about the putter. Assuming Scott is rolling it well with his Scotty Cameron sweeper, he should be able to notch a Top 20 at Augusta this week.
Odds to Win: 20/1
Masters History: In the wake of "the shot from the wilderness," it's often overlooked that Louis Oosthuizen was the man vanquished by Bubba Watson in a playoff last year. Prior to 2012, he hadn't made the cut in his initial three Masters.
Prediction: King Louis is one of the few players on tour right now who could legitimately be expected to contend in every major. Nothing that's happened thus far in 2013 indicates he'll play significantly worse than he did last year. A Top 10 finish is in store for Oosthuizen.
Odds to Win: 18/1
Masters History: Lee Westwood has scored a Masters invite most years since 1997. He hadn't played terribly well prior to 2010, but he finished second that year and tied for third last year.
Prediction: Westwood is trending upward at Augusta. Although 2013 hasn't been a great year for him, the perennially atrocious putter has shown a real aptitude for Augusta's greens. He'll finish inside the Top 10.
Odds to Win: 18/1
Masters History: Justin Rose has finished T-11 and T-8 the last two years. His best finish at Bobby Jones' place was a tie for fifth in 2007, and he's yet to miss a Masters cut.
Prediction: After a tie for eighth last year—and given his excellent play thus far in 2013—Rose could finish in the Top Five this week at Augusta. He's likely to finish inside the Top 10, and my colleague Seph Anderson has him pegged to win it all.
Odds to Win: 12/1
Masters History: Aside from the meltdown of 2011, in which he fired a final-round 80, Rory McIlroy hasn't done much in his four Masters starts. He tied for 40th last year and finished tied for 20th in 2009.
Prediction: He has righted the ship and adjusted to his new place in the world. Horror scenarios in which he missed the cut are unlikely, and oddsmakers have been hastily revising their predictions for McIlroy over the past month. He certainly will finish inside the Top 20.
Odds to Win: 8/1
Masters History: Phil Mickelson has a storied history at Augusta, including three green jackets. His most recent win came in 2010. He was the low amateur in 1991 and has been a contender most years since.
Prediction: His "Phrankenwood" will put him near the top of the leaderboard on Sunday. He's played too well at Augusta in the past to do much worse than a 10th-place finish...unless, of course, the Phrankenwood attacks its creator.
Odds to Win: 2/1
Masters History: If you hadn't heard, Tiger Woods has won the Masters four times, most famously in 1997 and most recently in 2005. Last year, Woods struggled on Saturday (and Sunday) en route to a tie for 40th. Prior to that, though, he had finished in the Top 10 every year since his last win.
Prediction: A Woods win is not only a good bet in the abstract, it's the best bet at sportsbooks. Tiger will vanquish the demons, which plagued him on the weekend at Augusta last year. Look for him to shoot around par Thursday and turn up the heat as the week progresses.