More than ever, the Masters at Augusta are nearly impossible to predict thanks to no true star emerging as the favorite in the odds department.
Tiger Woods is out of the picture due to injury, so no name jumps off the page as someone who will run away with the top prize this year. One may want to point to recognizable faces like Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott but inconsistency has cast a shred of doubt on their chances, too.
Vegas reflects all of the above and makes the lives of bettors tough. Here's a look at notable tee times to keep an eye on, followed by odds and predictions for favorites and underdogs.
|2014 Masters Notable Groups|
|Tee Time (ET)||Player 1||Player 2||Player 3|
|8:07 a.m.||Ben Crenshaw||Y.E. Yang||Jonas Blixt|
|8:18 a.m.||Mark O'Meara||Steven Bowditch||Jordan Niebrugge|
|8:40 a.m.||Craig Stadler||Scott Stallings||Martin Kaymer|
|8:51 a.m.||Tom Watson||Billy Horschel||Brendon de Jonge|
|9:02 a.m.||Mike Weir||Matt Every||Roberto Castro|
|9:13 a.m.||Angel Cabrera||Gary Woodland||Ian Poulter|
|9:24 a.m.||Fred Couples||Webb Simpson||Chang-woo Lee|
|9:57 a.m.||Zach Johnson||KJ Choi||Steve Stricker|
|10:30 a.m.||Charl Schwartzel||Jim Furyk||Thorbjorn Olesen|
|10:41 a.m.||Adam Scott||Jason Dufner||Matthew Fitzpatrick|
|10:52 a.m.||Jordan Spieth||Patrick Reed||Rory McIlroy|
|11:36 a.m.||Jose Maria Olazabel||Lucas Glover||Garrick Porteous|
|12:09 p.m.||Vijay Singh||Thomas Bjorn||Ryan Moore|
|1:15 p.m.||Bubba Watson||Luke Donald||Sergio Garcia|
|1:48 p.m.||Phil Mickelson||Ernie Els||Justin Rose|
Full list of pairings available at Masters.com.
|Notable Player Odds to Win 2014 Masters|
Full list of odds can be found on Oddshark.
Adam Scott 9-1
Last year's winner of the green jacket has a chance to move up to No. 1 in the world rankings if he can grab another jacket this weekend.
Adam Scott has been on an absolute tear this season. He started hot with wins at the Australian PGA Championship and the Talisker Masters and hasn't slowed since.
It's a reassuring sign for bettors, as a golfer falling flat after winning at Augusta is not all that uncommon as of late. Scott's form is top notch and anything less than a first-place finish will be something of a disappointment.
All things considered, Scott will finish just behind the sport's next big thing.
Prediction: Scott finishes a close second
Rory McIlroy 9-1
Known for his up-and-down play, Rory McIlroy realizes his time is now.
With Woods sidelined and no player truly stepping up and seizing the moment, things appear to be coming together for McIlroy. As he said recently, the sport is just waiting for someone to win consistently, per the AP (via ESPN):
"It's almost like golf is waiting for someone to stamp their authority on the game and be that dominant player," McIlroy said.
Consistency has not been a major issue for McIlroy this year as he has finished in the top 25 in all of his events and a 65 in the final round of the Shell Houston Open suggests he is finally getting back to form.
At just 24 years old, things seem to be coming together. The course at Augusta is perfect for his skill set, so 2014 is the year McIlroy leaves his mark on the sport.
Prediction: McIlroy wins the 2014 Masters
Rickie Fowler 70-1
Don't fully discredit the power of recent momentum.
Just 25 years old, Rickie Fowler has missed the cut in 50 percent of the events this year, but he turned his game up a notch at the Shell Houston Open. Jason Sobel of GolfChannel.com concurs this is an important trend to notice:
Fowler followed that up with quite the performance on his practice round, per CBS Sports' Kyle Porter:
At these odds, bettors need to throw some cash down as soon as possible.
Prediction: Fowler lands in the top 10
Jim Furyk 66-1
While a bit of a long shot as well, Furyk has favorable odds for those in search of a bargain.
He has a strong history at the event with two finishes in fourth place. Momentum is a bit on his side as well, thanks to a top 10 finish at the Valero Texas Open.
Furyk says confidence should be the No. 1 thing people look at before the Masters, per Jim McCabe of Golfweek:
Statistics bother me, at times. If I’m standing at a tee box and I think I can put it in the fairway and I know I’m going to put it in the fairway, then I feel like I’m driving the ball well and I don’t care what the statistics say.
If I hit eight out of 10 fairways, but I’m standing on the tee nervous about getting the ball in the fairway, I don’t care what the stats say then I don’t think I’m prepared.
Fair point. For the record, Furyk sounds sure of himself heading into the big event. That should be worth a bet.
Prediction: Furyk lands in third place