2014 Masters: Updated Odds After the Cut
The cut has been made at Augusta National. Forty-six players will be joining Tiger Woods (at home with injury) as spectators this weekend, including a few notables.
Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els, Sergio Garcia, Charl Schwartzel, Webb Simpson, Zach Johnson, Dustin Johnson, Keegan Bradley and Jason Dufner all missed the cut.
The 2012 Masters champion, Bubba Watson, has outpaced his peers through two days. The free-swinging lefty is seven under through the first two rounds. He enters Saturday three strokes ahead of the field.
John Senden is three back, with Thomas Bjorn, Jonas Blixt, Adam Scott and Jordan Spieth four behind Watson to begin the third round.
After two rounds, who has the best odds of winning the Masters? Read on to find out.
Masters Title Odds: 80-1
Reason to Buy: Pre-tournament favorite Rory McIlroy was the victim of countless putts that should have fallen and a terrible break when his ball caromed off a sprinkler head at the 13th hole Friday. He's hitting the ball well, and it's not difficult to imagine a counterfactual where McIlroy is even par, rather than four over.
Reason to Sell: McIlroy is 11 strokes off the lead entering the weekend. Even if leader Bubba Watson shoots even par Saturday and Sunday, 11 strokes is a huge amount to make up over two days at Augusta National.
Will Win the Green Jacket If...Bubba Watson plays right-handed, and McIlroy channels his 2012 PGA Championship form.
Masters Title Odds: 30-1
Reason to Buy: Fred Couples is a past winner (1992). He's finished tied for 15th or better the past three years.
Reason to Sell: Couples was in contention last year and fired a third-round 77 to end his pursuit of the green jacket. If he repeats that performance, "Boom Boom" isn't winning the Masters this year either.
Will Win the Green Jacket If...he sticks to a pretty simple formula: stay calm. In his post-round interview, Couples said, per ASAP Sports:
Well, I'm averaging 76 the last two Saturdays, which is not very good...when you panic and then try and do a couple of things because, oh, God, I was tied for the lead or in second. Now I'm in 12th place. And then you try and hit a shot and it doesn't work out. And you go to 18th place.
You can't do it that. I mean you're trying to play the course and shoot the lowest score you can.
Masters Title Odds: 22-1
Reason to Buy: Jonas Blixt has won once each of the past two seasons on the PGA Tour and has avoided big numbers thus far this week. Assuming he can continue to manage the course and rely on past crunch-time experiences, four strokes isn't too great a difference for the Swede to make up.
Reason to Sell: This is Blixt's first Masters. First-timers don't win the Masters. Period.
Will Win the Green Jacket If...he's able to keep his nerve and repeat what he's done through the first two rounds. Simple. Right?
Masters Title Odds: 16-1
Reason to Buy: John Senden won the Valspar Championship earlier this season, where he fired rounds of 64 and 70 on the weekend. Thus, Senden knows how to move on "Moving Day" and finish a tournament.
Reason to Sell: The Australian has missed the cut in two of his three appearances at Augusta National. Although he's won twice on Tour, he hasn't proven to be a master of the Masters or a player capable of contending on the weekend at a major.
Will Win the Green Jacket If...he plays better on the weekend in a major than he has in his more than 20-year career, and Bubba Watson falters.
Masters Title Odds: 15-1
Reason to Buy: Jimmy Walker has made a star turn. He's won three times since October of last year and is first in the FedExCup ranking. In short, he looks ready to contend in a major and has been unflappable through two rounds.
Reason to Sell: As stated regarding Blixt, first-timers don't win the Masters—period.
Will Win the Green Jacket If...he adheres to the following rules: Go with what got you here, stay in the moment and execute your game plan. All of this is essential, and everyone ahead of him needs to tread deep water.
Masters Title Odds: 12-1
Reason to Buy: Yes, he's playing in his first Masters, but Jordan Spieth seems to have a tremendous natural aptitude for strategy and execution at Augusta National. He's shown the necessary fortitude to win on tour, claiming last year's John Deere Classic.
Reason to Sell: In short, he's 20 years old, has never played in the Masters and hasn't contended on the weekend in a major.
Will Win the Green Jacket If...Spieth continues to display a maturity well beyond his years. There's no reason to think he can't become the youngest Masters champion ever, should Bubba Watson falter.
Masters Title Odds: 4-1
Reason to Buy: He's the defending champion and has fought back from adversity this week. After going out and starting with a 39 during the second round, he carded a back-nine 33.
Reason to Sell: Bubba Watson is four strokes ahead entering the weekend and hasn't signaled that he has any intention other than winning his second green jacket.
Will Win the Green Jacket If...he's able to play four strokes better than Bubba Watson over the next two days and plays like Adam Scott—the 2013 Masters champion, not Adam Scott the 2012 Open Championship runner-up.
Masters Title Odds: 3-1
Reason to Buy: Bubba Watson hasn't given us any indication over the past two rounds that he's going to implode over the next two days. Obviously, he's shown mettle down the stretch at Augusta before.
Reason to Sell: Watson fired a 77 on Sunday last year en route to a T50 finish. Thus, he's certainly capable of playing poorly down the stretch.
Will Win the Green Jacket If...he does anything resembling what he's done through the first two days of this competition and maintains his focus.
As Gene Wojciechowski of ESPN.com indicated, Watson has taken a new approach to the Masters this year to avoid distractions:
New Bubba doesn't read the newspapers or the Internet, and he doesn't watch any TV golf highlights during tournament week. Last year the entire Bubba contingent stayed in one Augusta rental house. This year it's family in one house, everybody else in another.
The approach has been correlated with some superlative golf through the first two rounds. If Watson continues his inspired play this weekend, the odds of any of these golfers catching him are low.