When Tiger Woods is playing, he is always the favorite, and usually at ridiculously low odds, such as in a range from 3/1 to 5/1.
But, as the whole golfing world knows, Woods is at home recuperating from surgery on his back last week. In his absence, we have nothing but longer shots (over 10/1), longer shots (say, about 33/1 to 40/1), and super long shots (everyone else).
In Category 1, I like Rory McIlroy, who would love to win his third different major, and atone for his meltdown on Masters Sunday (an 80) three years ago. McIlroy served notice that he is peaking for Augusta with his closing 65 last week in Houston, which lead to a 7t.
I also like Jason Day, who has accumulated more Contender Finish Points (18) than any other non-major winner among the active players except for perennial bridesmaids Sergio Garcia (who has 27), and Lee Westwood (29). For more on CFP, see my book, Woods vs. Nicklaus. In the last three Masters, Day has tied for second and finished third.
Phil Mickelson will be gunning for his fourth Masters title, but he has yet to record a top 10 this season, and his health has been an issue. Besides, if he were to win a major this season, the US Open at Pinehurst would be his obvious first choice, and that of his fans as well. As for Scott, I cannot root for the chances of anyone who still uses a long putter – not after the USGA said that they violated the spirit of the game!
Ladbrokes Favorites – as of 10am, 4/8/14
Rory McIlroy 12/1
Adam Scott 12/1
Phil Mickelson 14/1
Jason Day 16/1
Sergio Garcia 20/1
Dustin Johnson 25/1
Matt Kuchar 25/1
Bubba Watson 25/1
Henrik Stenson 25/1
Keegan Bradley 33/1
Charl Schwartzel 33/1
Zach Johnson 33/1