The first golf major of the year tees-off in a month’s time with the 2019 Masters which will be held at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia in the United States, from April 11-14, 2019.
This year’s tournament will be the 83rd edition of the Masters. Last year, American Patrick Reed shot a 69 and 66 to lead the 2018 Masters after the first two rounds. Sparked by two eagles in the back-nine, Reed registered a score of 67 on Saturday to enter the final round with a three strokes lead over Rory McIlroy. McIlroy faded in the final round and Reed fought off comebacks by Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler to win the prestigious green jacket.
This year, another star-studded field is expected to head to Augusta for the chance to be the next green jacket holder. Let’s take a look at the early betting favorites for the 2019 Masters:
DJ dazzled the Mexican crowd when he blasted through the field at the WGC-Mexico Championships with a final score of 263, five strokes clear of 2nd placer Rory McIlroy and 10 strokes ahead of three third placers. Johnson’s best ever finish at the Master is a T-4 in 2016. I think after eight so-so years at the Masters, he’s due for a big one. This year could be it. Johnson has also announced that he won’t be staying at the same Augusta rental where he had a staircase accident in 2017 so that helps too. DJ is world number one again and wouldn’t a Masters win solidify that position as well?
Rory has always been in the leaderboard at every Masters but he’s never been in the Butler Cabin on Sunday night. McIlroy is the only golfer to finish in the Top 10 of the Masters in the last five years. Add that to the fact that he’s playing well right now with five Top 5 finishes to start his 2019 and we may see something special at Augusta next month. This is also the 5th time for him to try and accomplish the career Grand Slam so who knows if this could be the year.
After his triumphant victory at the 2018 Tour Championship, Tiger Woods has become a darling of the oddsmakers again. As such, he’s also been installed as one of the favorites to win this year’s Masters. But that’s not it, you can add Woods’ four green jackets to our conversation. The thing with Tiger though is that it’s that it’s been more than 10 years since Tiger won a major and it’s been 14 years since his memorable chip-in on number 16 to help clinch his fourth green jacket. Woods pulled out from the recent Arnold Palmer Invitational due to a “neck strain”. It remains to be seen if that affects his Masters’ outcome or appearance.
After winning three out of the last six major tournaments he’s teed up in, you can’t leave Brooks Koepka out of the conversation. The reigning PGA Player of the Year is a big game player and you’d expect him to shine in this environment. In three appearances at Augusta though, Koepka doesn’t have a Top-10 finish although he’s improved his finishes from T-33 in 2015, T-21 in 2016 and T-11 in 2017. He missed last year’s tournament because of a wrist injury. But if you’re worried about his wrist, remember than he won the U.S. Open and PGA Championship after healing up.
The Englishman has played in the Masters a total of 14 times and hasn’t finished lower than 39. That 39th place finish happened in his debut so that’s pretty impressive. Rose has 11 Top 25 finishes at the Masters, 5 Top 10’s including his runner-up finishes in 2015 and 2017. My only concern with Rose is that despite all his success all over the world, he has won only one major title. Rose has also yielded the #1 ranking to Dustin Johnson just recently but no question he is the most consistent golfer on a week to week basis so he’ll alway have a shot.
Here’s a guy who always plays well at Augusta. Don’t forget that in his first three appearances at the Masters, Spieth had a win and two 2nd place finishes. That’s impressive, really. Despite entering last year’s Masters in a slump, Spieth opened with a 66, then closed out with a 64 and almost won his second green jacket. Talking of a slump though, he’s mired in one right now and has not finished higher than a T-35 in eight starts this year. But yeah, he seems to show up at every Masters, so we’ll see.
Rahm struggled in big tournaments early in his career but after a pair of Top-5 finishes in majors last year, he seems to have gotten over that hump. However, the Spaniard missed the cut in the other two majors last year and he’s managed only a 73 or higher in half of his eight career rounds at the Masters. Despite those, he nearly won in Augusta last year and ended up with a fourth place finish. At 24, I think he is going to be the next Spaniard to wear the Green Jacket. I’m not just sure if it will be this year.
He’s only been here three times and he’s improved his finish after each year. Thomas’ T-17 last year was his best ever so I’m expecting him to finish higher. But win it all? Thomas’s game seems to be tailor-made for this tournament. He is one of the most explosive golfers in the world, plays an aggressive style and has a high ball flight. But after a recent final round meltdown at the Riviera, he showed that he can be rattled and his putting game can be susceptible to pressure.
Here are the Odds to win the Masters. Odds were taken from sportsbook.ag as of 3/13/19:
|Rory McIlroy||+ 1000|
It’s really too early to tell who will win the 2019 Masters as a lot can still happen in the next month or so. We’ve seen players pull out due to injuries. We’ve seen some carry the momentum from a prior tournament. There are too many factors that can change the circumstances between now and tee-off.
But when you look at the 2019 season and how it has played out so far, you’ve got to like the way Dustin Johnson has been playing. We’ve always been looking for that big year from DJ and after his victory in Mexico, this year could be it, really. So yeah, the Dustinator is my pick to win the Masters this year.