With the Masters just over a week away, it’s time to get everyone brushed up on who the favorites are with the 2016 season being dominated by former Masters champions triumphing on the international and PGA Tour circuits. Check out our list of favorites and make your pick.
Odds to win: 17 to 2
Masters Record: t28th (‘15), t20th (‘14), 3rd (‘13), WD (‘12), t2nd (‘11)
2015 PGA Champion and newly minted world number 1 Jason Day has experienced heartbreak at Augusta. In 2013, Day held the lead on the 70th hole only to finish bogey-bogey-par to lose the championship to fellow Australian Adam Scott. Day struggled early in 2016 but broke out of it by winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the WGC Dell Match Play. His game is a natural fit for Augusta given his deft putting touch and ability to hit bombs off the tee.
Odds-to-win: 17 to 2
Masters Record: 1st (’15), t2nd (’14)
The (now) number 2 player in the world enters the 2016 Masters with an average finish of 1.5 at Augusta. Even more impressive? Spieth has never been outside of the top 5 at the Masters after a round of competition. Sometimes golf courses fit a player’s eye, and Augusta appears to be one of those golf courses for Jordan. Spieth’s 2016 started off hot by blowing away the field at the Hyundai, but his game has been uncharacteristically sloppy ever since, leaving him no longer the overwhelming favorite.
Odds-to-win: 17 to 2
Masters Record: 4th (’15), t8th (’14), t25th (’13), t40th (’12), t15th (’11), t69th (’10), t20th (’09)
Rory’s quest to complete the career grand slam continues at this year’s Masters. After his final-round collapse in 2011, the 28-year-old has struggled to get off to good starts and contend on Sunday in recent years. While McIlroy’s track record isn’t stellar at the Masters, his dominant tee-to-green game and tendency to play a right to left shot off the tee are tailor-made for Augusta.
Odds-to-win: 12 to 1
Masters Record: t38th (’15), t14th (’14), 1st (’13), t8th (’12), t2nd (’11), t18th (’10), MC (’09), t25th (’08), t27th (’07 & ’06), t33 (’05), MC (’04), t23rd (’03), t9th (’02)
Scott brushed away concerns that his game was in demise by starting his 2016 season with a t2nd at Riviera, followed by wins at both the Honda and the WGC Doral. The number 6-ranked player in the world and former Masters Champion has everything you look for in a contender: experience, great ball-striking, and the ability to make a lot of birdies.
Odds-to-win: 12 to 1
Masters record: t38th (’15), 1st (’14), t50th (’13), 1st (’12), t38th (‘11), 42nd (‘10), t20th (‘08)
The two-time Masters champ comes into this year’s Masters in top form, notching his 9th career win at Riviera, a tournament he last won in 2014 also the year of his last Masters win. Augusta fits Bubba’s unique golf game to a T. Its wide fairways and sharp doglegs are a perfect fit for Watson’s swooping hooks and slices that dramatically shorten the course. If history repeats itself, this man will own a third green jacket.
Odds to win: 15 to 1
Masters Record: 3-time Masters Champion (‘04, ‘06, ‘10), 8 top 5 finishes (‘96, ‘01, ‘02, ‘03, ‘08, ‘09, ‘12, ‘15)
Following a new instructor, Andrew Getson, and significant swing changes from the off-season, Phil Mickelson seems to be rejuvenated. With Getson’s help, the 3-time Masters champ has been able to regain the power and accuracy the lefty has been missing the past two years. The change has found Mickelson contending early and often in 2016, with near wins at the CB Challenge, AT&T Pebble Beach and the WGC at Doral. At age 45, Mickelson just may become the oldest player to win the green jacket since Jack Nicklaus was able to do so at age 46 in 1986.
Odds-to-win: 15 to 1
Masters Record: t12th (’15), t5th (’14), t38th (‘13 & ‘11), t27th (‘12)
Fan favorite Fowler comes to Augusta on a mission to capture his first major championship and vault himself into the conversation of the game’s best player. Since last year’s Masters, Fowler has gone from good to great, winning 5 times against some of the world’s best fields. The big question is, will the hi-tops come out on America’s most hallowed grounds?
Odds-to-win: 18 to 1
Master’s record: t6th (’15), MC (’14), t13th (‘13), t38th (‘11 & ‘10), t30th (‘09)
The heartbreak kid rolls into another Masters with more major championship scar tissue. Johnson finished in the top 10 of 3 out of the 4 majors last year but was unable to close any out. Big Dusty has an extra gear that very few can touch, and if he can put it together for four consecutive rounds at Augusta, he will be wearing the green jacket.
Odds-to-win: 30 to 1
Masters Play: t2nd (2015), t14th (2014), t25 (2013)
The 2013 U.S. Open Champion, Justin Rose, is one of golf’s premier players. Rose has competed at Augusta 11 times and made the cut 10 times with 3 top 10 finishes. He is coming off his best finish ever in 2015 where he tied for 2nd at -14, a total that would have won or tied for 1st in 74 of the 79 Masters. The Englishman’s combination of length (17th on Tour in driving distance) and experience give Rose an excellent chance to win at Augusta.
Odds-to-win: 35 to 1
Master’s record: t19th (’15), 25th (’14), 2nd (‘12), MC (‘13, ‘11, ‘10, ‘09)
The former British Open champion and Masters runner-up in 2012 comes into this year’s event playing good golf. The South African won the European Tour event in Perth before coming to the States and registering a T14th, t7th and 2nd in his starts here. The possible reason for King Louis’ good play? Oosthuizen has started to travel to events with his own mattress.
Odds-to-win: 40 to 1
Master’s record: t38th (’15), MC (’14), t25th (‘13), t50th (‘12), 1st (‘11), t30th (‘10)
Outside of his 2011 Masters win, Schwartzel’s track record at Augusta is a bit suspect. However, the South African has been playing well recently with 3 wins in his past 7 worldwide starts. Schwartzel has all of the intangibles you look for in a player with his length off the tee and ability to roll the rock on Augusta’s slick greens.
Odds-to-win: 45 to 1
Master’s record: 5th (’15), MC (’14)
The smooth-swinging Matsuyama has played the Masters 4 times, twice as an amateur and twice as professional, making the cut 3 out of 4 times. His best finish came in last year’s championship where he finished in 5th place after shooting -11 for the championship. Already a winner in 2016 where he bested Rickie Fowler in Phoenix, Matsuyama’s precise ball-striking makes him a favorite for this year’s event.