The Master Tournament, golf’s first major of the year, is only a couple of weeks away. The online golf sportsbook odds makers have made Tiger Woods a ridiculously low +350 favorite. Although it’s still early in the PGA Tour Season, many golf handicappers are already wondering what happened to Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.
Neither top in the world golfer has made an impact this season. In 2009, Lefty, that’s Mickelson, discovered that he still had it at Augusta National winning yet another green jacket. Will lightning strike twice? Is Tiger the one to consider backing to win at Augusta in 2010?
Where do Tiger and Phil fall on my Masters’ Top 10 two weeks before the first major of the year?
Masters Tournament: Top 10
When: April 7 – April 10, 2011
Where: Augusta National GC, Augusta, Georgia
TV: ESPN, CBS
Nick Watney - - The Masters Tournament odds makers aren’t giving Watney much respect. Nick is at +2800 in the sports book to win the 2011 Masters even though he finished in seventh place with an 8 under in 2010 and Nick’s worst finish in 6 tournaments this year was a thirteenth place. N-Dub won the WGC-Cadillac this year.
Rory McIlroy - - The tenth place finish at the WGC-Cadillac in his last on the PGA Tour was good enough for me to say that Rory most likely will come up huge at Augusta this year. McIlroy shot a 7 over and missed the cut at the 2010 Masters, but he should bring a more mature game to the party on April 7.
Martin Kaymer - - The 2010 Race to Dubai winner has been up and down so far in 2011, but the online Masters Tournament odds makers don’t seem to mind. Kaymer is at +1200, third choice after Tiger and Phil, in the sports book. Martin did win the Abu Dhabi Championship and he did finish second to Luke Donald at the WGC-Accenture.
Lee Westwood - - Along with El Tigre and Lefty, Westwood makes up the “triumvirate of golf’s overrated”. Lee is a co-third choice along with Martin Kaymer to win the 2011 Masters Tournament. Westwood’s second place finish at Augusta last year was nice, but Lee hasn’t finished better than fifteenth in any tournament yet this year.
Phil Mickelson - - The defending champ used the 2010 Masters to secure his first victory of the year. Will lightning strike twice? At the incredibly low +600 odds, I’m not willing to take a chance on the lightning bolt coming this year.
Tiger Woods - - Wow. Masters odds tournament handicappers have to be scratching their heads. If there was any year where El Tigre deserved to be a second choice, possibly a double-digit choice, to win the Masters it’s this year. Yet, there El Tigre sits, at +350, ready to burn another hole into golf bettors’ pockets. The tenth at the WGC-Cadillac was a good sign, but +350? I don’t think so.
Luke Donald - - The WGC-Accenture winner is getting no respect at +3000 even though he followed up his terrific WGC-Accenture victory with a tenth place finish at the Honda Classic and a sixth place finish at the WGC-Cadillac Championship.
Paul Casey - - Man, that +9 at the 2010 Masters was, well, is there an actual adjective for it? Casey needs to step it up this year at August. He can do it and the odds will be fair, but that +9…tough to get over.
Ernie Els - - Ernie’s been all over the map so far this year. Els, at just okay +2500 Masters Tournament online odds, hasn’t finished in the Top 10 yet this season. His best finish was a fifteenth at the WGC-Cadillac. Ernie’s got a lot to do before April 7 hits if he hopes to actually contend for a green jacket this year.
Dustin Johnson - - DJ definitely turned his form around with that second at the WGC-Cadillac in his last. His 65 third round in that tournament should have set him up for the victory. Johnson’s game might not be suited for Augusta, however, making him a tough guy to back at +2500 odds.