The Masters is, arguably, the most competitive of all the Golfing Majors – and the 2018 renewal looks set to be one of the most interesting and exciting for a long time, with many sub stories all surrounding the quest to take the title of Masters Champion from Sergio Garcia, the current incumbent of the famous green jacket.
Here, we take a look at the golfers we are siding with to achieve Augusta glory
RICKIE FOWLER (USA)
Rock solid form at Augusta, with only one missed cut in his last seven outings. One of the steadiest putters on the circuit, Fowler seems certain to one day pick up a Major honour that has so far eluded him. But a runner up twice in a US Open and British Open, on top of a host of US PGA circuit wins, Fowler has the temperament and game to succeed at Augusta – if he can keep the ball on the fairway to give himself every chance of getting that putter hot. Has been tweaking with his swing recently which is a concern – but he will be primed for Augusta and we like him to give us a real run for our money come Sunday.
MATT KUCHAR (USA)
If Fowler has rock solid form at Augusta, then Kuchar has diamond form. Four top ten finishes of his last six outings there, and we liked his play at the recent MatchPlay Championships. Again, waiting for his inaugural Major honour and some may feel that time is now quickly passing him by to ever get it. But as Garcia proved last year, it can happen just when least expected, and we would not at all be surprised to hear the screams of ‘Kooooooch’ ring out around the greens on Sunday, when one of golf’s truly nice guys could well be getting sized up for a green jacket. Currently available at around 50/1….say no more.
JON RAHM (SPAIN)
Anyone for a Spaniard to win the Masters again? Well if one is to prevail at Augusta in 2018, we think Rahm could be the one to deliver. An absolute freak of nature on the course and looks certain to become one of the stars of the not so distant future. Made his Masters debut last year and was well in the mix after 36 holes, only to fade to finish 27th eventually. But that experience will stand him in good stand for an assault this year – as long as he can harness that fiery Spanish temper into focused aggression – which is exactly what is needed to win here. One certainly worth watching and a little vested interest may make it even more exciting.
JUSTIN THOMAS (USA)
Will be the man that many stick their hard earned pennies on. Currently averaging one win in four tournaments, Thomas looks set to assume the World Number 1 position from Dustin Johnson anytime soon, and has finished 39th and 22nd in his two Augusta starts to date though – interestingly – has yet to break 70 there. Showed all his tenacity in getting to the semi finals of the WGC Matchplay a few weeks ago and has no obvious weakness to his game – over and above the pressure of becoming the best golfer in the world. Already has one major honour tucked away so knows what it takes to win – looks a banker to be in the mix on Sunday and could just be the one to run away with it.
PATRICK CANTLAY (USA)
Our final selection is a little bit of an outside/dark horse/value selection but, after a return from injury, Cantlay has been contesting in big tournaments on the US Tour circuit and is currently lying fifth on the money list for 2018. This will be his first Masters appearance since 2012, the one and only time he has competed at Augusta, where he finished a respectable 47th. With the Masters being the tournament that usually throws up romantic stories and notable triumphs, Cantlay could just be this years surprise success story – though to many, it wont be a surprise at all. Generally available at around 66/1, we feel there is real value here.
So there you have our selections – we cant wait to see them all tee off at Augusta on Thursday and see how many of them are in the running to prevail come Sunday evening!
DO YOU AGREE WITH OUR SELECTIONS? WHO DO YOU THINK WINS AT AUGUSTA THIS YEAR? LET US KNOW BELOW!