Could We See a Shock at This Year’s Masters?

    The 2021 Masters is almost here! It seems not long ago that the golfing world witnessed Dustin Johnson seal his first Masters victory in impressive style. This year’s tournament has much excitement surrounding it as it will be only 5 months since the previous and many will be wondering if the short gap will present viewers with a repeat performance of last year. Will the current world number 1 Johnson who hit a record score of 268, 20-under-par, 5 strokes ahead of the nearest competition win again, or will we see a new name don the famed green jacket?

    Out of the 4 major championships, there’s just something about the Masters. Whether it be that it’s the event that tees off the rest of the golfing season or that it takes place in arguably the finest golf course in the world down at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia, this is the one that is loved the most by both athletes and viewers alike. Perhaps the biggest name to ever walk the greens, Tiger Woods, reached stardom with his victories at the Masters, more so than any other Majors tournaments. 

    This is the Superbowl of golf that sees the heavyweights and titans of the sport compete for Golf’s most celebrated trophy. Many of those competing will prioritize and try to save their best performance for the Masters as it has the biggest potential to turn them into global superstars and put them alongside some of the all-time greats. This is because the Masters is the major tournament that routinely draws the most eyes with 10.8 million viewers back in 2018, 3.5 million more than the U.S. Open in second place.

    Who is Dustin Johnson’s biggest competition?

    The Masters betting odds market is intensifying with a bunch of contenders posing serious threats to the favorite Johnson. DraftKings has Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Bryson DeChambeau, and also Brooks Koepka as the nearest challengers with all of them sharing odds that are almost too close to separate. That makes for an interesting bet! While Dustin Johnson is the frontrunner, he’s surely not expected to put up the same numbers as last time out, and his competition may be more eager than ever to dethrone him.

    One of those that could be more poised than ever to beat Johnson is Rory McIlroy. It’s been a long 6 ½ major-less years, but many are tipping McIlroy to finally go onto achieve that long-awaited grand slam. McIlroy’s achievements and history suggest that he has the capability to be triumphant and his form has not necessarily been off, just not up to the levels required to win. Comparing the two, Johnson is probably the more complete golfer with better putting of the two and is the superior wedge player, but don’t count McIlroy out. He has a bigger list of achievements in majors tournaments compared to Johnson, so his experience is evidence that he knows how to get the job done. Let’s see if he is able to do it this time around.

    When looking at the other contenders, there’s definitely a strong case for Jon Rahm who is ranked number two in the world. Many of those seeking glory at this year’s tournament has a point to prove and Rahm is definitely one of those names. Despite his 5 PGA Tour wins, he is yet to pick up a Majors trophy. His form and current standings suggest that he is closer than ever before to achieving this feat. Along with Rahm, two others who are also worth mentioning are Justin Thomas who is tipped at +1000 to win and Bryson DeChambeau who tasted success recently at the 2020 U.S. Open sees his odds at +1200 to win.

    Many are considering the performance of 4-time major winner Brooks Koepka to be one to watch. His former successes mean he is a strong contender and worthy of his odds sitting at +1200 but his inconsistent performances are leaving fans questioning whether or not we will catch him on one of his good days. Perhaps one of the potential outsiders that have sparked conversations is the chances of Viktor Hovland. The 23-year-old could be one of the top stars in the sport in the years to come as his form and amateur success would suggest. With his odds standing at +3300, it could be a big payday for those investing in the Norwegian.

    Many questions surrounding this year’s Masters

    There are many questions about this year’s Masters that make it one of the most competitive and eagerly anticipated Golfing tournaments in recent years. Can Dustin Johnson become only the second person after Tiger Woods to win back-to-back Masters championships? Can Dustin Johnson live up to his previous record-high score from 2020? Can McIlroy finally achieve a grand slam? Will Jon Rahm win his first major? Will an outsider upset the odds? And even, who will finish second, third, and so on? 

    This is definitely the year where anything can happen but at the same time, the same thing as last year could also very easily be repeated. The odds are too close to call and this could represent a very interesting bet. The golfing world waits as all the answers to these questions will be revealed on 11th April.

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