An Early Look at Masters Odds: Spieth, Johnson, McIlroy Lead the Way

By Michael Shamburger

The Masters is right around the corner, now less than a month away, and as we get closer to hearing that familiar tune that signals we’re watching the best of the best, the odds on the favorites are increasingly more interesting to keep an eye on.

Here’s a quick break-down of the odds via for the current top 10 in the world golf rankings and or course, Tiger Woods.

1. Jordan Spieth – Current rank No. 5 – Odds +640

No one will forget what happened to Spieth on the back nine at Augusta during the final round of the Masters last season, especially him. Having a lead disappear after two chunked shots on the par-3 12th was brutal to watch. Sure it made for unbelievable TV, but no one really wants to see that happen to a guy on that stage when the world is watching.

Spieth collected an early season win at Pebble Beach this year and although he shot a 63 during the third round of the WGC-Mexico Championship his play during the final round was a little bit erratic and cost him a chance to get closer to the top of the leaderboard. Spieth’s early career experience at Augusta will benefit him throughout his career and his chances of being in the final group on Sunday are through the roof.

2. Dustin Johnson – Current rank No. 1 – Odds +750

Dustin Johnson, who won his last two starts, the Genesis Open and WGC-Mexico Championship, is now the favorite to win. Johnson’s highest finish at August was a tie for fourth last year when he very likely could have won had he been able to make a putt or two. DJ did get the major championship win under his belt last season and has seemed a lot more at ease under the pressure of closing out tournaments. He now has a win in his last 10 seasons on the PGA Tour and 14 overall. Johnson is one of four players to share that honor along with Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, and Arnold Palmer. He’ll have to win every year for the next eight years to break Nicklaus and Palmer’s record of 17 straight seasons with a win.

3. Rory McIlroy – Current rank No. 3 – Odds +900

Just behind DJ is Rory McIlroy, who hadn’t played since January before showing up at the WGC-Mexico Championship and turning in a 10-under performance and finishing in a tie for seventh. McIlroy was suffering from food poisoning early during the tournament in Mexico and still put on a good enough performance over the first three days to land himself in the final group with DJ and Justin Thomas. The Masters has eluded McIlroy to this point in his still very, very young career and he was my favorite to win the tournament entering the season. That hasn’t changed as I still think McIlroy coming back after over a month off and turning in great rounds in Mexico shows he’s gearing up for a run at completing the career grand slam this year.

4. Hideki Matsuyama – Current rank No. 4 – Odds +1000

Matsuyama has had a blistering start to his 2017 season and even though in his last five tournaments he’s only finished higher than 25th once, that once was a win at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Matsuyama has five wins in his last 11 starts. He’s climbed the world rankings all the way to fourth and has finished in the top 10 at Augusta the last two years. Although he has yet to win a major, it’s hard to imagine that he can continue winning at this pace without collecting one soon.

5. Jason Day – Current rank No. 2 – Odds +1100

Anyone know where Jason Day went? Day had been the number one ranked player in the world since March of 2016 until a couple of weeks ago when Dustin Johnson surpassed him. While the withdrawals seem to come in bunches for Day, he’s still finished T12 and T5 this season in only four starts, but this isn’t about the season, this is about one tournament and it’s a tournament that Day has come very close to winning on more than one occasion. In 2011 Day finished second behind Charl Schwartzel and in 2013 he led after the second round but ended up finishing third behind Adam Scott and Angel Cabrera. Day went 2014 and 2015 without finishing better than 20th until last season when he worked his way back into the top 10. IF he can stay healthy, maybe this is his year, but with only four tournaments under his belt since September of last year, it sure seems like a stretch.

6. Adam Scott – Current rank No. 8 – Odds +2200

Adam Scott won the Masters in 2013, but since then his results at Augusta have gotten worse. In 2014 he finished T14, in 2015 he finished T38, and even after winning back-to-back events and appearing to be off to a very hot start in 2016 he finished T42.

7. Henrik Stenson – Current rank No. 6 – Odds +2300

Since his win at The Open last season, Stenson has won no other tournaments but has finished second four times in the 11 events he’s entered. Stenson withdrew from the WGC-Mexico Championship last weekend citing a stomach virus that also affected Rory McIlroy. Stenson has finished outside of the top 10 only once in the 11 events since The Open, excluding the two withdrawals and although he’s been playing well, he’s never really been in contention at Augusta. His highest finish, a T14, came in 2014.

8. Justin Thomas – Current rank No. 7 – Odds Justin Thomas +2330

Like Matsuyama, Thomas got off to a hot start this season after not only defending his win at the CIMB-Classic but sweeping the two Hawaii tournaments. He then missed the cut at the Phoenix Open, turned in a T39 performance at the Genesis Open, and missed the cut at The Honda Classic before bouncing back last weekend and leading the WGC-Mexico Championship entering the final round. Thomas made a few mistakes in Mexico that ultimately cost him a shot at a fourth win this season, but he still finished tied for fifth and has managed to climb from 35th in the world rankings at the start of this season to seventh. His only Masters result was a T39 last season, but at least he has that under his belt entering this year.

9. Justin Rose – Current rank No. 13 – Odds +2400

Justin Rose has also been playing well this season. He finished second at the Sony Open, tied for fourth at the Farmers Insurance Open and tied for fourth at the Genesis Open. Rose, a major champion, has finished in the top 10 at the Masters the last two seasons. He’s playing well and currently leads the PGA Tour in strokes gained off the tee, but that’s not going to be enough against the guys ahead of him on this list.

10. Bubba Watson – Current rank No. 9 – Odds +2500

Bubba Watson has had his success at Augusta and with two green jackets and a course that sets up quite well for a left-handed player it’s easy to see why his odds are still so high, but Watson has been on a slow decline over the last year. He’s slipped from fourth in the world rankings in June of 2016 to 16th today. Watson hasn’t won since the Northern Trust Open in February of 2016 and after finishing second the next week at the WGC-Cadillac Championship his highest finish on the PGA Tour, excluding his T8 at the Olympics and T6 at the Hero World Challenge, has been a tie for 10th. Since that second win at the Masters in 2014, Watson has finished T38 and T37 and those types of results carry over to the other three majors as well.

We all know what’s happened with Tiger Woods this season, but no one yet knows whether or not he will actually be playing in the Masters, so here are his odds anyways.

Tiger Woods – Current rank No. 713 – Odds +6600

Yeah, I know there’s some guys who aren’t on this list, but don’t worry because they will get their coverage over the next month.

Who is your early favorite?