Another first-time major winner at Augusta?

Updated: 25/03/2023


The Masters begins on Thursday with Rory McIlroy the 7/1 favourite – but could the 2019 champion be a player yet to win a major?

Sergio Garcia was tagged as the best player yet to win a major until he slipped a Green Jacket on his shoulders in 2017 and surely that title must now go to Rickie Fowler.

The 30-year-old has secured nine top-10 finishes in the big four events and finished runner-up to fellow American Patrick Reed 12 months ago.

His best year came in 2014 when the Californian managed four top-fives in the majors, while he shared a couple of top-five finishes in 2017 without being able to get over the line.

He has been touted as a major winner in waiting for many years now and it may well be that the floodgates open when he finally breaks his duck.

The Ryder Cup ace is priced at 18/1 to make it happen this week, while another major virgin, Jon Rahm, can be backed at 16/1 to get one on his CV at Augusta.

Ranked eighth in the world, the Spaniard was fourth in both the 2018 Masters and US PGA Championship, proving beyond doubt he has the mental strength to take on the big boys in the biggest events.

The way the 24-year-old took down Tiger Woods in the Ryder Cup singles last year showed he has the game for all situations, so it would be no surprise to see him shine this week.

With six top-10s on his record this term, he looks primed for a big challenge at Augusta National.

Tommy Fleetwood (25/1) has only made two trips to the Masters since turning professional in 2010 and last year’s tie for 17th was his best return.

However, the 28-year-old Englishman will tee off after sharing third at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and fifth at the Players Championship in 2019.

His calm demeanour should stand him in good stead and two top-fives at the US Open proves he can handle tough courses.

The past four winners of the Masters, Jordan Spieth (20/1), Danny Willett (150/1), Garcia (45/1) and Reed (50/1), were all first-time major winners when taking the title and it remains to be seen if history repeats itself this time around.

Odds subject to change.

This post first appeared here

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