By Bill Speros | | 9 mins
10 Golfers Most Likely To Win A Major Championship This Year
The golf calendar shifts to some semblance of normalcy in 2021 with the first major of the year – The Masters returning to its traditional April slot. Play begins at Augusta National a week from Thursday, April 8.
Dustin Johnson won his first Green Jacket just five months ago when the Masters was pushed back to November and played without spectators in its pristine galleries due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The other three majors – the PGA Championship, U.S. Open and British Open – follow on the calendar. The PGA Championship will be held on Kiawah Island Golf Resort's Ocean Course in Kiawah Island, S.C. from May 20-23. The U.S. Open follows on Father’s Day weekend. It takes over Torrey Pines South in San Diego from June 17-20. Finally, The Open Championship returns to Royal St. George’s for the first time in 10 years on July 15-18.
Sports betting sites are offering odds on several top golfers on whether or not they will win a major this year. Here are the top 10 favorite golfers to win a major this year and whether or not you should wager on them to win.
|Golfer||Odds To Win Major||Odds Not To Win Major|
|Dustin Johnson||+188||-250||Rory McIlroy||+220||-305|
|Jon Rahm||+275||-400||Justin Thomas||+275||-400|
|Xander Schauffele||+300||-455||Collin Morikawa||+450||-770||Patrick Cantlay||+500||-910|
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Dustin Johnson (+188)
D.J. showed he could handle Augusta with ease again last fall, when the greens were hard and fast. He is a betting favorite again this year, but Justin Thomas continues to generate the most tickets. The best reason to back D.J. in this prop has nothing to do with the Masters.
One of his “home” courses will be hosting the PGA Championship. Johnson is considered the best South Carolina native ever on the PGA Tour and lives in Myrtle Beach. He has had issues with the bunkers at Kiawah Island in the past but will be the among the favorites come May.
Rory McIlroy (+220)
It’s hard to believe that McIlroy, 31, hasn’t won at Augusta given his success with the other three majors. He needs a Green Jacket to complete the career Grand Slam. McIlroy has finished inside the top 10 at Augusta six times in 13 tries and was T5 in November. He admits to making the Masters his annual focus, but his best chance for a major win this year comes in May at Kiawah Island, where he won the PGA Championship in 2012.
Bryson DeChambeau (+250)
DeChambeau won the U.S. Open last September at Winged Foot after it was pushed back due to coronavirus. He has talked about using a 48-inch driver on Tour to add distance to his legendary bombs and has emerged as a golf “pop” star and betting favorite. This will be his fifth Masters, but he has never finished better than T29. DeChambeau skipped the Farmers Open at Torrey Pines this year and missed the cut there in 2017. If he’s daring at Royal St. George’s, he could stand out.
Jon Rahm (+275)
The native Spaniard is quickly becoming the “Best Golfer To Never Win A Major Not Named Rickie Fowler.” Rahm was ranked No. 1 in the world in 2020 is and will be No. 3 heading into the Masters. He has played in 17 majors and has five top 10 finishes, peaking with a T3 at the 2019 U.S. Open. Three of those top 10s came at the Masters, where he has emerged as an annual threat.
Jon Rahm’s wife, Kelley, is due April 10-12 with the couple’s first child, the same week as the Masters. pic.twitter.com/qxTm3FIrKl— Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) March 23, 2021
Rahm, who played at Arizona State, also loves Torrey Pines. He won there in his 2017 debut, finished T5 in 2018, was second in 2020 and T7 in January. Be warned, his wife could give birth to their first child sometime during Masters week. If that happens, Rahm is firm about his priorities in that case.
“If anybody’s thinking of betting on me on The Masters, maybe think about it twice because there’s a chance I have to just turn around and leave that week, Rahm said. I would never miss the birth of my first born in a million years, or any born for that matter.”
Justin Thomas (+275)
Ranked No. 2 in the world, J.T. has been gobbling up money heading into the Masters, especially since Tiger Woods’ car crash eliminated the Big Cat from major contention this year. Thomas struggled early in 2021; he lost several sponsors after being caught saying a homophobic slur on video, then his grandfather died. Thomas rallied and won the year’s first mini-major by claiming the Players Championship victory two weeks ago.
Thomas turns 28 in April and has 14 PGA Tour wins, five top-10 finishes in majors and one major (the 2017 PGA Championship). He finished fourth at Augusta in November. He’s poised to strike again this year on a big stage.
Xander Schauffele (+300)
Sitting at No. 5 in the FedEx Cup standings and No. 6 in the world, Schauffele has three runner-up finishes this season already, he was T2 at the Farmers Open in January and finished T2 the following week in Phoenix. He has never won on any of this year’s major courses. Schauffele, like Rahm, appears poised to break through on a major stage this year. He’s 27 and is in his prime.
For great expert golf picks for the Masters from our team of handicappers, check out bookiesEDGE:
Collin Morikawa (+450)
Morikawa is best known for consistency, having made a consecutive 22 straight PGA Tour cuts, the second longest (behind Tiger Woods at 25) in Tour history. Then at just 23, Morikawa bagged his first major in 2020 with a victory at the PGA Championship in San Francisco. He was the fourth golfer to win that event before age 24.
If Morikawa finds himself in contention late in a major, don’t bet against him. He doesn’t flinch. He beat Thomas in a playoff to win the Workday Charity Open last July. However, this price is a bit too short here given the competition this year.
Patrick Cantlay (+500)
Cantlay has been remarkably consistent this season. He has a win (Zozo Championship in October), a T2 (American Express in January) and a third-place finish (AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February). For his efforts, he’s currently ranked third in the FedEx Cup standings and may finally be putting together the sort of year that could lead to a major championship.
He has 29 top 10 finishes in his 108 career events and, at 29, he has the poise to breakthrough at the biggest of moments. He’s worth a wager at this price.
Patrick Reed (+500)
Reed won the Masters in 2018 and finished T2 behind Justin Thomas in the 2017 PGA Championship. Aside from his Nike pal Tiger Woods, what Reed hasn’t done is amass pals on the Tour. Of the not-so-young-guns these days, he’s often on the outside when the likes of Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler and Brooks Koepka are caught being BFFs on and off the course.
Bubba Watson with a dagger out of nowhere!— Daniel Rapaport (@Daniel_Rapaport) March 26, 2021
"On the first tee Patrick Reed asked me if we're still going to be friends after this.
"I was like—are we friends?"
Reed won at Torrey Pines in January with a 14-under par total. However, he hasn’t won more than two events in the same year since 2014. At 30, Reed is in his 10th year on the Tour. One major doesn’t seem like enough given his overall resume. Give him a go in 2021 at this price.
Jordan Spieth (+500)
Spieth has not won a PGA Tour event since he won the British Open at Royal Birkdale in 2017. At the time, he had won three majors and 11 Tour events and was still four days shy of his 24th birthday.
Spieth led by five shots heading to the back nine on the final day of the 2016 Masters - on the way to his second-straight win at Augusta. However, he collapsed and ended up three shots behind the eventual winner. He hasn’t come close at Augusta since. Nor has he enjoyed much success at Torey Pines, where he missed the cut in in 2021 after a T55 finish 2020.
Spieth has taken a lot of money from fans/bettors in the past four years and will continue to do so this year. Be wary, each time around this year we hear about how he is back in major form. Sadly, it appears his best days are in the past.