Rose should give a good account of himself in this week’s Masters, while Rory McIlroy is another of our picks against the field
The stage is set for the 2014 Masters, with Rory McIlroy heading the betting market despite a poor 2013 which saw the Northern Irishman miss several cuts and fail to build on what had been an explosive start to his professional career.
McIlroy’s putting continues to blow hot and cold, although the 24-year-old has his game in good working order and Ladbrokes offer a tasty 12/1 about a third major for a player who has the best A-game of the entire field.
The best finishing position at Augusta has been tied fifteenth in 2011 although the player led going into the final round a year later before blowing it in spectacular fashion, although it’s a sure bet that McIlroy will win more honours.
Tiger Woods is absent from proceedings although it has been several years since the American won a major title, with Adam Scott bidding to retain the Green Jacket following a dramatic play-off victory against Angel Cabrera twelve months ago.
Scott is in good nick after tying the course record at Bay Hill Club & Lodge last month, while he finished third in the Arnold Palmer Invitational and is certainly one for the shortlist at odds of 12/1, especially as Paddy Power are paying six places.
Only three players have ever retained the Green Jacket, with Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo and Tiger Woods achieving this feat, although Scott is in confident spirits.
“I think over the last couple of years, I could definitely say I’ve been quietly confident coming to the majors. I’ve seen my form improve and the way I’ve played the majors get better and better, so yeah, I’ve felt that way a couple of times,” Scott said.
“I think in the past it’s been easy to go to events and look at a guy who is the guy to beat. I think that scope has kind of broadened now. There’s probably a list of 20 guys you could go through here, but if they play well, they are going to be there on Sunday at some point.”
Justin Rose is one of those twenty guys and the Englishman has new-found belief of his own following last year’s US Open victory, with the 33-year-old feeling that he can go well and odds of 33/1 seem ripe for the taking.
“I think my chances are good,” said Rose, who was fifth here in 2007 and has led at some point during every round without leading when it really matters.
“I feel like it’s a golf course that I’ve played well and played some great rounds on. The course suits my eye.
“Missing the cut at Bay Hill was disappointing but at the same time it makes you more hungry in a way. I haven’t missed a cut for a long time and it’s a little bump in the road that reignites your focus and your work ethic and determination, and so it often can be a good thing.”
Adam Scott @ 12/1 with Paddy Power
Rory McIlroy @ 12/1 with Ladbrokes
Justin Rose @ 33/1 with Paddy Power