2021 Masters Golf

The 2021 Masters gets underway on Thursday at the famous Augusta National, and our guide looks at all the leading contenders and stats, while revealing some best bets.

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April 8-11, Augusta National

2020 Champion: Dustin Johnson

There have been many changes and new rules introduced throughout the world during the last 12 months, but for golf fans, they are about to receive a second serving of The Masters following the latest rescheduled renewal in November when Dustin Johnson received the Green Jacket.

Spectators weren't allowed at Augusta six months ago, but there will be a limited number of patrons on course this time to cheer their heroes and add to the unique atmosphere of this historic venue, which unlike the other majors, plays host to The Masters every year.

There will also be some new names for punters to chew on at the weekend, with the likes of Scottie Scheffler and Victor Perez lining-up to battle it out with the world's best - some of whom were already fortunate enough to land this major down the years.

Past Winners 

Yr

Winner (Country)

WR

Age

Form (latest on left)

Season Best

Major Best

Masters Best

20

Dustin Johnson

1

36

2 6 3 2 1

1

1

2

19

Tiger Woods (US)

12

43

5 30 10 15 20

5

1

1

18

Patrick Reed (US)

24

27

9 7 2 37 MC MC

2

2

22

17

Sergio Garcia (Spn)

11

37

30 12 14 49 1 11

1

2

4

16

Danny Willett (Eng)

12

28

28 22 3 45 1 54

1

6

38

15

Jordan Spieth (US)

4

21

2 2 1 17 4 7

1

2

2

14

Bubba Watson (US)

12

35

2 9 1 2 23

1

1

1

13

Adam Scott (Aus)

 7

32

30 3 33 10

3

2

2

12

Bubba Watson (US)

16

33

4 2 17 13 5 13

2

2

20

11

Charl Schwartzel (SA)

29

26

30 47 24 14 17 8

1

14

30

10

Phil Mickelson (US)

3

39

35 30 14 24 8 45

8

1

1

09

Angel Cabrera (Arg)

69

39

MC MC 32 33 13 MC

13

1

8

08

Trevor Immelman (SA)

29

28

MC 40 48 65 MC 17

17

5

5

07

Zach Johnson (US)

56

31

9 42 14 33 33 45

9

17

32

06

Phil Mickelson (US)

4

35

1 14 12 9 38 7

1

1

1

05

Tiger Woods (US)

2

29

53 23 1 17 13 1

1

1

1

04

Phil Mickelson (US)

8

33

10 3 24 5 4 3

1

2

2

03

Mike Weir (Can)

10

32

MC 27 14 17 1 3

1

10

24

02        

Tiger Woods (US)

1

26

14 1 2 33 5 12

1

1

1

01        

Tiger Woods (US)

1

25

1 1 2 13 4 13

1

1

1

The above list of Masters winners from the last 20 years highlight some interesting patterns to have linked the majority, such as demonstrating a top 10 placing during their last six outings prior to Augusta. Having the right pedigree in majors was also a common theme, with most winners having previously made the top six in one of the four majors, while 18 winners also shared a previous top 30 showing in the Masters since 2001, with each of them having played at Augusta – counting against debutants in the tournament.

As for age, then those in the 21-39 age bracket - the legend Tiger Woods an exception in 2019 - while only Woods, Nick Faldo and Jack Nicklaus won back-to-back Masters, a record current champion Dustin Johnson will need to overcome. 

It's also worth noting that bar the odd surprise winner in this tournament, there was a strong bias towards those with a world ranking  in the top 30 prior to teeing-off at Augusta, and for punters looking to concentrate their efforts purely on the top 30, then the following résumé of each player could help point the way to the 2021 Masters winner.

Top 30 Ranked Players 

Dustin Johnson (US)

Ranked: 1
Odds: 9-1
Age: 36

Last 10 Masters (latest first): 1 2 10 – 4 6 MC 13 – 38
Last 10 majors: 1 6 2 51 35 2 2 27 MC 3
Major best: Won Masters (2020), U.S. Open (2016)

2020 form (latest first): 28 48 54 8 1 11

November's first Masters success for Dustin Johnson was a triumph long overdue, having made the top ten in four of his five previous visits to Augusta, in the process landing a second major. While that record-breaking victory can never be taken away - DJ recorded an amazing 20-under - last year's rescheduled renewal sees him having to defend the title just five months later. While he won't be wanting to hand the Green Jacket over so soon, he'll need to find a return to form having finished off the pace in his last three tournaments (28 48 54) - his form-figures prior to November's win were 2 6 3 2 1. And for the record, only Tiger Woods, Nick Faldo and Jack Nicklaus won back-to-back Masters - that's a club all on it's own.

Verdict: The defending champion won this title only five months ago, but will need to rediscover that level of form following some below-par performances of late. 

Justin Thomas (US)

Ranked: 2
Odds: 12-1
Age: 27

Last 10 Masters (latest first): 4 12 17 22 39
Last 10 Majors: 4 8 37 11 MC 12 6 MC 25 17 1
Major best: Won PGA (2017)

This season’s form: 42 1 15 MC 13 MC 3 12

Justin Thomas won last month's Players' Championship and was fourth here in November

A glance at Justin Thomas' five finishes in The Masters suggests he is creeping closer. A debut finish in 39th place five years ago, was followed by finishes of 22nd, 17th, 12th and then an excellent fourth last year. The bookies have also taken note by installing him as the 12-1 third favourite, and his victory in last month's Players' Championship shows his game remains in fine fettle - despite, crashing out of the Matchplay at the early stages. That early exit may help keep Thomas fresh for what awaits in Georgia, though, and the man from Kentucky has an ideal profile for someone who looks destined to wear the Green Jacket one day.

Verdict: Took a step closer in each of his five outings here, resulting in a fourth-place finish in 2020. Arrives in good form and fancied to go close again.

Jon Rahm (Spn)

Ranked: 3
Odds: 12-1
Age: 26

Last 10 Masters (latest first): 7 9 4 27
Last 10 Majors: 7 23 13 3 MC 9 4 MC MC 4
Major best: Third U.S. Open (2019)

This season’s form: 7 7 13 5 32 9 5

Jon Rahm recorded three straight top-ten finishes at Augusta

Spain boast a strong pedigree at the Masters with Seve Ballesteros, Jose Maria Olazabal and Sergio Garcia winning five Green Jackets between them, and fellow countryman Jon Rahm continues to shape like joining them one day. The 26-year-old's last three performance at Augusta have all been top drawer, making the top ten each time, and it's been a similar story this season with five top-ten slots, proving that consistency is one of his main attributes. His August victory in the BMW Championship when beating Dustin Johnson also shows he knows where the winning line is - a factor easily forgotten, as there are plenty of talented players with low conversion rates when it comes to titles.

Verdict: A recent fifth at the WGC Match Play advertised Rahm's form remains in place, and with three Augusta top-tens in the bag, he enters calculations for another big performance. 

Collin Morikawa (US)

Ranked: 4
Odds: 28-1
Age: 24

Last 10 Masters: 44
Last 10 Majors: 44 MC 1 35
Best major result: Winner PGA (2020)

This season’s form: 56 41 1 43 68 7 7 10

While Collin Morikawa may be a new name to some following his debut major win at last year's PGA, his Charity Open victory just a month earlier when seeing off Justin Thomas was not a shock to others. The 24-year-old proved that was no fluke either, as he captured February's Workday Championship which featured a stellar line-up (Johnson, Koepka, McIlroy & DeChambeau all present). If there is one concern for backers then it is the Californian's inconsistency, as there were plenty of below-par efforts scattered amongst the good ones - possibly an option for in-running investors to see which Morikawa turns up in Augusta.

Verdict: An improver on the rise following last year's first major success, but still has it to prove here following last year's debut 44th-place finish.

Bryson DeChambeau (US)

Ranked: 5
Odds: 11-1
Age: 27

Last 10 Masters (latest first): 34 29 38 - 21
Last 10 Majors: 34 1 4 MC 35 MC 29 MC 51 25
Major best: Winner U.S. Open (2020)

This season’s form: 42 3 1 22 MC 18 7 34 8 1

The man making all the headlines for taking the game to new heights for his big-hitting lined-up as the 8-1 favourite for this in November, but Bryson DeChambeau failed to live up to the media hype at the time, trailing in 34th place. To be fair, there was a lot of pressure on his shoulders following his debut major win at September's U.S. Open, and he soon put the Augusta disappointment behind him when landing last month's Arnold Palmer, prior to a close third in the Players' Championship. He never showed at the Match Play last time, nor did he two years earlier, but the bigger concern remains his big-hitting game at Augusta, where he's failed to break the top twenty in four visits.   

Verdict: The U.S. Open champion continues to push his body to the limit in improving his game, bringing some good results of late. Still yet to tame Augusta, though.

Xander Schauffele (US)

Ranked: 6
Odds: 22-1
Age: 27

Last 10 Masters (latest first): 17 2 50
Last 10 Majors: 17 5 10 41 3 16 2 35 2 6
Major best: Runner-up; Masters (2019), The Open (2018)

This season’s form: 18 MC 39 15 2 2 5

The 2019 Masters runner-up, Xander Schauffele, is knocking on the door in majors

In terms of profile, then Xander Schauffele has a the right one for landing a first major. Runner-up in both the 2019 Masters and 2018 Open, the 27-year-old remains in his prime and showed via a placing of 17th here in November that his game is suited to Augusta. He also showed some good form when runner-up twice at the start of 2021 in the Farmers Insurance and Phoenix Open, though he has dipped a touch since, missing the cut in last month's Players Championship. He hasn't the missed the cut in his last 10 majors, though, which is what matters and has a similar build-up to when second here two years ago having missed the cut two outings prior - he is clearly capable of raising his game.

Verdict: Runner-up here in 2019 and continues to be thereabouts in the big tournaments. Most recent form dipped slightly, but goes well here and capable of finding his best.

Patrick Reed (US)

Ranked: 7
Odds: 33-1
Age: 30

Last 10 Masters (latest first): 10 36 1 MC 49 22 MC
Last 10 Majors: 10 13 13 10 32 MC 36 MC 28 4
Major best: Won Masters (2018)

This season’s form: 28 22 MC 9 66 1 MC 21 3

Joined The Masters Hall of Fame when securing his debut major here in 2018, and while his form slipped a touch following that career-defining victory, he has shaped as if back to his best again in recent times. Indeed, two third-place finishes during the final quarter of 2020 were rewarded with victory in January's Farmers Insurance, and while dual winners of the Masters are rare, Reed finished tenth here in November and may not be far away again.

Verdict: Won this in 2018 and rediscovered some good form during the last six months, but needs another career best to join the list of dual Masters winners.

Tyrell Hatton (Eng)

Ranked: 8
Odds: 40-1
Age: 29
 
Last 10 Masters (latest first): MC 56 44 MC
Last 10 Majors: MC MC MC 6 21 48 56 10 51 6
Major best: Fifth; The Open (2016)
 
This season’s form: 56 MC 21 22 6 22 1 8 23
 
Following a two-year slump in the rankings, which saw him go from No.16 in 2017 to No.32 in 2019, Tyrrell Hatton has stormed back up into the top ten having been as high as No.5 in February. While victories in last year’s BMW PG Championship and January’s HSBC Championship propelled Mister Angry back up the rankings, there is still a concern about his majors form where he has yet to make the top four in 22 attempts, flopping in four Augusta appearances.
 
Verdict: Back up the rankings after a resurgence in form, but still lacking in the majors, especially at Augusta.

Webb Simpson (US)

Ranked: 9
Odds: 40-1
Age: 35

Last 10 Masters (latest first): 10 5 20 MC 29 28 MC MC 44
Last 10 Majors: 10 8 37 30 16 29 5 19 12 10 20
Major best: Won U.S. Open (2012)
 
This season’s form: 28 MC 6 42 4 17 37
 
It seems a long time since Webb Simpson won his only major at the U.S. Open - nine years in fact - though the man from North Carolina is usually thereabouts in big tournaments. You'd need to go back some 15 majors for the last time he missed the cut, and that level of consistency makes him not only a threat, but a live contender for the top ten-finish market for The Masters at around 3-1. As for winning at Augusta, then his victory in last summer’s RBC Heritage was a reminder he can seal the deal, while his form of late hasn’t been too shabby.

Verdict: Very consistent in majors and his last two solid efforts here suggest he has finally got the hang of Augusta. A lively 40-1 shot.

Patrick Cantlay (US)

Ranked: 10
Odds: 22-1
Age: 29
 
Last 10 Masters (latest first): 17 9 MC - - - - - 47
Last 10 Majors: 17 43 43 41 21 3 9 27 12 45
Major best: Third PGA (2019)
 
This season’s form: 18 MC 15 3 2 13
 
Patrick Cantlay still seeks an elusive first major having gone close when third in the PGA two years ago. It was a good year overall in 2019, as the American reached No.7 in the world after landing the Memorial, and he has remained consistent if unspectacular since. Another Tour success in the Zozo last autumn served notice that the 29-year-old hasn’t forgot how to win trophies, but he’ll need a career best weekend if putting on the Green Jacket come Sunday.
 
Verdict: Usually thereabouts and handles Augusta fine, but needs to find an extra gear if landing a debut major.

Rory McIlroy (Ire)

Ranked: 11
Odds: 18-1
Age: 31
 
Last 10 Masters (latest first): 5 5 7 10 4 8 25 40 15 MC
Last 10 Majors: 5 50 2 MC 5 22 4 MC 7 MC
Major best: Won U.S. Open (2011), PGA (2014 & 2012), Open (2014)
 
This season’s form: 28 MC 10 6 MC 13 16 3
 
It would be a shame if Rory McIlroy never got to wear the famous Green Jacket having won the other three majors, and his last six efforts at Augusta offer plenty of encouragement that he can join the exclusive list of players to have won all four majors. Having finished fourth here in 2016, McIlroy also bagged a pair of fifth-placed finishes on his last two visits, though some indifferent form this year has seen him slip in the rankings, hence why the bookies offer 18-1 this time around, having gone off at 12-1 for this tournament in November.
 
Verdict: Still playing to a decent level, but not won a major for seven years, and both his ranking and odds continue to slide.

Brooks Koepka (US)

Ranked: 12
Odds: 25-1
Age: 30
 
Last 10 Masters (latest first): 7 2 - 11 21 33
Last 10 Majors: 7 29 4 2 1 2 1 39 1 13
Major best: Won U.S Open (2018, 2017); Won PGA (2018, 2019)
 
This season’s form: 2 38 1 MC MC MC

Brooks Koepka has won four majors already and was runner-up here in 2019

Having already won two U.S. Opens and two PGA titles, Brooks Koepka would dearly love to add The Masters trophy to his cabinet, and a repeat of his last two efforts here would send him close again. He was only denied by a resurgent Tiger Woods here in 2019, prior to another solid seventh-place in November, but he put that disappointment behind him by landing February’s Open. Another top effort came when runner-up in the recent Workday Championship, highlighting Kopeka’s game as being bang on song following three missed cuts during the winter, and it will be a surprise if he wasn’t challenging again.  

Verdict: Boasts a tremendous majors record and arrives in good form, making his 25-1 odds look big for someone of his ability.

Tony Finau (US)

Ranked: 13
Odds: 33-1
Age: 31

Last 10 Masters (latest first): 38 5 10
Last 10 Majors: 38 8 4 3 MC 64 5 42 9 5
Major best: Third The Open (2019)
 
This season’s form: 28 MC 14 2 2 2 4 31 8
 
There aren’t many golf fans who would begrudge Tony Finau a first major following some really close efforts, including when fifth in this two years ago. A third in The Open followed later that year, along with a PGA fourth, making it a total of eight top-ten finishes in majors since 2015. While the 31-year-old’s talent cannot be questioned, his ability in getting over the line can, securing just one PGA success back in 2016. This "close but no cigar" pattern was again evident earlier in the season when runner-up on three consecutive occasions, and he’ll be hoping that sequence ends in Augusta.

Verdict: Excellent form in majors and several top efforts earlier this year, but overall success strike-rate in picking up trophies remains off-putting.

Viktor Hovland (Nor)

Ranked: 14
Odds: 33-1
Age: 23

Last 10 Masters (latest first): - - 32
Last 10 Majors: 13 33 12 32
Major best: 12th U.S. Open (2019)
 
This season’s form: 42 MC 49 2 5 6 2 31 3 1
 
An improving Norwegian who shot up the rankings following a string of good results, including two PGA victories in February 2019 and then more recently in December, before a couple of runner-up efforts earlier this year. His overall form is there for all to see and his ability in making the cut in each of his four major appearances bodes well, but he’ll need to bounce back from several poor showings at a course he played modestly at when making his only visit three years ago.  

Verdict: A progressive youngster yet to hit his peak, but recent form not great and still has it to prove here on just his second visit.

Daniel Berger (US)

Ranked: 15
Odds: 35-1
Age: 28

Last 10 Masters (latest first): - - 32 27 10
Last 10 Majors: 34 13 49 71 12 MC 6 32 MC 27
Major best: U.S. Open sixth (2018)
 
This season’s form: 18 9 35 1 MC 7 10 23

Daniel Berger won the Pebble Beach a few months ago and made the cut in all three Augusta outings

Having turned 28 on the eve of The Masters, Daniel Berger will be hoping for the ultimate birthday present, namely the Green Jacket. Berger was a creditable tenth on his Masters debut before making the cut in two subsequent visits, and now makes his return following a two-year absence having slumped to as low as No.154 in the world. Last year saw a return to form and a third PGA Tour success, before adding a fourth in February, and the fact his most recent form remains solid bodes well ahead of Augusta, where his previous experience puts him in good stead for the weekend ahead.  
 
Verdict: Back to form during the last last year and could have a big performance in him at generous odds.

Matthew Fitzpatrick (Eng)

Ranked: 16
Odds: 50-1
Age: 26

Last 10 Masters (latest first): 46 21 38 32 7 MC
Last 10 Majors: 46 MC MC 20 12 41 21 MC MC 12
Major best: Seventh, Masters (2016)

This season’s form: 18 9 10 11 5 17 MC 1 MC 46

It's been a tremendously consistent 12 months for Englishman Matthew Fitzpatrick, having secured a sixth European Tour title in December before a string of ten-ten finishes in 2021. That sequence also saw his ranking climb to a career best No.16, which should fill him with confidence ahead of Augusta where he recorded a major best of seventh in 2016. That will be an area where Fitzpatrick will want to take his game to the next level, as he hasn't really delivered in the big ones, but now could be an ideal time to amend that.

Verdict: Playing at a consistent level and up in the rankings, but needs to take that into the majors where he slipped in the past.

Billy Horschel (US)

Ranked: 17
Odds: 80-1
Age: 34

Last 10 Masters (latest first): 38 56 MC - 17 MC 37
Last 10 Majors: 38 38 43 MC 32 23 56 35 MC 48
Major best: Fourth U.S. Open (2013)

This season’s form: 1 58 MC 2 53 MC 7 24 5 38

A fourth-place finish in the 2013 U.S. Open coupled with some big performances took Billy Horschel up to No.13 in the world prior to a lull during the following years when he dropped out the top 50, but, the man from Florida has knuckled down - or should that be up - to No.17. A string of improved efforts resulted in a runner-up slot in February's Workday Championship before building on that to land the recent Match Play. So far so good then for the 34-year-old, whose previous string of major finishes was way below-par for a player of his standard, and he'll need to carry on his recent form and record a career best if getting among the leaders at Augusta this weekend.

Verdict: Experienced a resurgence during the past year and won the Match Play last time, but needs more in the majors and yet to make the top ten here in six outings.

Sungjae Im (Kor)

Ranked: 18
Odds: 35-1
Age: 23

Last 10 Masters: 2
Last 10 Majors: 2 22 MC MC MC MC 42
Major best: Runner-up The Masters (2020)

This season’s form: 42 8 17 21 28 17 32 12 56 5 14 MC 2

Having missed the cut in four of his first five majors, Sungjae Im put that behind him when finishing 22nd in the U.S. Open, before an unforgettable debut performance in November's rescheduled Masters when a tied runner-up behind Dustin Johnson. While the young 23-year-old Korean could not get within touching distance of DJ, he showed enough to suggest he has a first major in him, and the way in which he has used that confidence-builder since augurs well. Indeed, Im has subsequently recorded six top-20 finishes, and he'll be looking forward to returning to Augusta where he holds good recent memories.

Verdict: A rising star who shot up from No.522 in the world to No.18, while runner-up in last year's Masters. Remains in solid - if unspectacular - form since, and capable of a ten-ten finish.

Paul Casey (Eng)

Ranked: 19
Odds: 40-1
Age: 43

Last 10 Masters: 38 MC 15 6 4 6 MC 38 MC 20
Last 10 Majors: 38 17 2 57 21 29 MC MC 51 16
Major best: Runner-up; PGA (2020)

This season’s form: 28 5 10 5 12 1 8 38 

Paul Casey's record in majors reads both good and bad - good, in the sense of him going close on a number of occasions, but bad in that he hasn't converted any of them. One of those came only last year when Casey finished a career-best runner-up in the PGA behind Collin Morikawa, and British fans will be hoping - like with Lee Westwood - he can finally gain just reward in landing a first major. The 43-year-old has every chance too, having notched four top-six finishes at Augusta, and along with his excellent recent form when landing the Dubai Desert Classic in January prior to a couple of fifth-places in February and March, could this finally be Casey's time?

Verdict: Usually thereabouts in the majors despite not landing one and goes well here, while recent form a big plus. Better chance than his 40-1 odds suggest.

Lee Westwood (Eng)

Ranked: 20
Odds: 40-1
Age: 47

Last 10 Masters (latest first): 38 - - 18 2 46 7 8 3 11
Last 10 Majors: 38 13 4 MC 61 67 27 55 18 85
Major best: Runner-up The Masers (2010), The Open (2010)

This season’s form: 18 MC 2 2 61 50 17 62 2 MC 38

Just when it appears the dream is over, there may still be a twist in the tale - and one that might see Lee Westwood finally get his hands on a major trophy at the age of 47. Well, if recent form is anything to go by, then there may well be a happy ending. With three runner-up slots since December, including two last month in the Arnold Palmer and Players Championship (beaten just one shot by Justin Thomas in the latter), he secured his best-ever payday via a $1.6m payout. That will put a spring into his step ahead of Augusta where he was twice runner-up in 2016 & 2010, recording a whopping 19 top-ten finishes in majors overall.

Verdict: In resurgent form of late and capable of turning back the clock at a venue he likes. Needs one almighty push to secure his first major, but will have his followers at 40-1.

Harris English (US)

Ranked: 21
Odds: 80-1
Age: 31

Last 10 Masters (latest first): - - - - 42 - MC
Last 10 Majors: 4 19 58 46 60 46 37 42 48 68
Major best: Fourth U.S. Open (2020)

This season’s form: 42 26 66 MC MC 32 1 5 6

Something of a late-bloomer to have shot back up the rankings, Harris English has endured an up-and-down career, ranked as low as No.274 in 2011 and then up to No.53 a few years later, before sinking to No.333 in 2018 - prior to his latest surge. That surge included a runner-up slot in last year's Northern Trust  and then a memorable fourth in the U.S. Open, which set him up for a third PGA title - eight years after his last - in January' s Sentry Tournament of Champions. The question is whether he has run out of gas since that victory, failing to make the top 20 in six outings and missing the cut twice.

Verdict: Back up the rankings following a good year featuring a career-best fourth in the U.S. Open, though form dipped of late and two forgettable Augusta outings to his name a worry.

Scottie Scheffler (US)

Ranked: 22
Odds: 40-1
Age: 24

Last 10 Masters (latest first): 19
Last 10 Majors: 19 4 MC 27 MC
Major best: Fourth PGA (2020)

This season’s form: 2 MC 5 20 7 MC MC 13 19 

Scottie Scheffler is a young improver in good form and has a U.S. Open fourth to his name

With a name like Scottie Scheffler, it may well be destiny that the young American becomes a major winner one day - joining the colourful list of names such as Charl Schwartzel, Yang Yong-eun and Fuzzy Zoeller. But, it's his game that matters most, and there hasn't been much wrong with that in recent years, moving up the rankings from No.1589 in 2018 to No.22 - a run that included a U.S. Open fourth last year. In fact, the 24-year-old has performed creditably in all five majors to date, making the top-30 in three of them, including when a debut 19th here in November. This year's form has also been top-notch, with a seventh, fifth and then more recently second in last month's Match Play.

Verdict: A young improver in good form. November's creditable debut at Augusta will put him in good stead to challenge, and 40-1 looks more than fair.

Matthew Wolff (US)

Ranked: 23
Odds: 80-1
Age: 21

Last 10 Masters (latest first): MC
Last 10 Majors: MC 2 4
Major best: Runner-up U.S. Open (2020)

This season’s form: 28 64 36 40 MC

Last year was a big one for the American youngster Matthew Wolff when making his majors debut at the PGA and defying his odds in finishing an astonishing fourth, before going two places better when runner-up in the U.S. Open. That burst of form lost momentum at The Masters a few months later, though, when missing the cut, while a hand injury saw him withdraw from a few tournaments. That injury appears to have had an impact on the 21-year-old - who turns 22 just 48 hours after this year’s Masters - as he failed to make the top 20 in four outings.

Verdict: Red-hot last year, but a hand injury halted his progress. Would be asking a lot for him to bounce back at a venue he missed the cut at on his only visit.

Tommy Fleetwood (Eng)

Ranked: 24
Odds: 50-1
Age: 30

Last 10 Masters (latest first): 19 36 17 MC
Last 10 Majors: 19 MC 29 2 65 48 36 35 12 2 17
Major best: Runner-up The Open (2019), U.S. Open (2018)

This season’s form: 5 MC 10 44 26 17 7 10 37 19

The last 12 months have to go down as just average for Tommy Fleetwood, having climbed up to No.10 in the world two years ago before dropping to No.24. A best 2020 placing of runner-up in an average Scottish Open was supported with several top-ten finishes, as when tenth in last month's Arnold Palmer before a recent Match Play fifth. Clearly, Fleetwood's game is still there and he isn't someone to dismiss having recorded two top-20 finishes from four outings at Augusta, but the overall feel is that a career best effort is required to see him nail a first major.

Verdict: Remains a consistent performer, but his form seems to have plateaued and he'll need to find an extra gear if getting among the leaders this weekend.

Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn)

Ranked: 25
Odds: 40-1
Age: 29

Last 10 Masters (latest first): 13 32 19 11 7 5 MC 54 27
Last 10 Majors: 13 17 22 MC 21 16 32 35 MC 16
Major best: Runner-up U.S. Open (2017)

This season’s form: 42 MC 18 15 MC 42 53 19 41 13 

You have to go back to 2017 for the last time Hideki Matsuyama made the top five of a major, with his last 11 attempts all finishing outside the top 10. It would be a shame if the 29-year-old were never to win a major, but the rankings suggest he may have peaked, having risen from No.127 in 2012 up to No.5 in 2017, but now enduring a fourth year ranked in the 20's. There were still flashes of brilliance, though, including a third in last year's BMW Championship, prior to being runner-up in the Houston, while November's 13th placed finish here at Augusta was no disgrace.

Verdict: Likes it here and capable of getting involved at the top of the leaderboard, but not won a serious trophy since 2017.

Ryan Palmer (US)

Ranked: 27
Odds: 150-1
Age: 44
 
Last 10 Masters (latest first): - - - - - 33 - - MC 10
Last 10 Majors: MC 43 MC MC MC 42 30 MC 30 52
Major best: This season’s form: 17 17 54 42 2 41 4 4 17 34
 
At the age of 44, Ryan Palmer is currently playing arguably the best golf of his life. Having finished runner-up in last year’s Memorial, the Texan recorded two fourths in the Zozo and Sentry, before another second in the Farmers Insurance - a sequence that sees him enter the world’s top 30 for the first time. Three recent top 20 finishes, including at last weekend’s Texas Open, show him to be in fair form on his return to The Masters for the first time since 2015 when finishing in 33rd place - he did make 10th in 2011.

Verdict: Enjoyed a good 12 months and finally broke into the top 30, but needs serious improvement on past major performances.

Louis Oosthizen (SAF)

Ranked: 28
Odds: 66-1
Age: 38
 
Last 10 Masters (latest first): 23 29 12 41 15 19 25 MC 2 MC
Last 10 Majors: 23 3 33 20 7 60 29 28 16 12
Major best: Won The Open (2010)
 
This season’s form: 61 41 6 11 29 MC 23

Having been there and done it, there isn’t much Louis Oosthizen hasn’t experienced during a long, successful career to date, and he may still have another say in landing a second major. That was almost the case in last year’s U.S. Open when third, while a recent sixth in the Workday Championship shows his game isn’t far away from what's required at Augusta, which he knows plenty about having finished second in 2012. The South African is usually a steady performer around here these days with seven straight top-30 finishes, and if he can get among the leaders early then who knows.  

Verdict: The 2012 Masters runner-up is still going close in majors and remains in fair form this year, suggesting he could be worth considering each-way at big odds.

Victor Perez (Fra)

Ranked: 29
Odds: 100-1
Age: 28

Last 10 Masters (latest first): 46
Last 10 Majors: 46 MC 22
Major best: 22nd PGA (2020)
 
This season’s form: 4 9 68 52 4 MC 46 7 46 MC 2
 
For a 28-year-old, Victor Perez is a relative newcomer on the scene and has made great strides during the last five years, rising from No.792 in the world to his current No.29 status. Not many French players have hit the top down the years, but Perez is definitely going places and continues to string big performances together, finishing runner-up in October’s BMW, seventh in the World Tour before Christmas, fourth in the Saudi two months ago and then fourth last time out in the Match Play. The only attribute he lacks is form around Augusta, finishing in 44th on debut in November, but that experience should be put to good use on his return.

Verdict: On the upgrade and could be a future major winner. Currently in great form, but asking a lot to win The Masters on just his second visit.

Cameron Smith (Aus)

Ranked: 30
Odds: 40-1
Age: 27
 
Last 10 Masters (latest first): 2 51 5 - 55
Last 10 Majors: 2 38 43 20 72 64 51 56 78 MC
Major best: Runner-up The Masters (2020)
 
This season’s form: 28 7 11 4 MC 62 24 2 4 11 24 38

Having finished fifth in the 2018 Masters and then a tied runner-up last year, Cameron Smith has to be taken seriously to become only the second Australian to win this illustrious title. While finishing five shots behind Dustin Johnson in November, the 27-year-old once again showed his liking for Augusta, in the process making history to become the first player to record four rounds in the 60s at the course. That is certainly something to tell the grandchildren about in years to come, but he’ll want to tell them about actually wearing the Green Jacket, and there is no reason why he won’t be on the premises again having shown up well in February’s Genesis when fourth.

Verdict: Finished runner-up here in November after a fifth in 2018, and playing well enough to feature again. Interesting at 40-1.

2020-21 PGA & European Tours Main Tournaments

Month

Tournament

Winner

Sep

U.S. Open

Bryson DeChambeau

Oct

Sanderson Farms Championship

Sergio García

Oct

Shriners Open

Martin Laird

Oct

CJ Cup

Jason Kokrak 

Oct

Zozo Championship

Patrick Cantlay 

Nov

Houston Open

Carlos Ortiz 

Nov

The Masters

Dustin Johnson 

Nov

RSM Classic

Robert Streb

Dec

Mayakoba Golf Classic

Viktor Hovland 

Jan

Sentry Tournament of Champions

Harris English

Jan

Sony Open in Hawaii

Kevin Na 

Jan

Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Tyrrell Hatton

Jan

American Express

Kim Si-woo 

Jan

Dubai Desert Classic

Paul Casey

Jan

Farmers Insurance Open

Patrick Reed

Feb

Saudi International

Dustin Johnson 

Feb

Waste Management Phoenix Open

Brooks Koepka 

Feb

AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

Daniel Berger 

Feb

Genesis Invitational

Max Homa 

Feb

WGC-Workday Championship

Collin Morikawa 

Mar

Arnold Palmer Invitational

Bryson DeChambeau

Mar

Players Championship

Justin Thomas 

Mar

Honda Classic

Matt Jones 

Mar

WGC-Dell Match Play

Billy Horschel

Apr

Texas Open

Jordan Spieth

There were some unfamiliar names getting among the trophies this season, with only 15 of the 25 tournaments falling to a player in the current top 30; Dustin Johnson (9-1) and Bryson DeChambeau (11-1) both won two apiece. DJ looks set to go well again in defence of his title, but there will be added pressure to repeat that level again, while he'll need to join an exclusive club of legends to have retained the Green Jacket. DeChambeau meanwhile, has a bit to prove at Augusta on past performances here, and his price is short enough based on course form.

Rory McIlroy will no doubt have his followers from the UK, but his majors drought continues, though Ryder Cup teammate JON RAHM (12-1) can't be too long in gaining his first. Rambo has sustained a high level of solid form since his breakthrough several years back, and three consecutive top-ten finishes here is a real head-turner.

Similarly, BROOKS KOEPKA (28-1) boasts a tidy Augusta record, and knows how to get the job done having landed four majors already. For someone of his pedigree to also be in good form, it is surprising to see he is available at 28-1, unlike fellow countryman JUSTIN THOMAS (12-1), who won the Players' Championship two outings ago and gets closer to this title year-on-year, finishing fourth in November. His chance is there for all to see.

XANDER SCHAUFFELE (25-1) went close to wearing the Green Jacker two years ago when runner-up and is another hard on the door having also gone close in The Open> Two runner-up efforts earlier this season confirm his form remains fine. The similarly-ish sounding SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER (50-1) is at the other end of the scale in just starting out his journey, but recorded a U.S. Open fourth last year, prior to a promising debut 19th here. Another top effort when runner-up in the recent Match Play shows he remains in confident mood and November's experience here will do him good.

DANIEL BERGER (40-1) is another mouth-watering price on his return here following a two-year absence, but he made the cut in all three previous appearances at Augusta. He also won the Pebble Beach recently and arrives in good form.

UK backers may show some loyalty towards Lee Westwood (40-1) or Paul Casey (33-1) finally landing a major. The former has found a real resurgence in form of late and went close here previously, while Casey found a career best only last year when runner-up in the PGA and is clearly not finished yet. 

OTHER CONTENDERS

While the trends and percentages suggest this year’s Masters winner may emerge from the top 30 ranked players, the aforementioned winners from his season show that a player could emerge from the outer pack and go well at big odds. One such golfer is the form-horse, Jordan Spieth, who was big odds a week ago prior to winning last weekend's Texas Open, resulting in avalanche of money for the 27-year-old who is now 12-1. That timely victory was his first in four years, so it's easy to understand his sudden popularity in the market, especially as he won title only six years ago.

However, the bird may have already flown with Spieth, which may see backers look to the likes of  Sergio Garcia (50-1) to land a second Masters following his 2017 triumph, while Jason Day is also 50's  though the 2103 Masters winner Adam Scott is out to 66-1 having just been nudged out the top 30 rankings.

2021 Masters Golf
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