In the main preview we highlighted the chances of Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy winning the US Masters. Paul Casey can be added to that short list of potential winners at a bigger price so he is our each-way bet against the field. Winning the 15th major of his career may be beyond Tiger Woods but he can be the best of the US contingent and win the top American market. There has been money for the in form Louis Oosthuizen and he is the player to back for top rest of the world honours.
Rose has a game ideally suited to Augusta National and McIlroy is the form pick having won the Players Championship last month for the first time. The former is trying to add to the US Open he won in 2013 which is his only major to date. His Ryder Cup colleague only needs the Masters title to complete the career Grand Slam. Only five players have won all four majors at least once so McIlroy will be joining an exclusive club if he wins the Masters Tournament this week.
Casey has said that he believes the Masters is his best chance of winning a major. The course puts a premium on distance off the tee over accuracy. However, putting on the fast and undulating greens is also important and Casey fits this skills’ profile. He has finished in the top 15 at the Masters over the last four years and made the top six in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Casey recently won the Valspar Championship on the PGA Tour for the second successive year and now has 19 professional wins. He has made the cut in all but one of the last eight majors and can contend this week.
Woods has won the Masters four times but not since 2005. In the early years of the century some pundits were predicting he could win 10 green jackets because his game was a perfect fit for Augusta. Injury and illness halted his career and the former world number one won the last of his 14 majors at the US Open in 2008. However, Woods contended in the last two majors of last season and won the Tour Championship on the PGA Tour. His main career goal has always to overhaul Jack Nicklaus’s tally of 18 majors and the Masters is his best chance of getting closer.
Dustin Johnson is one of the best drivers in the world and that makes him a contender for the Masters. Basically if he has a good week on the greens he will be competitive but that is not always the case. Winning the Masters is a test of mentality and skill and putting under pressure is part of the challenge. Johnson has made the top 10 in his last three Masters starts and missed one cut in eight outings at Augusta. He has 20 PGA Tour wins to his name including one major but other players are preferred. Woods is the tip to win the top US player market.
Some shrewd punters have been backing Oosthuizen in the outright betting but Rose and McIlroy have cornered that market. However, the 2010 Open champion has enough in his record to finish the best of the players not from Europe or the United States. Oosthuizen has made the cut in the last five Masters and finished second behind Bubba Watson in 2012. He may not add to his 14 professional wins but Oosthuizen can make the payout places and be the top player from other parts of the world. When push comes to shove the number one 2019 Masters pick is Justin Rose.