The wait is almost over, one of sport’s greatest events kicks off in less than a week at Augusta National Golf Club for the 81st Masters tournament.
Expect emotion, long drives, missed putts and high drama all in pursuit in one of sport’s most sought after items of clothing, the green jacket.
The flowers surrounding Augusta National may have bloomed early this year leaving us with a slightly less colourful Augusta than usual, however, there will be no colour lacking in this year’s play.
American Dustin Johnson has been in the form of his life since winning his first major at last year’s US Open.
The 32-year-old may have had previous off course problems but those have been banished to the past and Johnson heads to Augusta as joint favourite with fellow American Jordan Spieth at 6/1 with us.
Three wins in his last three starts is a remarkable feat by Johnson and rarely seen on tour, especially when you consider two of those events were prestigious World Golf Championship tournaments in the Dell World Match Play and the WGC Mexico Open.
Johnson may be hot to trot but as is the norm around this time of the year, talk of Rory McIlroy’s chances of completing the golfing grand slam are rife.
The Masters is the one major tournament to elude McIlroy despite holding a four-stroke lead on the final day at Augusta in 2011.
The 27-year-old is carrying form into the Masters with three top ten’s in his last four starts certain proof that McIlroy could be worth a serious look at this year.
25/4 is the price on a McIlroy win and that could be value, Rory is desperate to win and complete the career grand slam with few in the field more motivated than the Northern Irishman.
Last year’s champion Danny Willett had a stunning first half of 2016 claiming his first Masters title and winning the Dubai Desert Classic.
However, Willett’s performances were less than remarkable in the second half of the year and the Englishman enters the fray with a best result this year of Tied 39th at the WGC Dell Match-play.
A repeat of last year’s performance is unlikely but stranger things have happened and at 70/1 for the win, surely that is reason enough to back him once again.
One of golf’s most likeable characters Henrik Stenson is always worth taking a look at prior to any major golfing event.
Winner of last year’s British Open, Stenson has the game to go all the way for his second major title with the Swede worth backing at 25/1 for the win.
Tiger Woods is still yet to confirm whether he is participating in this year’s field, the four time Masters Champions problems of late have been well documented with injury reducing the former world number ones playing time.
Despite this, you can still back Woods at 66/1 to claim a fifth title and why not! It would make a wonderful story and one for the golfing romantics however unlikely.