As the 2015 season gets under way, the golfing world’s focus is already looking forward to the first major of the year at the Masters in April.
While the likes of Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods and defending champion Bubba Watson will be the focus of much of the betting public’s interest in the build-up to the event at Augusta, there will be a lot of players being overlooked that have more than enough talent to win the tournament.
These long shots might not always come off, but the Masters has shown in recent years that players can come from nowhere to win the famous green jacket.
Mike Weir’s victory in 2003 surprised a lot of fans, but not as much as Trevor Immelman’s 2008 success.
It has been a few years since a shock winner took the Masters title, but there are some real contenders in 2015 that could start the tournament with some very long odds.
With odds of around 50/1 with some bookmakers, including betfair online, Martin Kaymer could well be one of the most overpriced players at Augusta in April. While the Masters is by far the German’s least successful of the four majors, it wouldn’t be a massive shock if Kaymer was in contention come the final round this year. The two-time major winner has a best finish of 31st at Augusta but victory in last year’s US Open showed he has the ability to succeed in a tournament he has previously struggled in.
Donald’s current betting odds are a reflection of a dismal 2014 but the Englishman will know he has the tools to prove a lot of people wrong this year. The former world number one might not have been at his best over the past couple of seasons but the 37-year-old still has plenty of time to turn things around. After missing the cut at the Masters and US Open in 2014, Donald failed to impress in the remaining two majors of the season. Recent form aside, Donald is still a name that many feel will one day win a major, and the Masters looks as likely as any.
While his memorable 2012 US Open victory stands out like a glorious sore thumb on Webb Simpson’s C.V. the American has shown on more than a few occasions that he can play some incredible golf on his day. Not many of those days have come at Augusta but Simpson still looks overpriced by a lot of online bookies heading into this year’s Masters. Two missed cuts in his past two appearances at Augusta might not give Simpson huge confidence as he prepares for the first major of the year, but the 29-year-old is still young enough to get it right when it comes to the testing conditions at the Masters.
Not many players have experienced the slump that Padraig Harrington has over the past few years but the Irishman could still have one last hurrah in him. The three-time major winner ended 2014 with a welcome win on the Asian Tour and the 43-year-old will be hoping that is a sign of things to come this season. With four top-ten finishes to his name, Harrington has shown that he has the game to handle Augusta and there will be some betting fans jumping on the chance to back the Irishman should he make it into the first major of the year.