2021 Masters Preview

The world's top golfers have started 2021 in some style and many look to be peaking nicely for the first major of the year. The Masters is back in its usual place on the calendar and we're all set to head down to the Augusta National in Georgia on April 8th.

With so many players in good touch right now, it's going to be a tough tournament to predict, but, if anything is certain, we can surely expect four days of the most thrilling golf.

In Contention

Dustin Johnson started 2021 as the world's No. 1 ranked golfer and he will travel to Augusta as the defending champion. Last year's edition of the Masters was played in November, but the switch was unlikely to have had too much bearing on the result. With all fairways cut back towards the hole, the ball doesn't run too far whether it's autumn or late spring and the power hitters don't enjoy a great advantage.

Johnson has maintained his ranking throughout the first 10 weeks of the year, but he will face some stiff challenges at the Masters. Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau have both won on the PGA Tour in 2021 and both are expected to be in contention at Augusta.

Other top players who have performed well in recent weeks are 2018 Masters Champion Patrick Reed, plus Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas. All three have lacked a little consistency since the start of 2021, but they have the quality to compete at any major championship.

The Pundits' Verdict

The sportsbooks are generally a good source of information for anyone looking to predict the outcome of an important sporting event. The Masters is no exception and those betting sites affiliated to sbo.net have made Dustin Johnson a clear favorite. Rory McIlroy, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka, and Jon Rahm are among those close behind, but Johnson is out in front by some margin.

As the PGA Tour moves through March and early April, sbo.net will continue to update the odds while offering news updates and other insight ahead of the tournament. Anyone who does want to get involved with the markets can also look to take advantage of a range of sportsbook offers and promotions.

Ready to Cause an Upset

History has told us that the eventual Masters winner isn't always an obvious one. Danny Willett's unexpected victory in 2016 was one of the bigger shocks in recent years, but there are many similar results if we move further back in time.

If Jordan Spieth were to win, the result wouldn't exactly be identified as a "shock," but it would certainly be classed as a remarkable comeback. Spieth won the Masters in 2015 at the age of just 21 and he looked to have a dominant future ahead. He went on to claim the U.S. Open in the same year and the Open Championship two years later, but that major triumph in 2017 was his last tournament win.

Struggles with the putter have been evident in Jordan Spieth's recent play, but he's just started to show flashes of his best form at the start of 2021.

Elsewhere, other golfers who have been impressive since the start of the year include Collin Morikawa, Paul Casey, Daniel Berger, Patrick Cantlay, Viktor Hovland, Cameron Smith, and Webb Simpson. All of them will be looking to claim the coveted green jacket at the end of the four days in Augusta.

Absent Friend

The 2021 U.S. Masters will be poorer for the absence of Tiger Woods. The five-time champion recorded an emotional win here in 2019 and he was set to make another comeback from injury this year. Instead, that horrific car crash leaves him on the sidelines.

That may cast a shadow on the tournament, but it should also inspire players to produce their best golf. Picking a winner is tough, but we are certain to enjoy four great days as the Masters returns to its rightful slot on the calendar.

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