Over the last few years the Majors have seen a number of first time winners whilst the biggest names in the game have struggled to live up to the hype and pressure. This year at the 2012 Masters, I am struggling to see past the horde of in-form big names.
Luke Donald, World No.1 won on his last time out (Transitions), Rory McIlroy won his last outing at the Honda Classic and of course Tiger Woods won at Bay Hill two weeks ago. These three are more than capable of providing us with a recognised winner.
Between 2009 and 2012, in the twelve Majors competed for, only two were won by previous Major winners which is an astonishing run that flies in the face of 70 years of golfing history. Never before have we seen such a spate of first time winners. This must largely be due to the sheer volume of fantastic golfers that now abound on the various Tours and the constantly improving standard of golf around the world.
The Woods wilderness years have provided us with some great tournaments with the likes of Keegan Bradley, Charl Schwartzel, Louis Oosthuizen, YE Yang and Lucas Glover all picking up their first Major Championship. And it is no slight to these fantastic golfers to yearn for a return of the Tiger and the big names but knowing a little more about your main protagonists can make the tournament come alive.
Coming into the 2012 Masters, Donald, Woods and McIlroy are in sumptuous form, MacDowell appears to be almost back to his best whilst Westwood looks a putter away from being unbeatable. Throw in names like Mickelson, Scott, Rose, Stricker and you have a phalanx of big names whose stories we have followed.
If you are looking for some value and another first time winner then have a look at a player like Peter Hanson or Johnson Wagner who has been flying this season. Jason Day is likely to be there or thereabouts and Nick Watney has been waiting to land one of these for a while.
This year though, MrSportsbook believes will be a return to history and a repeat winner or at least one of the bigger names. With the top players all in form and ready for a five or ten year war that could be similar to the legendary contests between Nicklaus, Palmer, Player, Trevino.
With Woods, Donald and McIlroy the firm three favourites for this event who will rise from the pack to become the fourth musketeer over the coming years?
For US Sports Bettors have a look here to see what the best Sportsbooks are offering for Masters Betting: