The Masters - Best Performances & Who To Watch in 2019
From the pristine fairways to Amen Corner and the green jacket - there are so many characteristics which make the Masters at the Augusta National Club one of the world's most iconic sporting events. Taking place from Thursday 11th to Sunday 14th April 2019, the Masters will be golf's first major of the year. It is a tournament where stars are born and legacies are solidified; so as we look ahead to the latest edition, it's time to relive some classic performances from down the years and consider who could be in contention come the finale.
Make sure to head over to our Masters Betting Tips for Robert Cobley’s thoughts on the Augusta classic. At our online betting, Bet UK also offer the latest Masters betting odds ahead of this week’s event.
The Magic of The Masters
The man with the most Masters victories is arguably the greatest golfer of all time - one Jack William Nicklaus. Nicklaus holds the most majors - an astonishing 18 - and six of those were claimed at Augusta. He won his first back in 1963, shooting a 66 in his second round which paved the way for a one-stroke victory. Nicklaus would reclaim the ceremonial green jacket awarded to the winner in 1965, 1966, 1972 and 1975 before an amazing swansong in 1986 was icing on the cake of an unsurpassed career.
Nicklaus's rival and friend Arnold Palmer is another golfing great responsible for the growth of the sport, and the American with the super cool playing style triumphed four times at Augusta - winning in 1958, 1960, 1962 and 1964. Perhaps the most memorable of those wins was when he became the first player to notch four Masters titles in 1964, with a six-stroke victory over runners-up Nicklaus and Dave Marr.
Tied with Palmer on four Masters wins is the titan of the modern era, Tiger Woods. Woods has lit up Augusta over the years, and burst into the world elite with his first major win in 1997, before taking the green jacket in 2001, 2002 and 2005. In 2002 he posted the best score by a champion defending his title, but for many 2005 might be the favourite, as Woods edged Chris DiMarco in a thrilling play-off climax. The world is hopeful that the 14-time major winner will compete at this year's event, as he battles his way back from a neck problem.
It isn't just the big guns who write their name in history at the Masters. Particularly in recent years, the Georgia showpiece has been won by less heralded names who have gone on to bigger things - or not, as is sometimes the case. England's Danny Willett shocked the sport in 2016 when he finished Sunday in green after a five under par 67. Since then, the Yorkshireman plummeted to 462nd in the world, before he picked up his first win since that Masters late last year. South African Trevor Immelman was another surprise winner that failed to follow up his only success at the majors, not winning a single tournament after his victory in 2008.
But it hasn't all been doom and gloom for leftfield winners of the Masters. Since his career breakthrough win in 2015, Jordan Spieth hasn't looked back, picking up another two majors at the US Open and Open Championship. Spieth has suffered a slump over the past two years by his own high standards and will be hoping that the Masters can provide the spark he has been missing.
Who To Watch at The Masters In 2019
As we have seen, while the Masters can be a battleground for the sports biggest names, it can also provide the opportunity of a lifetime for lesser known talents. So who could shine in 2019? World number four at the time of writing, Rory McIlroy is no stranger to winning majors, but he does have a missing piece in his set. After taking home the US Open, Open Championship and US PGA Championship, the Ulsterman is only missing a coveted US Masters title - could it be his year? McIlroy proved he is in good touch by taking home The Players Championship in March, a tournament considered to be the 'fifth major'.
Then there is the world number one himself, American Dustin Johnson. While he already has 20 PGA Tour wins under his belt, only one of them - the 2016 US Open - is a major, and Johnson will be keen to improve his record in the big four events. His best Masters finish is currently tied 4th in 2016, and as one of the most consistent players in the world, look for Johnson to have a say in proceedings again this time.
Justin Rose is another player who might have been expected to win more major titles, such is his consistently high standard. The 2013 US Open winner has been pipped to the post twice at Augusta, being runner up in 2015 and 2017. With an early 2019 win under his belt in the Farmers Insurance Open, Rose could in contention.
And finally, if you are eyeing up a dark horse, how about the entertaining Ricky Fowler? The American once hailed golf's next superstar is still waiting to break his major duck, but after winning the Waste Management Phoenix Open in February, could bring his A-game to Augusta.
So who are you backing to win this year? Find the latest golf betting odds here at Bet UK.
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*All odds from Bet UK’s online betting correct at the time of writing.
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