It is that time the of year when the best in the world make their way up Magnolia Lane and to Augusta National Golf Club for the first major of the season. The golfing world seems to come to a standstill as enthusiasts worldwide put any pressing concerns or commitments to one side and make sure they give the Masters their full and undivided attention. The Masters is unique in the sense that they play the same course every year for this major. Augusta National, which measures 7, 435 yards and plays as a par 72. Opened in 1933 by Bobby Jones and Alistair Mackenzie, Augusta National once a tree nursery and now one of the most aesthetically pleasing layouts around the world, where some of the greatest story lines and scripts have ever been written and played out before a stunned audience. Their is something about the Masters that gets the adrenaline pumping of not only golf lovers but sports fans in general. This modern day theater that is known as Augusta National is the stage where modern day gladiators get to fight it out with each other in a 4 day titanic battle that ends late on the Sunday afternoon. When the long shadows are falling over Amen corner and all a player can hear is his heartbeat as he leaves the comfort of the galleries to take on the last challenge that separates him from eternal glory. It is during those moments, when the viewer at home watching on, is filled with unbearable tension, as their favorite player is forced to make a 6 foot putt to win, with the weight of the world on his shoulders, that men turn into giants. Shaking off the pressures that would crush the average competitor. That is the beauty of the Masters, it produces diamonds. Only a phenomenal effort will do and that is why the world comes to a halt, who will stand up? who will fight back when all seems to be lost, and who will etch their names into golfing folklore with a win at the Masters?
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Jason Day(+700 BetOnline.ag)
Jason Day has won 6 times in his last 13 starts and twice in a row. The last person to win 3 times with the third win being a Masters victory was Tiger Woods back in 2001. Day has come close in the past at Augusta National, notably in 2013 when he led the competition with 2 holes to play. The highly skilled and red hot Australian has momentum and form on his side, two of the deadliest combinations to have when trying to win a golf tournament. Whether he wins or not, Day will not just fade away over the weekend, he will be at the top of the leaderboard until late Sunday. If he can play holes 16, 17, and 18 a little better than he did in 2013, then Day could well make it two Australian Masters victories in 3 years.
Jordan Speith(+900 BetOnline.ag)
The defending champion has not had the best start to the year, winning only once and only having 1 top 15 finish since late January which was last week at the Shell Houston Open. The one advantage Speith has over the likes of Day, Mcilroy and Fowler is that he knows how to win at Augusta National. Having done it already, Speith will come into this years tournament with a lot more confidence. The greens are where it is won or lost during the Masters and Speith has the best putting stroke on tour, if he can give himself a chance with good ball striking then the young Texan could make it two green jackets in two years.
Branden Grace (+6600 BetOnline.ag)
Branden Grace seems to come alive during the majors and finished in the top five in both the US Open and PGA Championship last year. Naturally quite a long hitter, Grace will give himself a chance at all of the par 5’s and shorter par 4’s. Mastering the greens will be the biggest challenge awaiting the young South African. If he managed to have a good practice week and feels comfortable on the greens then Branden Grace will certainly challenge this week.
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Alistair Mackenzie • Augusta National Golf Club • Bobby Jones • Branden Grace • Jason Day • Jordan Speith • The Masters • Tiger Woods