2022 Masters: A capsule for every player in the field

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It’s shaping up to be another exciting year for the Masters, and this week’s field will be comprised of 91 players.

To help with your handicapping, I’ve written up capsules for every player in the field, in alphabetical order.

​Here are capsules for all 91 players in the 2022 Masters field and their current odds to win at DraftKings.

Best bets | Capsule for every player | Betting guide

Abraham Ancer (70-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 2/2

Best career finish: 13th (2020)

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 0

Top 25s: 1

On debut here in 2020, Ancer found himself in the final group on Sunday where he had a front-row seat to Dustin Johnson’s green-jacket coronation. A disappointing final-round 76 dropped him to a 13th-place finish. Ancer qualified for this event by winning his first career PGA Tour event last August at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational over Sam Burns and Hideki Matsuyama. Since that win in August, Ancer has posted four top-10s worldwide but really has not shown much life until reaching the quarterfinals of the WGC-Dell Match Play two weeks ago with wins over Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson in group play and a 7-and-6 thrashing of Collin Morikawa before bowing out to Corey Conners. His usual pinpoint approach game has been off thus far in 2022. He was also an eleventh-hour withdrawal from last week’s Valero Texas Open.

Daniel Berger (35-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 4/3

Best career finish: T-10 (2016)

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 1

Top 25s: 0

Berger missed the cut last year for the first time at Augusta after missing the field in 2019 and 2020. He qualifies for this year’s field having been one of 30 players to make the Tour Championship. He was unable to defend his title at Pebble Beach earlier this season because of a sacroiliac (SI) joint sprain in his lower back. Nevertheless, he had as much as a six-shot lead on Saturday in his home game at the Honda Classic before falling to a T-4 finish. Berger is one of the best pure ball strikers on the PGA Tour as he ranks second for Strokes Gained: Approach and fourth for Strokes Gained: Tee-To-Green over his last 50 rounds (fifth and fifth in those categories for the last 36 rounds). He has had some good finishes in major championships, including a T-7 at the U.S. Open and T-8 at the British Open last year, but he has rarely been right there in the mix to win a major since 2018 when he was the 54-hole co-leader in the U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills, eventually won by Brooks Koepka.

Christiaan Bezuidenhout (130-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 2/2

Best career finish: T-38

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 0

Top 25s: 0

Bezuidenhout makes his third consecutive appearance at Augusta courtesy of finishing in the OWGR Top 50 at the conclusion of the 2021 calendar year. The 27-year-old has seven worldwide victories, including three on the European Tour and four on the Sunshine Tour in his native South Africa. He now has full status on the PGA Tour and is still struggling to step up in class, but he has made eight of nine cuts in 2022 and is 2-for-2 making the cut at Augusta. The short game is his clear strength, but his game off the tee needs to improve to be a factor here and throughout the rest of the PGA Tour season.

Sam Burns (50-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 0/0

Best career finish: First appearance

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 0

Top 25s: 0

Burns began a 10-month run three weeks after last year’s Masters by earning his first PGA Tour victory at the Valspar Championship. Over the last 10 months, Burns has three PGA Tour wins (2021 and 2022 Valspar, 2021 Sanderson Farms Championship) and is rated No. 11 in the OWGR and knocking on the door to be a permanent fixture in the World’s Top 10. Burns rates top 10 in this field for both Strokes Gained: Approach and Strokes Gained: Tee-To-Green. His short game has also come around as he is No. 6 in the field for Strokes Gained: Short Game over the last 24 rounds. Despite his terrific form over the last year, he could use some improvement keeping the ball in play off the tee. He has yet to be a factor in any major during his young career, but at just 25, it seems like it is only a matter of time before Burns is right there in the mix on Sunday for a major championship.

Patrick Cantlay (25-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 5/3

Best career finish: T-9 (2019)

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 1

Top 25s: 2

“Patty Ice” sits No. 5 in the world and not only is the reigning PGA Tour Player of the Year with three PGA Tour wins (Memorial, BMW Championship and Tour Championship) in 2021 but also is the defending FedEx Cup champion. However, the golf world is still waiting for what seems like an inevitable breakthrough in a major, but Cantlay only has one top-5 in 19 career majors (T-3 in the 2019 PGA Championship). Cantlay has had two cracks at victories already in 2022 but finished T-4 at Pebble Beach and lost in a three-hole playoff to Scottie Scheffler in Phoenix. He has proven that he can go low at Augusta National with a third-round 64 to vault himself into contention in 2019, plus he had a share of the lead on Sunday’s back nine that year before two late bogeys dropped him to a T-9 finish. Cantlay is No. 1 in this field for Strokes Gained: Total over the last 36 rounds (No. 2 over the last 50 rounds). The overall game is there to win the green jacket if he has figured out the speed and undulations of Augusta’s greens.

Paul Casey (50-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 15/11

Best career finish: T-4 (2016)

Top 5s: 1

Top 10s: 5

Top 25s: 8

Casey makes his 16th career appearance in the Masters courtesy of a top-4 finish in last year’s PGA Championship at Kiawah Island. He also finished T-7 at Torrey Pines in last year’s U.S. Open. However, the winner of 21 worldwide professional events over the course of his career, Casey is still chasing that major championship triumph. While still playing good and consistent golf, Casey is 44 and running short on chances to bag a major. He has a strong record at Augusta with five top-10s, including finishes of 6-4-6 from 2015 to 2017. Casey was able to play only two holes in his first match at the WGC-Dell Match Play two weeks ago before back spasms forced him to concede all three matches in group play. Nevertheless, he is only four weeks removed from a near-miss at The Players Championship, where he was two shots off the lead and hit a perfect drive on the 16th hole only for it to land in a divot and eliminate a birdie opportunity, forcing him to settle for third.

Cameron Champ (150-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 2/2

Best career finish: T-19 (2020)

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 0

Top 25s: 1

The winner of the 3M Open last July, Champ is one of the PGA Tour’s biggest bombers and leads the tour in Driving Distance for this season; however, he is highly wayward off the tee (202nd in Driving Accuracy). The rest of his game has not been in good shape either. Champ did take off a couple of months at the end of 2021 to nurse a wrist injury, but he has not had a good start to 2022, missing three of six cuts, and his best finish was a T-46 at the Farmers Insurance Open. He has finished a respectable 19th and 26th in two career appearances at Augusta, but there does not look to be any buy signs here given his incoming form.

Stewart Cink (250-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 19/13

Best career finish: T-3 (2008)

Top 5s: 1

Top 10s: 2

Top 25s: 10

Cink earned a return appearance to the Masters having finished in the top 12 at Augusta last April. He followed up that stellar play with a victory, his second for the 2020-2021 PGA Tour season, the very next week in the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town, where he has three of his eight career PGA Tour wins. Cink became only the fourth player in PGA Tour history to win multiple events in a season (Sam Snead, Julius Boros and Kenny Perry being the others) after turning 47. Now 48, his form is erratic as he has missed five of his last nine overall cuts, but he comes to Augusta off his best finish of the season with a T-7 at the Valspar three weeks ago.

Corey Conners (55-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 4/3

Best career finish: T-8 (2021)

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 2

Top 25s: 2

Conners has finished in the top 10 the last two years at Augusta to earn a trip down Magnolia Lane for a third consecutive year. The Canadian’s third-place finish at the WGC-Dell Match Play two weeks ago, which included victories over Louis Oosthuizen, Alex Noren Takumi Kanaya, Abraham Ancer and Dustin Johnson in the third-place match, has propelled him to a career-high ranking of No. 32 in the OWGR. Conners is one of the best pure ball strikers in the game and has top-end numbers in that regard, ranking sixth for Strokes Gained: Ball Striking and seventh for Strokes Gained: Off-The-Tee over his last 36 rounds. The short game holds him back and prevents him from winning more often. Over the last 36 rounds, he rates 145th on tour for Strokes Gained: Short Game (Strokes Gained: Putting + Strokes Gained: Around The Green).

Fred Couples (1000-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 36/30

Best career finish: 1st (1992)

Top 5s: 5

Top 10s: 11

Top 25s: 20

Couples has not been playing a lot of golf lately (zero appearances in 2022) due to back problems and just getting remarried last month. However, he is returning to Augusta to commemorate the 30th anniversary of winning the green jacket. While he showed some competitiveness on the PGA Tour Champions last year with six top-10 finishes, he has not won an event on that tour since June 2017, has failed to make the cut at Augusta since 2018 and is now 63.

Cameron Davis (250-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 0/0

Best career finish: First appearance

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 0

Top 25s: 0

The Australian earned his invitation to Augusta by winning the Rocket Mortgage Classic in a playoff last July over Troy Merritt and Joaquin Niemann, for his first PGA Tour victory. Since then, Davis has only one top-10 finish (T-10 Sentry Tournament of Champions) in his last 17 PGA Tour starts and has missed five of his last nine cuts. Due to a green card issue, he was not able to participate in the British Open last summer at Royal Portrush, so this will be his first major championship since becoming a PGA Tour winner.

Bryson DeChambeau (35-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 5/5

Best career finish: T-21 (2016 — Low Amateur)

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 0

Top 25s: 1

DeChambeau ended 2021 as the No. 5 player in the world but heads to Augusta at No. 14. He also has missed eight weeks this season with various injuries, including a fractured hamate bone in his left hand and a torn labrum in his left hip. DeChambeau returned two weeks ago at the WGC-Dell Match Play but failed to win a match in group play. He appeared relatively healthy but also very rusty. The 2020 U.S. Open champion is still the biggest hitter in the game off the tee (No. 2 for Strokes Gained: Off-The-Tee and No. 1 for Driving Distance Gained over the last 36 rounds). He’ll eventually figure out the tricky greens at Augusta as he is one of the better putters on the PGA Tour, especially of late, ranking fifth in Strokes Gained: Putting over the last 36 rounds. Nevertheless, he has not won in over a calendar year (2021 Arnold Palmer Invitational) and the “Incredible Bulk” has yet to contend at Augusta because he has not been able to bomb and gouge his way toward overpowering the course. In fact, after his 2020 U.S. Open victory, DeChambeau said that he looks at 67 as par for him at Augusta. Since he made that remark, DeChambeau has matched that number only once in eight rounds in 2020 and 2021. Augusta is not the place to get right when health and fitness are question marks.

Tony Finau (80-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 4/4

Best career finish: T-5 (2019)

Top 5s: 1

Top 10s: 3

Top 25s: 3

Finau has finished top 10 or better at Augusta in three of his four appearances. He also got the winless monkey off his back as he broke a near 5½-year drought with a win last August at The Northern Trust in the FedEx Cup Playoffs. However, he comes to Augusta with arguably the worst form he has ever had before the year’s first major. Finau’s best finish in 2022 came in the year’s opening event at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he finished T-19 in a field of just 38 players. The ball striking, especially on approach, has been relatively solid, but Finau’s short game, on and around the greens, has been an absolute mess. In fact, he rates 79th in this field of 91 over the last 36 rounds for Strokes Gained: Putting and is 201st overall with the flat stick on the tour this season. That number even rates lower than some of the amateurs in the field that have PGA Tour starts. Nevertheless, this is close to double the price that he was last year at the Masters, and a return to Augusta might be what he needs to turn around what has thus far been a miserable 2022.

Matt Fitzpatrick (50-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 7/6

Best career finish: T-7 (2016)

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 1

Top 25s: 2

Fitzpatrick, who enters this field by virtue of his OWGR (currently No. 24), had a disappointing 2021 despite earning a win at the Andalucia Masters on the DP World Tour. Three weeks before that win, though, he went 0-3 in the Ryder Cup and failed to make any headway in any of the four majors. This year has looked more promising with four top-10 finishes (T-6 Pebble Beach, T-10 Phoenix, T-9 Arnold Palmer, T-5 Valspar) in six PGA Tour starts. Fitzpatrick ranks eighth in this field for Strokes Gained: Total over the last 24 rounds. Even with these solid finishes over the last two months, the putting, Fitzpatrick’s bread and butter, has been down, ranking just 32nd in this field over the last 36 rounds and 38th over the last 24 rounds for Strokes Gained: Putting. If the flat stick returns to form, Fitzpatrick could be a bit of a dark horse; however, the price seems a bit short.

Tommy Fleetwood (80-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 5/4

Best career finish: T-17 (2018)

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 0

Top 25s: 2

Fleetwood ended 2019 ranked in the OWGR Top 10. Now he sits No. 46, which barely was enough to stay in the Top 50 to enter this field. It has been nearly two and a half years since Fleetwood has won any worldwide event (2019 Nedbank Golf Challenge). He lost his fully exempt status on the PGA Tour last season, having finished just 137th in the FedEx Cup standings. Nonetheless, he at least has shown some glimpses of a return to form, co-leading with Tom Hoge a few weeks ago in the first round of The Players Championship. However, he could not keep the momentum going, largely because of weather delays, and finished T-22. While he failed to emerge from group play at the WGC-Dell Match Play, he was the only man to defeat the eventual champion and now World No. 1, Scottie Scheffler. Perhaps that will give him confidence as he starts the road back to being a top-10 to top-20 player in the world.

Sergio Garcia (70-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 22/14

Best career finish: 1st (2017)

Top 5s: 2

Top 10s: 4

Top 25s: 6

It has been five years since Garcia earned the crowning achievement of his career, winning the green jacket in a playoff over Justin Rose. Even now at age 42, Garcia remains one of the best drivers in the world. In this field, he ranks behind only Jon Rahm and Bryson DeChambeau for Strokes Gained: Off-The-Tee over the last 50 rounds. However, the approach game and the short game, Garcia’s weakness throughout his career, ranks in the bottom half of this field, which is the main reason his last worldwide win came in October 2020 at the Sanderson Farms Championship. Garcia was unable to make it out of group play in his adopted hometown of Austin, Texas, but he did manage to halve his match with OWGR No. 3 Collin Morikawa, which may have given him some confidence that he can still compete with the world’s best. Nevertheless, it is fair to wonder if Garcia’s best days are behind him in major championships as he has made only six of 17 cuts since winning the Masters in 2017 with his best finish being no better than 19th.

Lucas Glover (250-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 8/4

Best career finish: T-20 (2007)

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 0

Top 25s: 1

Former U.S. Open champion (2009) Glover has qualified for a Masters invitation just once in the last seven years, missing the cut in 2020. He is back in the field due to a victory last summer in the John Deere Classic, which was his first win in over a decade. Glover has not done much of note since that victory apart from a top-5 at the Sony Open in January. He still can pepper the greens with the best of them and ranks fourth on the PGA Tour for Greens In Regulation. Glover’s ball striking certainly remains above average in this field, but the putting is well below par as he ranks 85th in this field for Strokes Gained: Putting and he has lost strokes on the greens in 12 of his last 15 PGA Tour events.

Talor Gooch (130-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 0/0

Best career finish: First appearance

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 0

Top 25s: 0

Gooch earned his way into this field by winning the first PGA Tour event of his career in the state of Georgia at the RSM Classic last November. He has continued solid play into 2022 and had a real look at his second win last month at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, where he was the 54-hole co-leader (Billy Horschel) before a Sunday 77 in tough course and wind conditions dropped him to T-7. Gooch was unable to make it out of his group at the WGC-Dell Match Play but did earn wins over Lee Westwood and Bryson DeChambeau. He ranks seventh in this field for Strokes Gained: Around The Green and 15th for Strokes Gained: Approach. The concern remains off the tee, where Gooch has shown a proclivity to spray his drives all over the place as he ranks 71st in the field for Strokes Gained: Off-The-Tee.

Austin Greaser (A)

Total appearances/cuts made: 0/0

Best career finish: First appearance

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 0

Top 25s: 0

Greaser, a junior at the University of North Carolina, earned his Masters invitation as the runner-up in 2021 U.S. Amateur at Oakmont Country Club, where he lost 2 and 1 in the 36-hole final to James Piot. He is the all-time scoring average leader for the Tar Heels golf program. Greaser is No. 23 in the WAGR (World Amateur Golf Ranking). The former Ohio Amateur and Northern Kentucky Amateur champion won the Fighting Illini Invite last fall.

Stewart Hagestad (A)

Total appearances/cuts made: 1/1

Best career finish: T-36 (2017 – Low Amateur)

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 0

Top 25s: 0

Hagestad, 30, will make his second Masters appearance having won the 2021 U.S. Mid-Amateur last fall. He is No. 13 in the WAGR (World Amateur Golf Ranking). Hagestad, who played his collegiate golf at USC, has said he has no desire to turn professional. He lives in New York City and worked for various real estate investment firms, including Merrill Lynch. Hagestad was a member of the last three U.S. teams that won the Walker Cup. He is finishing his MBA studies at USC.

Brian Harman (150-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 3/2

Best career finish: T-12 (2021)

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 0

Top 25s: 1

Harman’s T-12 at the 2021 Masters earned him a return trip for 2022. He was T-2 and one off the lead after 36 holes last year. One of the smaller players on tour, Harman is also one of the shorter hitters off the tee in this field, but he has been an accurate one throughout his career. He does have two top-5 finishes in 2022 with a T-3 at the American Express and a T-5 at the Valspar Championship. Left-handers have fared well at Augusta over the last two decades (Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson, Mike Weir), so Harman could be considered for that market, but this course is likely too long for him, and he ranks about mid-pack in all the ball striking categories.

Padraig Harrington (250-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 15/9

Best career finish: T-5 (2002, 2008)

Top 5s: 2

Top 10s: 4

Top 25s: 6

Harrington has not played at Augusta since 2015 but earned what could potentially be his last Masters appearance after finishing T-4 in last year’s PGA Championship at Kiawah Island. The three-time major champion has maintained a busy playing schedule around his Ryder Cup captaincy obligations for Team Europe last year. Harrington turned 50 last August but is still playing competitively, especially on the DP World Tour, where he earned two top-10 finishes in Dubai and finished 2021 and began 2022 with four top-20-or-better finishes. Nevertheless, this is a big step up for a player who last made the cut here a decade ago. With Phil Mickelson’s withdrawal, he would have to be the favorite in any over-50 market.

Tyrrell Hatton (50-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 5/3

Best career finish: T-18 (2021)

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 0

Top 25s: 1

Hatton was in the OWGR Top 10 heading to Augusta last year and now finds himself just inside the top 20, which is more than good enough to make this field. His last worldwide win was in January 2021 in Abu Dhabi. Hatton has not finished lower than 28th in seven events in 2022 and has three top-6 finishes (T-2 Arnold Palmer Invitational, T-4 Dubai Desert Classic, T-6 Abu Dhabi). He also won all three matches in group play at the WGC-Dell Match Play over Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Si Woo Kim and Daniel Berger before bowing out in the Round of 16 to Seamus Power. The short game has long been a strength, and it has carried Hatton lately as he leads the PGA Tour for the season in Strokes Gained: Putting and ranks sixth in this field for Strokes Gained: Short Game. However, the ball striking is going to need to improve quickly if he is going to contend at Augusta for the first time.

Russell Henley (35-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 5/4

Best career finish: T-11 (2017)

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 0

Top 25s: 3

Henley returns to Augusta for the first time since 2018, courtesy of his OWGR Top 50 ranking. He is on a five-year winless drought, with his last victory coming in the 2017 Shell Houston Open, which got him into the 2017 Masters field. However, he has been knocking at the door for a victory over the last couple of seasons. His best chance was earlier this year at the Sony Open in Hawaii before losing in a playoff to defending Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama. His price looks awfully short, but his metrics are excellent, and the stat modelers will like what they see. Henley rates second in this field for Strokes Gained: Approach, fifth for Strokes Gained: Total and seventh for Strokes Gained: Tee-To-Green over the last 36 rounds. Furthermore, he ranks top 10 for the PGA Tour season in Scoring Average, Birdie Average and All-Around Ranking. The statistical profile looks like a player who should play well here, but the number in the market is not near attractive enough. Henley might be a better play in various prop markets.

Lucas Herbert (200-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 0/0

Best career finish: First appearance

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 0

Top 25s: 0

Herbert has to be entering his first Masters fairly hot under the collar considering how his WGC-Dell Match Play ended two weeks ago. After upsetting both Tony Finau and Xander Schauffele in group play, he was defeated by Takumi Kanaya but had another chance to advance into the Round of 16 via extra playoff holes. In a somewhat odd sequence, Herbert lipped out a par putt from just under a yard away on the first hole of a pool-play playoff against Kanaya. Then he quickly missed again from 14 inches and the match was over. That was an even more surprising finish considering putting (fourth on the season for Strokes Gained: Putting) has been the best part of his game of late. The Australian is in this field due to his victory at the Butterfield Bermuda Championship last October. He finished T-7 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational last month, but his ball striking has been all over the place to start 2022, and when you rank 84th in this field (last 36 rounds) for Strokes Gained: Ball Striking, there is high potential to make big numbers on debut.

Garrick Higgo (200-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 0/0

Best career finish: First appearance

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 0

Top 25s: 0

Higgo, 22, is one of many potential young stars in golf. He won three times in just eight weeks in 2021, including twice on the DP World Tour at the Gran Canaria Lopesan Open and the Canary Islands Championship, but it was his win in the one-off Palmetto Championship at Congaree that earned him a PGA Tour card and a Masters invitation. However, dealing with success and following it up as a young player is always difficult and has proven to be just that for Higgo as he has yet to muster a top-20 finish anywhere in the world since his triumph at Congaree. The left-handed South African can bomb it with the best of them, and he has recently started working with Claude Harmon, Dustin Johnson’s coach, but the swing changes have not paid off yet. In addition, he is now playing against the best players in the world, and his four career wins, while impressive at such a young age, were against substantially weaker fields.

Harry Higgs (300-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 0/0

Best career finish: First appearance

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 0

Top 25s: 0

Higgs played his first major last year in the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island and finished T-4 to earn a spot in his first Masters. The former teammate of Bryson DeChambeau at SMU has finished runner-up twice on the PGA Tour – 2019 Bermuda Championship and 2020 Safeway Open – and is still seeking his first PGA Tour victory. Higgs has made only four of eight cuts in 2022 but did have a signature moment earlier this year at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. He and playing partner Joel Dahmen were well out of contention on Sunday and decided to have some fun with the fans that are part of the frat party atmosphere on the 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale and went shirtless and chugged beers with the crowd. That will not be happening for Higgs or anyone else at Augusta this week.

Tom Hoge (180-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 0/0

Best career finish: First appearance

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 0

Top 25s: 0

Hoge was knocking on the door for his first PGA Tour victory for several months with a T-4 in the last event of 2021 at the RSM Classic. Then, he scored a runner-up finish at the American Express. Finally, he broke through, winning the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am to earn a spot for his first Masters. Hoge ranks seventh in this field for Strokes Gained: Approach, seventh for Strokes Gained: Total, eighth for Strokes Gained: Tee-To-Green and ninth for Strokes Gained: Ball Striking over the last 36 rounds. He has yet to follow up his success in Pebble Beach from two months ago, but he was the first-round co-leader (Tommy Fleetwood) at The Players Championship. If Hoge can duplicate the ball striking he has displayed during the first three months of 2022, he could be a good consideration at a decent price for top-10 or top-20 markets.

Max Homa (70-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 2/0

Best career finish: MC (2020, 2021)

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 0

Top 25s: 0

Homa won twice in 2021 (Genesis Invitational, Fortinet Championship) and his win at the Fortinet in Napa Valley earned him a return appearance to Augusta, where he will attempt to make his first cut at the Masters. He has five top-20 finishes in seven starts and has been showing consistency over the last year. The next step for Homa is to play better in the majors. He has played in nine career major championships but has made the cut in only two of them. This looks like a good spot for him to at least make another major championship cut. Homa ranks 14th in this field for Strokes Gained: Ball Striking and 17th for Strokes Gained: Off-The-Tee. He looks to be a different caliber player now than the one who missed six of seven cuts in the 2020 and 2021 sets of majors.

Billy Horschel (70-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 7/5

Best career finish: T-17 (2016)

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 0

Top 25s: 1

Horschel won last year’s WGC-Dell Match Play, beating Scottie Scheffler in the championship match. Scheffler, now No. 1 in the OWGR, paid him back by knocking Horschel out in the Round of 16 two weeks ago. While Horschel has won since last year’s Masters, it was a win in the BMW PGA Championship, a flagship event on the DP World Tour. His Masters invitation was due to making last year’s Tour Championship. He nearly earned another win several weeks ago at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, where he was the 54-hole co-leader (Talor Gooch) before settling for a T-2 behind … you guessed it, Scheffler. Horschel ranks in the top 10 on the PGA Tour for Scoring Average, Strokes Gained: Putting and All-Around Ranking. One thing Horschel has not done though is contend very often in majors as he has just one top-5 (T-4 2013 U.S. Open) in 32 career majors. He has also played 24 career rounds at Augusta and has yet to break 70. Nevertheless, Horschel is No. 13 in the OWGR, his highest ranking in eight years. 

Viktor Hovland (18-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 2/2

Best career finish: T-21 (2021)

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 0

Top 25s: 1

Hovland is the OWGR No. 4 player in the world. The 24-year-old already has six worldwide wins, and three of them are within the last five months. A victory at Mayakoba earned him a return appearance to the Masters. Since that victory in Mexico, Hovland also won the unofficial Hero World Challenge against a short field of the world’s top players and won the Dubai Desert Classic earlier this season on the DP World Tour. The Norwegian ranks No. 1 in this field for Strokes Gained: Approach and Strokes Gained: Ball Striking over the last 36 rounds. He is still seeking his first professional win on American soil, and it looked like he was going to get it last month at the Arnold Palmer Invitational as he had a four-shot lead on the back nine during Saturday’s round. However, tough course and weather conditions got the better of him and pretty much did the same to the entire field and he settled for a T-2 finish. It is only a matter of time before Hovland breaks through as a major champion, and while he has yet to contend in one, the potential is there to win multiple majors, but he must shore up the game both around and on the greens, which is what prevents him from being arguably the best player in the world.

Mackenzie Hughes (180-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 2/1

Best career finish: T-40 (2021)

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 0

Top 25s: 0

Hughes’ runner-up finish in the final event of 2021 at the RSM Classic, where he also earned his lone PGA Tour win in 2016, locked a spot in the OWGR Top 50 at 2021 year’s end to gain a return appearance to the Masters. The Canadian has been in erratic form after the 2021 season finale, having missed four of seven cuts this season. He did show some life at the WGC-Dell Match Play, defeating Max Homa and Matthew Wolff in group play but failed to advance into the Round of 16, running into the buzzsaw that was Dustin Johnson. Hughes is certainly not one of the better ball strikers in this field, but he is one of the best putters in the world, ranking sixth on the PGA Tour season for Strokes Gained: Putting and being even better than that over the last 36 rounds, ranking second behind only Cameron Smith. Hughes made the cut at Augusta for the first time last year, and he will undoubtedly make his fair share of putts, but the driving off the tee (72nd in the field) and his iron play (76th on approach) will have to be better to make any waves.

Sungjae Im (65-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 2/1

Best career finish: T-2 (2020)

Top 5s: 1

Top 10s: 1

Top 25s: 1

After a runner-up on his debut at Augusta in 2020, Im missed the cut last year. He earned a return appearance by winning the Shriners Children’s Open last fall. Even with two top-10 finishes already in 2022, the first part of the year has been disappointing for the talented, young South Korean. The 2022 form is a bit surprising when you look at the statistics. Im ranks in the top 12 over the last 36 rounds for Strokes Gained: Around The Green (6th), Strokes Gained: Short Game (8th), Strokes Gained: Off-The-Tee (10th) and Strokes Gained: Tee-To-Green (12th). The approach game is Im’s weakness as he has shown to be elite off the tee and with the flat stick. He is one of the more exciting young players in the game, and his price has drifted to a number that we have not seen in a while, but he has lost strokes with his irons in five of his last seven starts, and that part of the game needs to be sharpened up for a player who certainly has the talent and ability to contend here.

Aaron Jarvis (A)

Total appearances/cuts made: 0/0

Best career finish: First appearance

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 0

Top 25s: 0

Jarvis is a freshman at UNLV who prepped in Orlando under legendary golf instructor David Leadbetter. He is from the Cayman Islands and earned his invitation by winning the Latin American Amateur Championship in January. Sports Illustrated recently referred to him as the “most improbable participant in the 2022 Masters” as he is the first player born in the Cayman Islands, an emerging golf nation, to play in the Masters.

Dustin Johnson (16-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 11/9

Best career finish: 1st (2020)

Top 5s: 3

Top 10s: 5

Top 25s: 6

The 2020 Masters was DJ’s last victory on the PGA Tour. Furthermore, he has not won a worldwide event since February 2021 at the Saudi International. Two weeks ago, he fell out of the OWGR Top 10 for the first time in eight years. However, that stay outside the top 10 lasted only one week as he finished fourth in the WGC-Dell Match play. He defeated Mackenzie Hughes, Matthew Wolff and Max Homa in group play, then defeated Richard Bland and his “frenemy” Brooks Koepka before bowing out to eventual champion Scottie Scheffler in the semifinals. Johnson will not jump off the page to any stat modelers looking at recent form because he has not been up to his usual standards in the last calendar year and change; however, he’s still Dustin Johnson and is never all that far from winning. Perhaps his pending nuptials to Paulina Gretzky have been a bit of a distraction leading to some subpar form by his high standards. Four weeks ago, at The Players Championship, DJ was on the wrong side of the bad-weather draw and was 2 over after 54 holes before shooting a 63 in the final round and rallying for a T-9 finish. That may have been his turning point, and we saw some stellar play from him last week in Austin. DJ may be peaking at the exact right time.

Zach Johnson (250-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 17/10

Best career finish: 1st (2007)

Top 5s: 1

Top 10s: 2

Top 25s: 3

Zach Johnson won the 2007 Masters with a score of 1 over (289) in very windy conditions, and he is one of only three Masters champions (Sam Snead in 1954 and Jack Burke Jr. in 1956) to win the green jacket with an over-par score. The 46-year-old was named Ryder Cup captain last month and will lead Team USA in defense of the Cup in Rome next year. ZJ has not won since 2015 when he was victorious at the British Open. He still can show signs of competitiveness, with four top-10s in 2020 and 2021, and he still makes more cuts than he misses despite giving up so much length off the tee. His short game is still above average, and that can lead him toward playing the weekend, but his days of being in real contention are probably long gone.

Takumi Kanaya (200-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 1/1

Best career finish: T-58 (2019)

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 0

Top 25s: 0

If there is a player in the OWGR Top 50 whom most could not identify, Takumi Kanaya would be the overwhelming favorite. The Japanese player has only been a professional since November 2020. He has played Augusta once before 2019, thanks to his victory in the 2018 Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship. As an amateur, he held the No. 1 WAGR (World Amateur Golf Ranking) for 55 weeks. Kanaya plays most of his golf on the Japan Golf Tour and already has three victories, including at the Dunlop Phoenix, the flagship event on the Japan Golf Tour. He is an unknown commodity in the United States but did open some eyes two weeks ago at the WGC-Dell Match Play, defeating Lucas Herbert and Tony Finau to advance to the Round of 16. He missed the cut in two other PGA Tour events this season at the Sony Open and the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Si-Woo Kim (100-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 5/4

Best career finish: T-12 (2021)

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 0

Top 25s: 3

Kim is back in this field by way of finishing top-12 here last year. Last year’s T-12 finish was his best at Augusta. While he has never been a contender here, he has been consistent in making four of five cuts and has shown progressive improvement by and large. The former Players champion (2017) is still very much a boom-or-bust player. It seems like he has been on the PGA Tour forever, but he is only 26 and has been on tour for a long time considering he was only 17 years when he made it out of the PGA Tour Qualifying School in 2012. He beat Daniel Berger and Christiaan Bezuidenhout at the WGC-Dell Match Play, but a loss to Tyrrell Hatton kept him from advancing out of group play. The strength of his game is off the tee as he ranks 12th in this field for Strokes Gained: Off-The-Tee. However, he can be a mess on and around the greens and he is only 73rd in Strokes Gained: Short Game over the last 36 rounds. Nevertheless, he could have good value in the Top Asian market against defending champion Hideki Matsuyama, who is clearly injured.

Kevin Kisner (150-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 6/4

Best career finish: T-21 (2019)

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 0

Top 25s: 1

Kisner emerged from a six-way playoff last August to win the Wyndham Championship and earn another trip to Augusta. While he has yet to win in 2022, his season is off to a great start as he nearly went the distance once again at the WGC-Dell Match Play with wins over Marc Leishman, Luke List, Justin Thomas, Adam Scott, Will Zalatoris and Corey Conners before losing in the championship match to Scottie Scheffler. Kisner also finished T-3 at the Sony Open and fourth in The Players Championship, so another victory does not seem all that far away, but it is not likely to come here, considering he has never even finished top-20 in six trips and that he gives up way too much off the tee here. Kisner remains one of the world’s best putters and ranks fifth on the PGA Tour for Strokes Gained: Putting this season. That might be enough to bag his first top-20 at Augusta, but that is likely the limit.

Brooks Koepka (18-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 6/5

Best career finish: T-2 (2019)

Top 5s: 1

Top 10s: 2

Top 25s: 4

Koepka’s resume at Augusta might look different had his ball not found the infamous Rae’s Creek on the 12th hole in the 2019 final round. He had improved every year at Augusta until 2020 when he finished T-7 in 2020 while battling a wrist injury and then missed the cut for the first time last year because of a knee injury. While speaking with reporters three weeks ago at the Valspar Championship, where he finished T-12th, Koepka spoke of being healthy for the first time in five years. He certainly showed signs of being healthy and liking where his game is by how he played in the WGC-Dell Match Play two weeks ago. He steamrolled through his group, defeating Erik van Rooyen, Harold Varner III and Shane Lowry and then defeating then-OWGR No. 1 and top overall seed Jon Rahm before bowing out to Dustin Johnson in the quarterfinals. Statistically, he will not stand out, but this is Brooks Koepka at a major feeling healthy and positive about his game, so because of that, a player who should be priced in the high 20s or low 30s will not be a bargain, but will it matter?

Jason Kokrak (130-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 2/1

Best career finish: 49th (2021)

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 0

Top 25s: 0

After nearly a decade on the PGA Tour, Kokrak earned his first victory in 2020 at the CJ Cup and then followed that with a career year on tour in 2021. Kokrak earned two victories – Charles Schwab Challenge in May and Hewlett Packard Enterprise Houston Open in November – to make a return to Augusta. He is off to a slow start in 2022, having posted only one top-20 (T-17th Sony Open) in eight events. The putter remains the strength of his game as he ranks 20th in this field for Strokes Gained: Putting. However, he has been highly erratic off the tee recently. Perhaps the recent success has given him some sense of being content because he is nowhere near the player he was this time last year heading into the Masters.

Bernhard Langer (1000-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 38/27

Best career finish: 1st (1985, 1993)

Top 5s: 3

Top 10s: 9

Top 25s: 15

Langer won the Chubb Classic on PGA Tour Champions in February. He has won on the over-50 circuit in 16 straight seasons as he is just two victories behind Hale Irwin for the PGA Tour Champions all-time wins record. Back to that win in February, Langer broke his own record for the oldest player to win on the tour at 64 years, 5 months and 23 days old. The fact that he is still competitive on a week-to-week basis on PGA Tour Champions is astonishing as he has four top-10s and a victory in four events for 2022. Obviously, Augusta is way too long for him at this point, but he has made the cut three of the last four years.

Kyoung-Hoon Lee (250-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 0/0

Best career finish: First appearance

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 0

Top 25s: 0

K.H. Lee won his first PGA Tour event last May at the AT&T Byron Nelson to earn his first appearance at Augusta. He consistently makes cuts and has made 16 of his last 17 (8-for-8 in 2022) dating to his last top-10 finish on tour with a T-6 at the 3M Open last summer. Although he has played in only four career majors, he has yet to make a cut at a major championship, so doing so at Augusta would be a big step. The South Korean is solid enough off the tee, ranking 22nd for Strokes Gained: Off-The-Tee over his last 36 rounds. However, his approach games ranks just 76th in this field, and that type of iron play just does not get it done at Augusta.

Min Woo Lee (250-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 0/0

Best career finish: First appearance

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 0

Top 25s: 0

Lee, just 23, is another player who has the potential to be a big-time player in the golf world. The Australian finished just inside the OWGR Top 50 at the end of 2021, thanks to his victory in the abrdn Scottish Open last summer. He not only has to compete against this elite field, but he also competes just to be the most talented golfer in his own family. Older sister Minjee Lee already has nine professional golf wins, including her first LPGA major last summer, The Evian Championship. Both siblings also have won the USGA Junior Amateur Championships (Minjee in 2012, Min Woo in 2016). Big sis will be on the bag for him this week for Wednesday’s Par-3 contest. Lee finished his 2021 very strongly on the DP World Tour with two top-5 finishes and started 2022 well on PGA Tour Australasia, but success has yet to come stateside as he has all three cuts in his PGA Tour stroke-play events.

Marc Leishman (50-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 9/6

Best career finish: T-4 (2013)

Top 5s: 2

Top 10s: 3

Top 25s: 4

Leishman earned a PGA Tour win last April with fellow Aussie Cameron Smith in the team event at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. That event does not earn OWGR points, nor a Masters invitation, so he is back at Augusta by way of his T-5 finish last year. He has always been kind of sneaky good here with two op-5s and an additional top-10 in nine career appearances. Leishman did earn a match victory over Luke List at the WGC-Dell Match Play but unfortunately was in a buzzsaw group with Kevin Kisner and Justin Thomas and failed to advance. Aside from the win in New Orleans, he had three top-4 finishes (Travelers, third; Fortinet T-4, Shriners T-3) after last year’s Masters. He has yet to find that form thus far in 2022 but has made seven of eight cuts and the short game looks to be in good shape ranking sixth in this field for Strokes Gained: Putting over the last 36 rounds.

Luke List (180-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 1/1

Best career finish: T-33 (2005)

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 0

Top 25s: 0

Augusta resident Luke List waited 17 years for a second chance to play in the Masters and gets his opportunity thanks to a win at Farmers Insurance Open in a playoff over Will Zalatoris in January. List’s only Masters appearance was in 2005 when he was extended an invitation for finishing runner-up to Ryan Moore in the U.S. Amateur. Like Jason Kokrak, it took List years of grinding on the PGA Tour before he finally broke through for his first tour victory. In a pattern that has emerged over the course of his career, List is always one of the better pure ball strikers on tour but also one of the worst putters. List ranks second over the last 36 rounds (behind only tournament favorite Jon Rahm) for Strokes Gained: Tee-To-Green. However, he also ranks 87th in this field over the last 36 rounds for Strokes Gained: Putting. He has lost an average of two strokes per event on the greens over his last 20 events. His putting performance at his 2022 Farmers win was his best in two years, which is what makes him so frustrating to bet on as he is so good tee-to-green but oftentimes cannot make a putt to save his life.

Shane Lowry (55-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 6/3

Best career finish: T-21 (2021)

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 0

Top 25s: 2

Lowry is here by virtue of his winning the 2019 British Open at Royal Portrush. That is also his last win anywhere worldwide. Nonetheless, he has shown solid and consistent form as of late as he has not finished lower than 24th in his last seven stroke-play events. His runner-up finish at the Honda Classic last month is his standout performance. Lowry also aced the 17th island green at The Players a few weeks ago leading to a T-13 finish. He went just 1-2 in group play in Brooks Koepka’s group and failed to advance at the WGC-Dell Match Play. Lowry can struggle driving the ball, but his approach play has been on point of late, ranking fifth for Strokes Gained: Approach over the last 36 rounds. He’s not a big hitter, so it’s surprising that his best finish here was a T-21 last year.

Sandy Lyle (1000-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 40/17

Best career finish: 1st (1988)

Top 5s: 1

Top 10s: 1

Top 25s: 6

Lyle, 64, is the 1988 Masters champion and won the Par-3 contest at Augusta in 2019 but has not made the cut at Augusta since 2014. In fact, he has missed his last seven cuts here and 10 of his last 12. This could very well be his last appearance here.

Robert MacIntyre (70-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 1/1

Best career finish: T-12 (2021)

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 0

Top 25s: 1

The 25-year-old Scotsman won the 2019 Sir Harry Cotton Rookie of the Year Award on the DP World Tour. In 2020, he won his first worldwide main tour event in Cyprus. Future stardom has been expected, but the pressure of the expectations has perhaps stalled his rise as a follow-up win has proved to be elusive. However, he has shown well in big events against big-time fields. He reached the Round of 16 last year on debut in the WGC-Dell Match Play and finished T-12 at last year’s Masters to earn a return appearance. He actually made more birdies and eagles (combined 21) than any player in the field last year, which also means he is a young player who made plenty of mistakes in giving back shots. MacIntyre also went on to finish T-8 at the British Open at Royal St. George’s and T-4 at the season-ending DP World Tour Championship. Although he was eliminated from group play two weeks ago at the WGC-Dell Match Play, defeating Sergio Garcia, one of Team Europe’s all-time greats in Ryder Cup history, head-to-head, had to give him some confidence. The talent is there for the left-handed MacIntyre, but the consistency has not been. The 70-1) price seems to be leaning more toward the talent than the recent form.

Hideki Matsuyama (25-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 10/9

Best career finish: 1st (2021)

Top 5s: 2

Top 10s: 3

Top 25s: 6

In the summer of 2017, Matsuyama was the OWGR No.-2 ranked player and looked destined to be the best in the world. Then, he did not win anywhere for three and a half years. The pressure of being the golfing hero for an entire country almost seemed too much to bear. That all changed last April as Matsuyama became the first player from Japan and the first Asian-born player to win the Masters. It was not easy, though, as he had a five-shot lead with five holes to play only to see his lead dwindle to two with two holes to play, but he held on for a one-shot victory. Suddenly, the pressure seemed to be lifted off his back and Matsuyama has won twice since – the Zozo Championship and Sony Open in Hawaii. Matsuyama has remained one of the best iron players in the world. He is still shaky with the flat stick, but he has made some improvements in that area. Matsuyama has not played since the Arnold Palmer Invitational and withdrew from The Players Championship and skipped the WGC-Dell Match Play due to lingering back and neck issues. Despite a W/D at last week’s Valero Texas Open before Round 2, he plans to defend his title at Augusta, but the injury is clearly a concern.

Rory McIlroy (16-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 13/11

Best career finish: 4th (2015)

Top 5s: 3

Top 10s: 6

Top 25s: 10

This will be McIlroy’s eighth year chasing the elusive career Grand Slam. It has also been nearly eight years since McIlroy has won a major since his triumph at Valhalla in the 2014 PGA Championship. In his bid to win the career Grand Slam, Rory McIlroy has tried nearly everything. He's played a lot. He's played very little. He's gone to Augusta National early. He's gone to Augusta National late. He's convinced himself that the Masters is the only tournament that exists. Nothing has worked. McIlroy has the whole package to win at Augusta, but his irons have let him down here often in recent years. According to Justin Ray of Twenty First Group, McIlroy ranks 54th in strokes gained on approach shots of the 74 golfers who have at least 10 rounds at Augusta since 2015 (he's second off the tee and 16th in putting). He is still one of the game’s best off the tee despite his obvious frustration in not being able to match Bryson DeChambeau’s length. McIlroy won twice in 2021 — Wells Fargo Championship and CJ Cup at the Summit — and it still felt like a down year because he is now being judged, fairly or unfairly, by his performance in majors. The pressure of trying to become just the sixth man to complete the career Grand Slam (Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Gary Player, Gene Sarazen) has gotten to him. However, the longer the pursuit goes, the less of a story it becomes. It will be even less of a story should the youngest of those Grand Slam winners decide to give it a go at Augusta this week. That could lead to McIlroy falling under the radar, which would probably be the best thing for him.

Guido Migliozzi (250-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 0/0

Best career finish: First appearance

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 0

Top 25s: 0

Migliozzi emerged on the word golf scene in 2019 with two victories — Magical Kenya Open and Belgian Knockout — on the DP World Tour. After COVID-19 threw off 2020, Migliozzi returned with three runner-up finishes — Made in Himmerland, British Masters and Qatar Masters — in 2021. However, it was his T-4 in last summer’s U.S. Open at Torrey Pines that was considered his breakthrough performance and earned him a spot in this year’s Masters. Unfortunately, the Italian has been unable to sustain that form as he has missed nine cuts in his last 13 worldwide events. Migliozzi has made only one cut in 2022, which was a T-67 in the Ras al Khaimah Championship. Like other young, talented players, Migliozzi, 25, is struggling to deal with and follow up success. 

Best bets | Capsule for every player | Betting guide

Larry Mize (1000-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 38/20

Best career finish: 1st (1987)

Top 5s: 2

Top 10s: 3

Top 25s: 11

Mize, 63, is the only Masters champion (1987) who was born in Augusta, Ga. He did make back-to-back cuts in 2016 and 2017 but has made only three cuts in the last 12 years. He shot 84-79 in two rounds last year, which was last in the field. Like Sandy Lyle, the clock is likely ticking on how many more appearances Mize will make at the Masters.  

Francesco Molinari (200-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 10/7

Best career finish: T-5 (2019)

Top 5s: 1

Top 10s: 1

Top 25s: 3

In 2019, Molinari was leading the Masters by two shots on Sunday before his tee shot on the 12th went into Rae’s Creek and led to a double bogey and brought the field, including eventual champion Tiger Woods, back into play, and he settled for a T-5. Molinari has yet to challenge for a victory since. He relocated to Southern California in late 2020. Molinari has four top-10s in 25 total events for the 2021 and 2022 seasons, all on the West Coast. He is No. 180 in the OWGR and has a long way to go to get back to the No. 7 ranking he held on to that fateful day in 2019. This is also the second-to-last year of his five-year major championship exemption for winning the 2018 British Open at Carnoustie.

Collin Morikawa (20-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 2/2

Best career finish: T-18 (2021)

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 0

Top 25s: 1

Morikawa was the last player to win a major, last summer in the British Open at Royal St. George’s. He went on to become to first American player to win the DP World Tour’s Race to Dubai with a victory in the DP World Tour Championship. Morikawa has yet to post a win in 2022 but did finish runner-up at the Genesis Invitational as he put pressure on eventual winner Joaquin Niemann with a final-round 65. Four weeks ago, at The Players Championship, Morikawa missed just his seventh cut as a professional, then followed it with a T-68 at the Valspar Championship. Perhaps his 2-0-1) in group play (wins over Robert MacIntyre and Jason Kokrak, halved with Sergio Garcia), gave him some renewed confidence, but Morikawa did get boat raced 7 and 6 in the Round of 16 at the WGC-Dell Match Play by Abraham Ancer. Recent form may not show it, but Morikawa is still arguably the best iron player in the world (Justin Thomas also certainly has to be in the discussion). He led the PGA Tour for Strokes Gained: Approach last season. Morikawa also ranks in the top 10 during the present season for Total Driving, Greens In Regulation, Birdie Average and All-Around Ranking. His game around the greens has been a struggle of late, though, with Morikawa ranking 75th in this field for Strokes Gained: Short Game over the last 36 rounds. Morikawa is not exactly coming in firing on all cylinders, but he is the OWGR No. 3 and one of the game’s true greats at 25, and the great ones are never far from winning.

Kevin Na (130-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 10/7

Best career finish: T-12 (2012, 2015, 2021)

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 0

Top 25s: 4

Na’s top-12 here last year earned him a return appearance to Augusta. He is not quite in the form that he was last summer when he finished runner-up at the Wyndham Championship and was the low 72-hole scorer at the Tour Championship. However, he showed some signs of life two weeks ago at the WGC-Dell Match Play when he defeated Russell Henley and Maverick McNealy in group play before bowing out to Will Zalatoris during the Round of 16 in a match that went 22 holes. It has been an eventful couple of months for Na as he withdrew from The Players because the birth of his third child. He also caused a bit of a social media stir at the match play event when Twitter sleuths spotted a Golf Saudi logo on his shirt lapel, leading to speculation that he might be joining the highly controversial Super Golf League. Na and other players have not confirmed nor denied they are joining this league, which is scheduled to begin in June. In terms of his game, Na’s short game (ninth for Strokes Gained: Short Game over the last 36 rounds) is in great shape, but he has been brutal off the tee, ranking 82nd for Strokes Gained: Off-The-Tee over the last 36 rounds. He has finished top-12 here three times and is fully capable, but the poor driving plus potential distractions are worrisome.

Keita Nakajima (A)

Total appearances/cuts made: 0/0

Best career finish: First appearance

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 0

Top 25s: 0

Nakajima is the No. 1 World Amateur (WAGR) and has held that distinction for over a year. The 21-year-old strengthened that position by winning the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship last fall. He already has a win on a professional tour winning the Panasonic Open last September on the Japan Golf Tour and has the look of Japan’s next great golf sensation. Like his countryman Takumi Kanaya the year before, Nakajima won the Mark H. McCormack Medal as the top World Amateur at the end of 2021. He has made the cut in two PGA Tour events thus far this season with a T-28 at the Zozo Championship and a T-41 at the Sony Open in Hawaii, where he was fifth after 36 holes. Nakajima will be the favorite in the Low Amateur market and rightfully so.

Joaquin Niemann (65-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 2/1

Best career finish: T-40th (2021)

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 0

Top 25s: 0

With a T-6 at the Farmers Insurance Open and a T-8 at the Saudi International, Niemann telegraphed a victory in the not-too-distant future. That future was two weeks later as the 23-year-old Chilean earned the biggest win of his career at the Genesis Invitational. He has yet to follow up that victory in the short time since, but his tee-to-green game has been one of the best (fifth) on the PGA Tour over the last 24 rounds, and Riviera has historically proven to be a good guide for success at Augusta. Niemann first played the Masters as an amateur, having won the Latin America Amateur Championship and being the former No. 1 World Amateur and winning the Mark H. McCormack medal in 2017. He does not have a great deal of experience here, but he is a different player now ranking in the OWGR Top 20. In 11 career majors, he has failed to register even a top-20 finish. This looks to be the spot where he can cross that threshold.

José María Olazábal (1000-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 32/19

Best career finish: 1st (1994, 1999)

Top 5s: 5

Top 10s: 8

Top 25s: 13

Two-time (1994, 1999) green jacket winner Olazabal made the cut here last year for the first time since 2014 en route to a T-50 finish. At 56, he is not quite as close as former Masters champions Lyle or Mize to saying his final goodbye to Augusta. He still plays sporadically because of foot injuries and arthritis, but his short game will probably provide at least one good shot this week.

Louis Oosthuizen (45-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 13/9

Best career finish: 2nd (2012)

Top 5s: 1

Top 10s: 1

Top 25s: 6

Going into 2021, Oosthuizen, the 2010 British Open champion, already had the distinction of finishing runner-up in all four major championships. Last year, he added two more having finished T-2 in the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island and runner-up to Jon Rahm in the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. Oosthuizen was not done with near misses in the majors for 2021 as he also finished T-3 in the British Open at Royal St. George’s. This week is also the 10th anniversary of Oosthuizen’s most painful moment in his major championship career. Oosthuizen looked like he was going to win the green jacket in 2012 as Bubba Watson hit his drive at No. 10, the second playoff hole into the pine straw. Watson hit a near-impossible hook shot 90 degrees to within 10 feet and prevented Oosthuizen, who made an albatross (double eagle) during his final round, from getting the green jacket. The South African has a major championship and 14 worldwide professional wins, but he has yet to win on American soil. The 2022 form is not much to write home about considering his best finish is a T-14 in Phoenix for his season debut. Nevertheless, Oosthuizen has been third or better in four of his last seven major championships and will be a popular mid-range selection on the odds board even with his price being cut from his typical number in the 60s.

Ryan Palmer (180-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 6/4

Best career finish: 10th (2011)

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 1

Top 25s: 1

Palmer’s runner-up finish at the Memorial Tournament in 2020 to Jon Rahm, whom he partnered with to win the 2019 Zurich Classic of New Orleans, put him into the OWGR Top 50. He managed to stay in that top 50 for a year and a half with several top-5 and top-10 finishes to finish 2021 ranked No. 47. This year has not been all that kind as Palmer has missed three cuts in six events. He is always solid tee-to-green, but the short game has been brutal of late. He rates 80th in this field for Strokes Gained: Short Game and 85th for Strokes Gained: Putting over the last 36 rounds. The putter has long been the reason why a player like Palmer who should win more hasn’t won more. In fact, it has been more than 12 years since he last won a stroke-play event, the 2010 Sony Open in Hawaii. Palmer has made four of six cuts here, but that just might be his ceiling.

Thomas Pieters (130-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 2/1

Best career finish: T-4 (2017)

Top 5s: 1

Top 10s: 1

Top 25s: 1

The end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022 showed that the potential is still there for Thomas Pieters to be a big-time player. In November, he won the Portugal Masters for his first victory in almost two and a half years. In January, he won the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship to rise just outside the Top 30 in the OWGR. The former NCAA champion (2012) at Illinois, Pieters has shown glimpses of brilliance during his career. He was the star of the European Ryder Cup team in 2016 at Hazeltine, going 4-1) in five matches and was the team’s leading point-getter in defeat. However, he’s not made a Ryder Cup team since. In 2017, he was T-4 on debut at the Masters. After missing the cut the next year, he was not qualified to receive an invitation to play until this year. Pieters has yet to make any waves in the few events he has played stateside in 2022 and went 1-1)-1) (win over Tom Hoge, loss vs. Min Woo Lee, tie vs. Billy Horschel) at the WGC-Dell Match Play two weeks ago. However, he has proved that he can hang with top competition in spots and at only 30 years old, there is still the potential for elite golf to come from Belgian. He is an interesting longer shot who could be a factor.

James Piot (A)

Total appearances/cuts made: 0/0

Best career finish: First appearance

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 0

Top 25s: 0

Piot, a fifth-year senior on the Michigan State golf team, earned his spot by defeating Austin Greaser (North Carolina) to win the U.S. Amateur last summer at Oakmont. Piot won three other events in 2021 including the Hoosier Collegiate Invite, Golf Association of Michigan Championship and the Island Resort Intercollegiate. Last weekend, he defeated his British Amateur counterpart Laird Shepherd 1-up to win the match at the Georgia Cup. Piot played in the Arnold Palmer Invitational a few weeks ago but shot two rounds of 78 to miss the cut.

Séamus Power (130-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 0/0

Best career finish: First appearance

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 0

Top 25s: 0

Power’s first PGA Tour win last summer at the Barbasol Championship did not earn him a Masters invitation (alternate events are not afforded Masters invitations for their champions). His stellar start to 2022 is what vaulted him into the OWGR Top 50 to nab a spot in his first Masters. With five consecutive top-15 finishes (T-4 RSM Classic, T-15 Sentry ToC, T-3 Sony Open, T-14 American Express, T-9 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am) to end 2021/start 2022, Power has the look of a player who is going to win a tournament sooner than later. After three straight missed cuts and a T-33 at The Players, Power went 2-1) in his group at the WGC-Dell Match Play, which included victories over Patrick Cantlay and Sungjae Im. He advanced to the quarterfinals, knocking off Tyrrell Hatton before falling to eventual champion Scottie Scheffler. This will not only be Power’s first Masters, but his first major championship. Often, experience clearly matters in majors, but do not be surprised if Power, who is coming in with a lot of good form and confidence, plays well and is a sneaky under-the-radar longer shot contender.

Jon Rahm (8-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 5/5

Best career finish: 4th (2018)

Top 5s: 2

Top 10s: 4

Top 25s: 4

Now at OWGR No. 2, Rahm is still the betting favorite for the Masters. He is the only player to finish in the top 10 in each of the last four Masters — 4th in 2018, T-9 in 2019, T-7 in 2020, and T-5 in 2021. He was the 36-hole leader in 2020, and it looks to be just a matter of time before he emerges victorious at Augusta. Rahm has not won an event since his first major triumph in the U.S. Open last summer at Torrey Pines. Although he has not been victorious in almost 10 months, Rahm’s ball striking is still the best in the game. He is leading the PGA Tour in Strokes Gained: Off-The-Tee, Total Driving, Ball Striking and Greens In Regulation. The putter has been giving Rahm the most issues. Nowhere was that more evident than several weeks ago when he missed a 10-inch tap-in putt during the first round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Over the last 36 holes, Rahm ranks 64th in this field for Strokes Gained: Putting, 73rd for Strokes Gained: Short Game, and 78th for Strokes Gained: Around The Green. Rahm had a solid outing at the WGC-Dell Match Play once again reaching the Round of 16 with group-play victories over Sebastian Munoz and Cameron Young before losing a match that went 19 holes to Brooks Koepka. Perhaps losing the No. 1 OWGR distinction that he held for 36 weeks since the British Open last summer will give Rahm even an extra boost of motivation. No one will be shocked if he can put it all together this week even with a shaky short game of late, but the price is just a tad too short to find out.

Patrick Reed (65-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 8/6

Best career finish: 1st (2018)

Top 5s: 1

Top 10s: 3

Top 25s: 4

Reed was an OWGR Top 10 player a year ago today and now he has fallen just outside of the Top 30 for the first time since 2014. He once stared down Rory McIlroy here and held off charges from Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler on the way to winning the green jacket in 2018. Since that victory, Reed has had two top-10s at Augusta in three starts, so he is far from a one-hit wonder at the Masters. He only has one top-10 (aside from the 17-player field at the Hero World Challenge) in the last 10 months, and that was in a watered-down field last October in Bermuda where he finished T-2. His short game is still world-class, ranking ninth for Strokes Gained: Putting and 12th for Strokes Gained: Short Game over the last 36 rounds. However, he has been a disaster of late getting to the greens. Over the last 36 rounds, Reed is near the bottom for Strokes Gained: Tee-To-Green. A match-play win over Jon Rahm before his elimination in group play is about the only thing for Reed to hang his hat on in what has been a miserable 2022. The competitiveness and grit are still very much there, but driving the ball in the fairway has not.

Justin Rose (70-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 16/15

Best career finish: 2nd (2017), T-2 (2015)

Top 5s: 3

Top 10s: 6

Top 25s: 13

After a missed cut at The Players Championship, Rose fell out of the OWGR Top 50 for the first time since 2010. He is back in this field because of a finish of seventh here last year when he was both the first-round and 36-hole leader. In fact, Rose has been a fast starter at Augusta on multiple occasions. Rose led here after the first round in three consecutive appearances (2004, 2007, 2008) and then sat inside the top four in three more (2015, 2016, 2017) before last year’s quick start out of the gate. Don’t be surprised if we see multiple “Rose blooms in Augusta” headlines Thursday night/Friday morning. He is about mid-pack for most statistical categories in this field and he has four worldwide top-10s in his last 18 starts. Had he not found the drink on his approach to the 18th in the final round at Torrey Pines earlier this year, he might have been able to battle Luke List (eventual winner) and Will Zalatoris in the Farmers Insurance Open playoff. Perhaps he has at least one more run in him at Augusta, but now at 41 and having not won anywhere in more than three years, the opportunities for that are certainly fleeting.

Xander Schauffele (20-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 4/4

Best career finish: T-2 (2019)

Top 5s: 2

Top 10s: 2

Top 25s: 3

Schauffele has had two near misses at Augusta with a T-2 in 2019 and a T-3 last year. Speaking of last year at Augusta, Schauffele birdied four straight holes (12-15) on Sunday to pull within two of the lead held by eventual winner Hideki Matsuyama, who was leaking oil at that point. Then, Schauffele’s tee shot on the par-3 16th found the water and his chance at the green jacket was gone. Many will ask why Schauffele is always priced so short considering he has not won a PGA Tour event since January 2019, although he did win Olympic gold last summer in Tokyo. That’s a fair question, but part of the answer is because he has finished seventh or better in nine of his 18 career major championships dating to 2017, including four in the top 3 or better. Schauffele ranks top 10 on tour in Total Driving, Birdie Average and All-Around Ranking. He clearly has the talent to break through and win a major championship. Eventually he is going to win one, but with so many near misses, he is tough to back at such a short price.

Scottie Scheffler (12-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 2/2

Best career finish: T-18 (2021)

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 0

Top 25s: 2

Scheffler was going to get the PGA Tour winless monkey off his back in due time. He not only accomplished that at the Waste Management Phoenix Open in a playoff over Patrick Cantlay, but he also went on to survive a battle of attrition in tough conditions winning at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Two weeks ago, the piece de resistance of this 2022 season happened for Scheffler at the WGC-Dell Match Play. In 2021, he finished runner-up in that event and just a year later ran it all the way back to win his first World Golf Championship event and become just the 25th player since 1986 to earn the No. 1 distinction in the Official World Golf Ranking. After being winless in his third season on the PGA Tour, Scheffler comes to Augusta with off-the-charts expectations, having won three events in two months and having beaten all of the world’s best players in these fields. Over the last two years, Scheffler has finished in the top 10 of every major championship except the Masters. The numbers, outside of the obvious wins, indicate that Scheffler is playing like the best player in the world. Nevertheless, he was 40-1) in this field to start the year and was 25-1) leading into the match play two weeks ago. Now he is a discounted price anywhere from 12-1) to 14-1) in the market, and it feels like being late to the party to back the hottest player on the planet and the new OWGR No. 1 who must manage the expectations of being No. 1 on golf’s biggest stage.

Charl Schwartzel (300-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 12/8

Best career finish: 1st (2011)

Top 5s: 2

Top 10s: 2

Top 25s: 4

Schwartzel still has one of the greatest Masters finishes in history, having birdied the last four holes in Sunday’s final round to win the green jacket in 2011. Recall that Rory McIlroy led by four strokes heading into that final round but shot 80 and opened the door with Schwartzel being the first one to walk through it. It has been six years since Schwartzel last won at the 2016 Valspar Championship. Over the years, he has battled various injuries, but the crux of his problems is that he has been a poor driver of the golf ball. Over the last 36 rounds, he is last in this Masters field among full-time tour players for Strokes Gained: Off-The-Tee. Schwartzel has not made a cut on the PGA Tour this year (0-for-6).

Adam Scott (50-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 20/18

Best career finish: 1st (2013)

Top 5s: 2

Top 10s: 5

Top 25s: 10

After blowing the British Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes in 2012, Scott rebounded to win the 2013 Masters over 2009 champion Angel Cabrera in a playoff. Becoming the OWGR No. 1 soon followed, but a second major championship has not for a man we all thought was going to win multiple majors. Toward the end of 2019 and at the beginning of 2020, Scott looked like he was going to have a bit of a career resurgence, winning the Australian PGA Championship and the Genesis Invitational over a two-month period. Then, COVID-19 stalled the momentum. At the start of 2022, Scott was the OWGR No. 50. He had not finished a year outside the Top 50 since 2000. This year, he has posted four top-10s in seven worldwide events and reached the Round of 16 in the WGC-Dell Match Play, an event he skips often, with wins over Justin Rose and Jordan Spieth before being eliminated by eventual runner-up Kevin Kisner. Putting was his weakness for much of his career, but now it seems to be his strength. He has not missed a cut at Augusta since 2009 and was the 36-hole leader here just three years ago, so he is always a threat to play well here. A bigger price would be preferred, but he looks to have some positive momentum coming into Augusta for the first time in a few years.

Laird Shepherd (A)

Total appearances/cuts made: 0/0

Best career finish: First appearance

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 0

Top 25s: 0

Englishman Laird Shepherd was eight holes down after 17 holes in the 36-hole Amateur Championship final and was four down with four to play yet still managed to defeat fellow Englishman Monty Scowsill after two extra holes to earn an invitation to this year’s Masters. He has played in one major championship but missed the cut last summer in the British Open at Royal St. George’s.

Webb Simpson (100-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 10/7

Best career finish: T-5 (2019)

Top 5s: 1

Top 10s: 2

Top 25s: 4

Simpson seems to have figured out Augusta at least a little bit with a top-5, two top-10s and four top-20s over his last four appearances. He missed eight weeks earlier this season rehabbing after having surgery to repair a herniated disc in his neck. Simpson returned at The Players Championship and missed the cut. In two subsequent starts, he finished T-48 at the Valspar Championship, where he opened with two 67s before a Saturday 76 sent him down the board, and only went 1-2 in group play in the WGC-Dell Match Play. He is also getting used to having a new driver in the bag to generate more ball speed and improve upon a mark of No. 69 in this field for Strokes Gained: Off-The-Tee. Simpson has always been top-notch with the irons, and they have served him well over the last few years as he has gotten progressively better, but he does not have a lot of form coming in this year nor a lot of reps due to the time off for rehab.

Vijay Singh (1000-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 28/19

Best career finish: 1st (2000)

Top 5s: 2

Top 10s: 6

Top 25s: 11

The 2000 champion still competes sporadically on the PGA Tour Champions and PGA Tour and finished third in the first event of this year on the over-50 circuit. Nevertheless, he last made the cut on the PGA Tour two years ago at the Memorial Tournament, and his last made cut at Augusta was in 2018.

Cameron Smith (14-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 5/5

Best career finish: T-2 (2020)

Top 5s: 2

Top 10s: 3

Top 25s: 3

The Australian mullet-man has emerged as one of the world’s best players and ranks OWGR No. 6. He put on an outstanding display several weeks ago to win The Players Championship in addition to shooting a PGA Tour record 34-under-par to win the first event of 2022 at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. Smith became the first player in Masters history to shoot all four rounds in the 60s yet still finished tied for second and lost by five strokes to Dustin Johnson. The days of Smith being 125-1) to win the Masters, like he was in 2020, are long gone. Nevertheless, two top-5s and three top-10s in five appearances is a strong record here and he is certainly a serious contender to nab his first major here. He is almost 2015-Spiethian as he is not very good off the tee (72nd in this field for Strokes Gained: Off-The-Tee over the last 24 rounds), but his short game is absolutely world class. Smith leads the PGA Tour in Scoring Average and Birdie Average and is third for Strokes Gained: Putting (first over the last 24 rounds; also first for Strokes Gained: Short Game over the last 24 rounds). The iron play is also strong as he ranks top 10 for both Strokes Gained: Approach and Greens In Regulation. However, like Scheffler, it feels like you are late to the party now to back him at less than 20-1) considering 40-1) was available to start 2022.

J.J. Spaun (150-1) 

After 147 career PGA Tour starts, Spaun won his first career PGA event (the ninth first-time PGA Tour winner this season) this past Sunday at the Valero Texas Open to earn the final spot in this Masters. Spaun had just five Top 25 finishes so far this season, though he had made the cut in 13 of his 17 starts. Spaun’s best finish came with a T-7th run at the Butterfield Bermuda Championship last fall, and he entered the week ranked No. 242 in the OWGR and struggling to retain his PGA Tour card. Spaun won the Valero, despite making double bogey on the first hole, by two strokes over Matt Jones and Matt Kuchar. Spaun became the first player to endure a double bogey on the first hole and proceed to win on TOUR since Tiger Woods at the 2008 U.S. Open. While Spaun does rate first on the PGA Tour for Total Birdies, this is a big step up in class for a journeyman player that is only playing in his fourth career major championship.  

Jordan Spieth (18-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 8/8

Best career finish: 1st (2015)

Top 5s: 5

Top 10s: 5

Top 25s: 7

Speaking of a price that may be a little short, Spieth has the best record of any player in this field at Augusta over the last several years. He has never missed a cut here, won in 2015, plus has two runners-up and two thirds in just eight appearances. Spieth was a runner-up earlier this year at Pebble Beach, but he has cooled off since then especially with his best club in the bag, the putter. He ranks 70th in this field over the last 24 rounds for Strokes Gained: Putting and has uncharacteristically been missing short ones of late, which are usually automatic for him. Spieth’s iron play is usually elite as well, but he has been going through some swing changes lately and looked very deliberate and uncomfortable on the range at both the WGC-Dell Match Play and at the Valero Texas Open, where he won just last year. If there is a place where he can find the magic, it’s going to be at Augusta. However, it is tough to back him at this price in his current form.

Sepp Straka (250-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 0/0

Best career finish: First appearance

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 0

Top 25s: 0

Straka became the first PGA Tour winner from Austria last month at the Honda Classic to earn his spot in the Masters. He followed up two weeks later with a top-10 at The Players Championship. The short game has been tremendous of late as he rates fourth for Strokes Gained: Putting and 11th for Strokes Gained: Short Game over the last 24 rounds. Straka’s mother lives in Valdosta and he played his college golf, like many PGA Tour players, at the University of Georgia. This is probably as close to a home game as he can get. The event also presents an opportunity for him to start making a case for next year’s Ryder Cup. Like Seamus Power, he has gained DP World Tour membership, and how you play in big events like these tend to matter most when you want to make a Ryder Cup team on either side of the pond.

Hudson Swafford (400-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 2/0

Best career finish: MC (2017, 2021)

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 0

Top 25s: 0

Swafford returns to Augusta because of his win earlier this year in Palm Springs at the American Express for his third career PGA Tour victory. Another Georgia Bulldog who lives in Sea Island, Swafford has not made the cut here in two appearances. Since his victory at the American Express, he has missed four of six cuts. He has missed four overall in eight 2022 events. In fact, he missed 16 cuts in 29 events last year, so he is not exactly the most consistent player. His lack of consistency especially shows on and around the greens, where he ranks 83rd in this field for Strokes Gained: Short Game.

Justin Thomas (14-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 6/6

Best career finish: 4th (2020)

Top 5s: 1

Top 10s: 1

Top 25s: 5

Phil Mickelson may not be in the field this week, but his longtime caddie who was on the bag for all of his Masters victories is at Augusta. Jim “Bones” Mackay liked working in television but always had the itch to return as a caddie for the right player. That player is Justin Thomas. Before last year’s T-21, Thomas had shown incremental improvement every year at Augusta, capped by finishing fourth in 2020 when he was the 36-hole leader. It is hard to believe Thomas has not won a major since the 2017 PGA Championship at Quail Hollow. He just has not been able to put all the pieces together. This is where Mackay comes in. He can help him read the putts on these tricky greens, tell him which holes to play it safe and which holes are there to be attacked. Thomas has not been far from winning as of late with six finishes of eighth or better in his last nine events. He led the field for Strokes Gained: Tee-To-Green in a third-place effort at the Valspar Championship. Over the last 24 rounds, Thomas is the No. 1 player in this field in Strokes Gained: Total and second for Strokes Gained: Tee-To-Green. He has also gained better than three strokes on the greens in two of his last three starts. If he can putt like that, then we may be looking at our latest Masters champion because his usual world-class ball striking looks in even better shape than usual coming into Augusta.

Erik van Rooyen (200-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 1/0

Best career finish: WD (2020)

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 0

Top 25s: 0

Van Rooyen’s maiden PGA Tour victory last summer at the Barracuda Championship did not earn him this Masters invitation as it is an alternate event, but it did put him in position to be one of the last 30 players standing at the Tour Championship, which locked up his spot here. EVR does not have an official finish here as he withdrew after the first round in 2020 because of an injury. Van Rooyen started 2022 strongly in the Middle East with finishes of T-12 in Abu Dhabi and fourth in Dubai. He followed that up with a T-13 at The Players Championship capped by his irons, which have been outstanding of late, ranking 10th in this field for Strokes Gained: Approach over the last 24 rounds. There still needs to be some improvement in his short game as he ranks 80th over the last 24 rounds for Strokes Gained: Short Game, but he certainly has the length off the tee and the iron play to compete here.

Harold Varner III (180-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 0/0

Best career finish: First appearance

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 0

Top 25s: 0

Varner is still searching for his first PGA Tour victory. His second worldwide win at the Saudi International earlier this February is what essentially sealed his first invitation to Masters. Varner, whose weakness has been putting for almost his entire career, drained a 92-foot eagle putt on the 18th to defeat Bubba Watson by one stroke. The form stateside has not met what he has produced overseas, but he did finish T-6 at The Players Championship. Varner’s ball striking is never really an issue as he peppers greens and gives himself plenty of birdie and eagle opportunities on a weekly basis. The putting is usually the issue. If he can make a few on debut, then he should at least be around for the weekend.

Bubba Watson (70-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 13/12

Best career finish: 1st (2012, 2014)

Top 5s: 3

Top 10s: 3

Top 25s: 5

“Bubba golf” was born here at Augusta in 2012 when he hit one of the most famous shots in Masters history. That shot was hooking a wedge from the trees on No. 10 (second playoff hole) to set up the par that proved good enough to deny Louis Oosthuizen the green jacket. He was victorious again in 2014, fending off then-rookie Jordan Spieth. He has made 12 of 13 cuts here and has been in poor incoming form in several of those years. Nothing gets Bubba going like the Masters. Another thing that could potentially get him going is seeing his longtime caddie Ted Scott now on the bag for the No. 1 player in the world in Scottie Scheffler. Scott’s 2022 earnings surely eclipse his old employer. Watson finished runner-up to Harold Varner III in Saudi Arabia and struck the ball well for T-14 in Phoenix in an otherwise quiet spring. He is still an excellent driver of the golf ball (15th in the field for Strokes Gained: Off-The-Tee), but the approach game and the short game comes and goes too often. Nevertheless, Watson usually finds a way to be competitive at Augusta.

Mike Weir (1000-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 22/12

Best career finish: 1st (2003)

Top 5s: 2

Top 10s: 2

Top 25s: 6

Weir has made only one cut here (2020) in the last seven years. The 2003 champion did win last year in a rain-shortened event at the Insperity Invitational on the PGA Tour Champions. He turned 50 just last season but has not exactly crushed it on the over-50 circuit when there were expectations of a successful second act to his career.  

Lee Westwood (150-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 20/16

Best career finish: 2nd (2010), T-2 (2016)

Top 5s: 3

Top 10s: 6

Top 25s: 10

A little over a year ago, Westwood had a chance to win twice on the PGA Tour but ended up with consecutive runner-up finishes at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and The Players Championship. Those finishes were good enough to put him in the OWGR Top 20 and kept him well inside the Top 50 to earn an invitation to his 21st career Masters. Since then, he has fallen to No. 60 in the world, and at age 48, it looks more and more likely that this could be his final trip to Augusta. Westwood has arguably one of the best records at Augusta for a player to never emerge victorious with two runners-up (2010, 2016), a third (2012), and three other top-10s. However, if he is going to make one last stand at Augusta, his long-standing putting woes will have to go away for four days as he rates 81st in this field for Strokes Gained: Putting over the last 36 rounds.

Danny Willett (200-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 7/3

Best career finish: 1st (2016)

Top 5s: 1

Top 10s: 1

Top 25s: 2

Yes, Willett benefited from a Jordan Spieth collapse to win the green jacket in 2016, but last I checked, he still sends the jacket out for dry cleaning. He is surely not the most consistent player in the game, but he can strike at random times especially in bigger events, especially on the DP World Tour, like he did last fall winning at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. Willett is not in the best of form now as a T-36 in the Dominican Republic is his best finish in 2022. His short game has been solid, and he ranks first in the field for Strokes Gained: Around The Green over the last 36 rounds. His issues have come with the ball striking, especially on approach (75th in the field). He has made the cut only once in his last five tries since his 2016 triumph.

Matthew Wolff (130-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 2/0

Best career finish: MC (2020)

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 0

Top 25s: 0

In 2020, Wolff nearly won the PGA Championship at Harding Park and the U.S. Open at Winged Foot both on debut. His major championship experiences at the Masters have not gone quite as swimmingly. He missed the cut in 2020 and was going to miss it again last year but signed an incorrect scorecard to have a DQ on his record. Due to his early success at the PGA and the U.S. Open, Wolff remains in the OWGR Top 50. However, he is not playing even close to that ranking at present time. He finished T-6 in Saudi Arabia, but his best PGA Tour finish was a T-60 at the WGC-Dell Match Play, where he was seen swearing profusely at himself. Two weeks earlier at The Players Championship after hitting a ball in the water at 18, he hit his approach well right of the green and casually pitched his club into the drink to join the ball that he hit there. He’s been on and off the tour over the last year because of injuries and mental health. The potential is always there for something spectacular with Wolff, but based on his recent form, it could very well be a spectacular implosion.

Gary Woodland (130-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 9/5

Best career finish: T-24th (2011)

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 0

Top 25s: 1

Woodland, the 2019 U.S. Open champion, has never been able to figure out Augusta. His best career finish here was T-24 and that was over a decade ago. Nevertheless, he has seemingly returned to some form after battling injuriesover the last two seasons. He posted back-to-back top-5s at the Honda Classic and Arnold Palmer Invitational, which you can argue that he should have won. Woodland has gained on approach in his last four starts but has not been able to do so off the tee (54th in this field over the last 24 rounds). If Woodland is to win a second major championship, the PGA seems the most likely.

Tiger Woods (40-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 23/22

Best career finish: 1st (1997, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2019)

Top 5s: 12

Top 10s: 14

Top 25s: 18

Woods’ last event was in November 2020 at Augusta as that year’s Masters was pushed back due to COVID-19. After a February 2021 car accident, Tiger’s career was in doubt, and by and large it still is. However, he and son Charlie made their way to the grounds at Augusta National and the Woods family played a round with Justin Thomas. The five-time Masters champion is still listed in the field. On Sunday, he declared himself a “game-time decision,” but most reports are optimistic that he will participate. Make-or-miss-the-cut props on Woods have never been all that interesting considering he has never missed the cut at Augusta as a professional. That prop will be highly interesting considering he has not played a competitive tour event in more than 16 months. Tiger’s return obviously dwarfs every other storyline heading into the Masters. Bettors are going to want to bet Woods just because the return makes him easy to root for and sportsbooks know that, so he is being offered at most shops well below what his market price should be.

Cameron Young (130-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 0/0

Best career finish: First appearance

Top 5s: 0

Top 10s: 0

Top 25s: 0

Young has already finished runner-up twice in his rookie PGA Tour season – second at both the Sanderson Farms Championship and the Genesis Invitational. One reason for that is that he absolutely murders the ball off the tee and ranks second in Driving Distance behind Cameron Champ. Subsequent top-20 finishes at the Honda Classic and the Arnold Palmer Invitational pushed him into the OWGR Top 50 and earned him his first Masters invitation. He ranks fourth in this field for Strokes Gained: Off-The-Tee over the last 36 rounds only behind arguably the three best drivers in the sport — Jon Rahm, Bryson DeChambeau and Rory McIlroy. That runner-up in Riviera could prove to be a good omen at Augusta considering no fewer than five Masters champions over the last 20 years have also won at Riviera — Dustin Johnson, Adam Scott, Bubba Watson, Phil Mickelson and Mike Weir. Sungjae Im finished second on debut in 2020 and Will Zalatoris accomplished the same feat last year, so it would not be a massive surprise to see Young make a splash in his first Masters and he could provide value for sure in the Low Debutant market.

Will Zalatoris (35-1)

Total appearances/cuts made: 1/1

Best career finish: 2nd (2021)

Top 5s: 1

Top 10s: 0

Top 25s: 0

Zalatoris nearly became the first player to win in his debut at Augusta since 1979 when another man with a last name that starts with Z, Fuzzy Zoeller did it. Jordan Spieth was a runner-up on debut as well in 2014 and won the next year. For Zalatoris to follow Spieth’s lead, he will need to make the Masters his first PGA Tour victory. Willy Z had his best chance at a victory earlier this year at Torrey Pines in the Farmers Insurance Open. However, his putter went cold on the back nine and he found himself in a playoff after being in control for most of the final round. Once reaching that playoff, Luke List hit his approach shot to within a foot and took down the title. Zalatoris had to withdraw from Pebble Beach the next week after contracting COVID-19. Therefore, it has taken him a few weeks to play back into form that he might have found at the WGC-Dell Match Play. He advanced through group play with match victories over Cameron Tringale and Victor Hovland. Then, he outlasted Kevin Na in a match that went 22 holes in the Round of 16 before running into the buzzsaw that was Kevin Kisner in the Quarterfinals. Zalatoris is about as good as it gets tee-to-green on the PGA Tour. He ranks in the top 6 in this field for Strokes Gained: Ball Striking, Strokes Gained: Tee-To-Green and Strokes Gained: Approach. However, like many elite young players, including Collin Morikawa and Viktor Hovland, the putter can be a struggle, particularly at close range. He is just 67th in this field for Strokes Gained: Putting over the last 36 holes. Although he physically resembles Happy Gilmore’s caddie at the Waterbury Open, Zalatoris will be a stone-cold killer out here in short order, but the putting has to improve sooner than later.

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