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In hunt for first major win, Fowler faces stiff competition

By Matt Youmans
VSiN senior editor

April 7, 2017 10:58 PM
rickiefowler
In search of his first major win, Rickie Fowler is in a four-way tie for the lead after two rounds at the Masters.
© USA Today Sports Images

After several close calls, Rickie Fowler is halfway to winning his first golf major. In reality, though, he still has a long way to go.

Fowler is in a four-way tie for the lead after two rounds at the Masters, and he’s the 7-2 favorite on the adjusted odds boards at the South Point and Westgate sports books. But there are 11 players within five shots of the leaders, and the group of contenders includes Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and Adam Scott.

“It has the makings of a fun weekend,” VSiN oddsmaker Vinny Magliulo said. “I’m looking forward to it.”

It appears to be a wide-open chase on the weekend at Augusta National, where windy conditions from the first two days are set to give way to clear skies and lower scores. Fowler is 4 under par along with Sergio Garcia, Thomas Pieters and Charley Hoffman, a former UNLV player who held a four-stroke lead after the opening round.

Fowler finished in the top 5 in all four majors in 2014. Garcia, also seeking his first major win, is getting 6-1 on the adjusted odds, followed by Pieters (8-1) and Hoffman (15-1).

Spieth, the Masters winner in 2015 and runner-up last year, fired a 3-under 69 on Friday to resurface on the fringe of the leaderboard. Four strokes back, Spieth is at 6-1 odds.

In a three-way tie with Spieth are former Masters winners Mickelson (15-1) and Scott (25-1).

Rose (10-1) is 1 under par with rookie star Jon Rahm (10-1), former UNLV standout Ryan Moore (30-1) and 57-year-old Fred Couples (60-1). William McGirt (50-1) is two strokes back. McIlroy (10-1) is five strokes behind the leaders.

“I don’t really have a feel for who I would go with at this point,” Westgate golf oddsmaker Jeff Sherman said. “It’s so hard to tell. You have so many guys to choose from. Saturday is going to be a big day for positioning.”

Danny Willett, last year’s surprise Masters champion, missed the cut along with Zach Johnson, Henrik Stenson and Bubba Watson.

MASTERS THIRD-ROUND MATCHUPS
Posted at South Point sports book
Jordan Spieth (-110)
Rory McIlroy (-110)
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Justin Rose (-120)
Adam Scott (plus-100)
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Rickie Fowler (-120)
Jon Rahm (plus-100)
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Charley Hoffman (-110)
Ryan Moore (-110)
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Fred Couples (-230)
Ernie Els (plus-190)

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