Wed, Apr 5, 3:56pm by Senior Writer
US Masters favourite Dustin Johnson is a major doubt for the tournament after falling down a flight of stairs and injuring his back.
Such is Johnson’s form at the moment that he has drawn comparisons to Tiger Woods heading into the year’s first major. But a fall at his rented home in Augusta had put his chances of playing in peril, with his management saying a decision on his fitness won’t be made until Thursday US time.
Johnson had been a $7.50 favourite with the bookies, but is now out t0 $10.50 after the incident with 2015 champion Jordan Spieth into $7.50, ahead of Rory McIlroy, who is also looking for his first green jacket at $9.50.
Outside of that trio, Japanese star Hideki Matsuyama is $19 having finished fifth and seventh at Augusta the past two years
Japan has never had a winner of this tournament, while Australia has had one with Adam Scott winning in 2013.
WATCH: Our Preview of the US Masters
There are the five Aussies contesting this year with Sportsbet currently offering $11 for any one of them to win.
Jason Day, the world No.3, has returned from some time off the circuit to be with his ill mother and while he has good record here having finished top three on two previous occasions, there is a doubt about where his game is at.
On top of the personal dramas, he has endured back problems over the past six months. He is $21 to put all that behind him and win his second major. That would be some victory for Day.
As for Scott, he’s $31. His form this year so far hasn’t been great and he’s failed to finish top 10 in any of his PGA tournaments this year. He hasn’t won a PGA level tournament in over 12 months, while his best finish here since his 2013 victory has been a 14th.
Marc Leishman’s an interesting one. The bookies have him at $51 but he has the best recent form of any of the Aussies having won the Arnold Palmer invitational last month. After a few years where injuries and other off-course issues have taken their toll, he looks back to near his best. Interestingly, the only time he made the cut in this tournament, he finished fourth behind Scott in 2013. He’s probably the best value of the Aussies.
It’s great to see Rod Pampling back here having not played in this tournament for ten years. It’s a long time ago, but his form around Augusta is very good. He finished fifth here in 2005. He’s $501 which is not surprising, although the $2.52 about him to make the cut seems reasonable value.
And Curtis Luck, the world’s leading amateur, is at Augusta for the experience of his life. This kid is a future star of the sport and it will be fascinating to see how he handles Augusta at the tender age of just 20. He’s $401.
If you are feeling patriotic, take four of the five Aussie to make the cut at $3.25. It looks good value so long as Day fronts up with somewhere near his best game. I’d be also keen on the $4.50 on Leishman to be the leading Aussie.
In terms of an overall bet, we were keen on Johnson. He was sixth in 2015 and fourth last year and looked best placed to wear the jacket on Sunday, but we’d porbably opt for Spieth now given his experience and form on this course.
US Masters Market
Spieth, Jordan $7.50
Mcilroy, Rory $9.50
Johnson, Dustin $10.50
Matsuyama, Hideki $19
Day, Jason $21
Fowler, Rickie $23
Rahm, Jon $26
Mickelson, Phil $26
Rose, Justin $26
Thomas, Justin $31
Scott, Adam $31
Stenson, Henrik $34
Watson, Bubba $41
Garcia, Sergio $41
Casey, Paul $41
Others: $51 or longer
Leading Aussie at the Masters
Day, Jason $2.20
Scott, Adam $2.50
Leishman, Marc $4.50
Luck, Curtis $21
Pampling, Rod $26
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