It’s finally here! As we glide into Golf’s biggest week there’s €20k on the line in our Masters Monster contest. Today we will be looking at the top 10 Europeans in the field and study their chances of joining fellow green jacket European winners.
Jon Rahm (21.9M)
The fiery Spaniard is Mr consistent at Augusta National. Since his debut in 2017 Rahm has finished inside the top 10 in every finish here outside that rookie year where he still finished a respectable tied 27th.
Rahm started the season hot with six top 20 finishes, however he has not been in the best form in recent weeks and has lost his world number one spot to Scottie Scheffler. He lost in the round of 16 at the WGC match play the last time we saw him, and has been losing strokes around the green and putting since the Phoenix Open. He will most certainly have to improve those stats to compete around here again this week.
Despite the recent poor form Rahm has all the tools to win around Augusta to join in the footsteps of his fellow countrymen Seve Ballesteros, Jose Maria Olazabal and Sergio Garcia in claiming the green jacket.
Viktor Hovland (20.3M)
The rising Norwegian only turned pro in July 2019 after gaining the honor of low amateur at the 2019 Masters.
This will be Hovland’s third visit to Augusta National and he comes in on hot form having won on the DP World Tour and finishing second at the Arnold Palmer invitational a few weeks ago. Hovland is now ranked 4th in the world after 3 wins in the last 12 months and is one of golf’s rising stars.
After missing out on qualification in 2020 Hovland earned a very respectable tied 21st in his second visit last year. Hovland clearly has the game to conquer Augusta national, but does he have enough experience of this cruel mistress to claim his first major title?
Rory McIlroy (20.0M)
Rory will be looking to complete the career grand slam this week, something that has only been achieved previously by 5 other golfers in Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods.
He nearly achieved this back in 2011, but a major collapse allowed Charl Schwartzel to claim his first green jacket.
Rory has 6 top 10 finishes around Augusta and the course does set up perfectly for him, but it remains to be seen if he can get over the line and win his first major since 2014. Since that last major Rory’s stats (score to par) do not make for pretty reading.
Round 1: 34 over par.
Round 2-4: 60 under par.
Despite some recent poor form and poor major form Rory has to be respected this week as he can turn it on at a flick of a switch.
Shane Lowry (17.6M)
The 2019 Open Champion is making his 7th straight appearance at Augusta National. Lowry returns after his best finish last year where he came tied 21st. Previous visits to Augusta have not been as kind for the Irishman with multiple missed cuts.
Lowry has had a strong start to the season with a second place finish at the Honda classic, tied thirteenth at the Players championship and a tied twelfth place finish at the Valspar. It is worth noting that these finishes have come in windy conditions especially at the Players, so the weather this week might be worth monitoring if you are considering this former major winner.
Tyrrell Hatton (16.0M)
A 6 time winner across the DP World tour and PGA tour, Hatton is teeing it up at Augusta National for a 5th time. His best finish across those 5 starts is a tied 18th which came last year. Hatton has made 3 cuts in his visits to Augusta National so it’s clearly a course he is still learning.
Hatton comes to Augusta this year in good form with 3 top 20 performances and the highlight of that being a tied 2nd at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
The fiery Englishman is well known for a melt down or two and that was evident in Qatar earlier this year where he launched a club in a rant about a par 5 design. He will have to keep his temper in check to win around here this week but he most certainly has the game for it.
Paul Casey (15.7M)
A 18 time winner across the DP World tour and PGA tour, Casey is teeing it up at Augusta National for a 16th time this week. His best finish at Augusta National to date is a tied 4th which came back in 2016. Casey has made 11/16 cuts here so it’s a course he likes.
Casey was showing some promising form heading here, including a tied 3rd finish at the Players Championship in which he gained multiple strokes on the field on approach. The problem then came at the WGC Matchplay where he forfeited all 3 group games after injuring himself on hole 8 in match 1.
If you can get away from the injury concerns then Casey could be the pick just based on his history. He certainly has the game to win his first major here but the injury is most certainly a concern.
Sergio Garcia (15.6M)
Sergio’s shining golf moment came here in 2017 where he won his first and only major. Sergio ended that major drought by defeating fellow european Justin Rose in a playoff at the 74th time of asking (majors).
Sergios first appearance at Augusta came all the way back in 1999 and has made the trip here every year since, making 14 cuts in the process.
Sergio has played 3 times on the PGA tour this year with the highlight being a tied 26th finish at the Players championship. His career somewhat stalled upon that first major win here in 2017 but he seems to have found some of that form that propelled him to that win here in recent months, so he has to be considered again.
Matthew Fitzpatrick (15.3M)
Matthew Fitzpatrick made his Masters debut back in 2014 and since then he has been somewhat of weekend mainstay, making the cut in his last 6 visits. His best finish around Augusta National came back in 2016 with a respectable tied 7th.
Fitzpatrick comes back here in excellent form with 4 top 10 finishes this year already with just one missed cut at the Players Championship where he was caught up in that wind storm that swept through.
With the recent form and good course history here Fitzpatrick has to be respected this week as he looks for that maiden major win.
Tommy Fleetwood (15.3M)
Fleetwood had a poor 2021 season, something that left him fighting for his PGA tour card. There have, however, been promising signs over the last few weeks which could see the Einglshman gain his first major title. The recent good form is not only good for confidence either, it propelled him back into the world’s top 50, which will see him gain entry to the biggest events.
The promising signs point to the strokes gained on approach department, something that is key around Augusta national.
Fleetwood will be looking to improve on his best finish at Augusta National which came back in 2017 a tied 17th finish and gain his first major title.
Justin Rose (15.1M)
A man who just loves Augusta National yet has not got over the line as of yet. Rose debuted at Augusta National back in 2003 and played his first 13 visits without missing a cut. In that span he had 2 runner up appearances, the most famous of those was a playoff defeat to Sergio Garcia back in 2017.
Rose comes to Augusta National on the back of two missed cuts at the Players and the Arnold Palmer respectively. He was impressive earlier on in the season with a tied 6th finish at the Farmers insurance open and was gaining strokes on approach, something that is key around Augusta.
With this in mind and his course history he has to be respected again and who knows 2022 might just be his year.
The Masters brings us our first ever golf monster and we could not be more excited. This week’s contest has a €20 buy-in with a €20,000 prize pool.
€20 entry – Masters Monster – €20,000 GTD – 7th April – 10th April
€2 entry – Masters Mini-Main Event – €1,500 GTD – 7th April – 10th April
€2 entry – Masters Round 2 – €750 GTD – 8th April
€2 entry – Masters Round 3 – €750 GTD – 9th April
€2 entry – Masters Round 4 – €750 GTD – 10th April
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