Members of the Golf Monthly editorial team give their picks for the 2016 Masters at Augusta National in Georgia
Everyone has an opinion on who will win the 2016 Masters, not least those in the Golf Monthly office.
After much debate, six members of the editorial staff have chosen a favourite and an outsider to land the year’s first Major at Augusta National Golf Club.
For clarity, an outsider is anyone longer than 50/1. Without further ado…
Neil Tappin – Digital Editor
Favourite – Justin Rose
With so many ‘favourites’, picking a winner this year is harder than ever. Justin Rose is a class act, a Major winner and now a player for the big occasion. Few of the front runners have a record at Augusta to match Justin’s. The reason for this is that Augusta is a second-shot course. Find the right part of the greens and you’ll hole putts, even if the flat stick isn’t the strength of your game. Do not overlook Rose – at 22/1, there’s value to be had too!
Outsider – Zach Johnson
The American’s chances will largely depend on the weather. If it’s wet underfoot, the advantage of the longer hitters will be diminished (they too may not be able to reach the par 5s in two) and that’s when Zach comes into his own. After a slow start to the season, he looked back to his best for periods of the recent WGC-Dell Match Play. As a past winner and current Open Champ, we know he has what it takes. At 66/1, his odds have benefitted from the ‘favourites’ all playing well in the build up. I expect him to figure.
Tom Clarke – Senior Content Editor
Favourite – Charl Schwartzel
A former winner, of course, in 2011, the South African is someone who I am very excited about this week. He has been in superb form and 33/1 is just too long for him. He won the Valspar Championship a few weeks ago and also has two wins on the European Tour this season.
Outsider – Ben An
An played as an amateur in the 2010 Masters so he won’t be completely overawed this season. He’s striking the ball superbly, especially with the driver this year. He impressed at the Match Play a few weeks back and is a solid each way bet.
RELATED: US Masters Golf Betting Tips 2016
Nick Bonfield – Content Editor
Favourite – Louis Oosthuizen
Oosthuizen is a class act and a fabulous ball striker with a good record at Augusta National. He lost in a play-off to Bubba Watson in 2012 and he’s finished inside the top 25 in each of the last two seasons. The South African played some fine golf in the recent WGC-Dell Match Play – where only a rampant Jason Day could stop him – and won in February at the ISPS Handa Perth International, where he hit an astonishing 93% of greens in regulation.
Outsider – Marc Leishman
Leishman is a player who will enter the week firmly under the radar, but he arguably deserves more consideration. He lost out in a play-off at the 2015 Open Championship and showed great ability at the 2013 Masters, where he pushed compatriots Adam Scott and Jason Day hard when most expected him to fall away. His recent form hasn’t been outstanding, but he’s registered four top-28 finishes on the PGA Tour this year, including a tie for 5th at the Northern Trust Open. He also won the European Tour’s Netbank Golf Challenge in December.
David Taylor – Content Editor
Favourite – Bubba Watson
The world number 4 is in great form with a win in at the Northern Trust Open and a second place at Doral in his last three starts, as well as his early season victory in the Hero World Challenge. Both his previous Masters wins came after a second place finish at the WGC-Cadillac Championship and don’t bet against him making it a hat-trick this year on a track that seems to be made for him.
Outsider – Zach Johnson
It might seem strange to class a former Masters winner and the current Open champion as an outsider, but with odds of 60-1 available he seems to fall into that bracket with many of the bookies. He is on a good run of form again this season with two recent top tens, has the perfect game for Augusta – especially on the greens – and those victories in 2007 and last year at St Andrews show he has the mental strength to get the job done again.
Joel Tadman – Techical Editor
Favourite – Henrik Stenson
The last three winners of the Green Jacket have all carried excellent form into Augusta. Spieth went 1-2-T2 in his three previous starts before winning in 2015. Stenson heads into this week having gone T11-T3-2. Plus, he’s finished inside the top 20 in his last three starts at the Masters, has won some of the biggest non-major events on the circuit and has all the physical and mental skills required around this course to earn a deserved first Major title.
Related: Henrik Stenson swing sequence
Outsider – Chris Kirk
Americans have a decent record at Augusta and Chris Kirk has experienced a dramatic turn around in form in recent weeks. He followed a T-12 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational with a T5 finish at the Dell Match Play. He’s made the cut in both his previous visits, including a T20 in 2014, and at around 150/1 there’s plenty of scope for an each way dabble.
Jake O’Reilly – Technical Writer
Favourite – Adam Scott
The Aussie heads to Augusta National fresh off repeat PGA Tour strokeplay wins in early March, and with Steve Williams back on the bag, there won’t be a repeat of the two front nine double bogeys that almost saw him miss out The Honda Classic, or the trips to the water during the WGC-Cadillac that nearly opened the door for Sergio Garcia.
Outsider – Zach Johnson
The 2007 Masters champion came T9 at Augusta National last year, and arrives at this year’s event off the back of a strong showing at the WGC Dell Match Play, where he came through a tough group containing Martin Kaymer, Shane Lowry and Marcus Fraser with a 3-0 record, only to be beaten by Rory McIlroy in the last 16. The week before that he finished fifth at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, and having claimed his second Major last year, will arrive in Georgia with no fear.