US Masters: Four players to watch at Augusta National

Dustin Johnson’s impressive form makes him a Major contender this week

 Dustin Johnson: his form over the past few months has been consistently impressive. Photograph: Patrick Smith/Getty

Dustin Johnson: his form over the past few months has been consistently impressive. Photograph: Patrick Smith/Getty

 

The Form Guy

Dustin Johnson (Odds: 17/2)

Johnson’s only setback of late has been contracting Covid-19 which forced him into isolation and a serious bout of boredom. Other than that, the past couple of months provided a showcase for his ball-striking with a string of performances where he contended week-in and week-out: a runner-up finish at the PGA was followed by a win in the Northern Trust and other runners-up finishes in the BMW Championship and last week’s Houston Open.

The Past Champion

Bubba Watson (Odds: 22/1)

Bubba Watson has already won the Masters twice. Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Bubba Watson has already won the Masters twice. Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The formbook goes out the window when it comes to Watson at the Masters, where he seems to get a new lease of life once setting foot on the iconic property. As it happens, Watson – a two-time winner, in 2012 and 2014 – is actually exhibiting some excellent form in recent weeks with a tied-7th finish in the CJ Cup and a tied-4th finish in the Zozo Championship.

The Rookie

Collin Morikawa (Odds: 30/1)

Morikawa hits on the 13th hole during a practice round on Tuesday. Photo: Chris Carlson/AP Photo
Morikawa hits on the 13th hole during a practice round on Tuesday. Photo: Chris Carlson/AP Photo

A rookie in all but name, Morikawa – winner of the US PGA at Harding Park – is making a debut appearance in the Masters and has the game to become the first player since Fuzzy Zoeller to win in his first appearance. Generally available at 70/1 before his breakthrough Major win, Morikawa’s odds have plummeted since lifting the Wannamaker. If he is to win, the key will most likely be his iron play.

The Long Shot

Matt Wallace (Odds: 125/1)

Matt Wallace putts on the 12th green during a practice round. Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images
Matt Wallace putts on the 12th green during a practice round. Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images

Missed the cut on his Masters debut a year ago, but the 30-year-old Englishman – with veteran caddie Dave McNeilly on the bag – has the game, on his day, to defy those outsider odds. Yet to win this season, he has shown enough decent form on tough courses – fourth at The Memorial and runner-up in the Scottish Championship – since golf’s resumption to at least earn a top-10 placing.

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