The first round of any golf tournament, but particularly the Masters, is intriguing because it is generally where lesser known stars get their chance to shine. Without the pressure of actually having to compete for the win and without the burden of expectations, guys that nobody really expects to come out with a victory tend to do surprisingly well.
That being said, predicting who the next unheralded superstar to make an impact in the first round of the Masters will be is a tough feat. That’s why the favorites to emerge with the lead come the end of the first round of the 2012 Masters happen to be guys who everyone is well aware of.
With his Arnold Palmer Invitational victory still fresh in everyone’s minds, Tiger Woods — the favorite to win the whole tournament — is listed as a 7/1 favorite to come out as the first round leader on 2012 Master Betting Odds. In a way it’s fitting that he would be the favorite to both come out with a lead in the first round and win the whole thing, seeing as Woods is arguably the best frontrunner in sports. (Or at least he used to be.)
Rory McIlroy, the No. 1 ranked player who has largely taken a backseat to Tiger-mania in the weeks leading up to the Masters, is 8/1 to emerge as the first round Masters leader when it’s all said and done. Phil Mickelson, who will aim to lock up a fourth career Masters win this year, is 12/1 to come out on top through one round of action.
Luke Donald and Lee Westwood, unsurprisingly, are both getting better odds to emerge as the round one leader than they are to win the whole thing. Westwood is listed at 22/1 to walk away on top through one round of action, and Donald is listed at 16/1. Hunter Mahan and Justin Rose are listed at 28/1 and 22/1, respectively.
Last year’s winner, Charl Schwartzel, is getting identical odds to repeat this year and to come out as the first round leader – 33/1.
Other interesting players to watch in round one are: Bubba Watson (40/1), Keegan Bradley (28/1),
Sergio Garcia (28/1), Dustin Johnson (40/1), Graeme McDowell (40/1), Martin Kaymer (40/1), Nick Watney (40/1), Steve Strickler (50/1), Webb Simpson (33/1).