Rory McIlroy officially took over as the No. 1 ranked golfer in the land after recently winning Honda Classic. That’s the good news. The bad news, though, is that the guy who finished second to him in that tournament, Tiger Woods, is nipping at his heels.
After a slow and steady rise from his rock bottom status over the last couple of years, Woods taking down McIlroy sometime in the foreseeable feels about as inevitable as anything in golf can feel. And even though McIlroy still has one tournament and a full month to go before the 2012 Masters, you can’t blame him and everyone else for looking forward and envisioning the potentially legendary battle that these two could have at Augusta. As it stands McIlroy and Woods are listed 4/1 and 13/2 to win the Masters respectively.
The other potential candidates to win the green jacket this year include, as you would expect, quite a few former world No. 1s who sat in McIlroy’s current position and somehow found a way to lose it to the next guy. Among that group, Luke McDonald is 16/1, Lee Westwood is 12/1 and Martin Kaymer — who missed the cut last year — is 33/1. And then of course there is Phil Mickelson who is technically someone who has never been No. 1, but is riding a wave of momentum at the moment after finishing first and tied for second in his last two starts. Currently, Phil Mickelson is in third position with 9 to 1 odds to win the 2012 Masters.
It’s worth remembering that over the last one year and five months the No. 1 overall position has changed hands on five separate occasions. What does that mean? It means that on top of McIlroy knowing that his position atop golf is anything but secure at the moment, he also knows that he’ll have to defend his king of the mountain status in the face of that volatility on the grandest stage of all.
Putting the No. 1s (and Mickelson) aside for a moment, there are a number of other talents that could easily swoop in and steal the show a la Charl Schwartzel. This time around Schwartzel is listed at 25/1. Other interesting stars to watch: Adam Scott who is listed at 25/1; Dustin Johnson at 28/1, as well as Jason Day, Sergio Garcia and Webb Simpson who are also 33/1, and the always fascinating Hunter Mahan who is listed at 40/1.
Top 10 Odds To Win 2012 Masters – click image to see the rest of the field at Bovada Sportsbook