Celebrating Underdogs at the Masters

One of golf’s most celebrated competitions, the Masters, will soon be with us. The major is held every year at the Augusta Gold Club, and offers an excellent showcase for the world’s best.

The competition is also home to its fair share of shocks, with underdogs occasionally upsetting the odds.

One of the biggest surprises in the completion happened back in 1987 with Larry Mize. No one fancied Mize’s chances in the playoff as he was up against legendary players Seve Ballesteros and Greg Norman.

However, the Augusta native chipped in an incredible 140foot shot towards water to claim the title.

More recently Danny Willet produced an incredible series of shots to win the 2016 Masters, his first major championship win. Before the competition, Willet was not even predicted to finish in the top 250.

All of which goes to show that the underdog is a key feature at the Masters.

Picking a player who is not receiving as much attention in the hope that they can do the unpredictable is a great way to enjoy the tournament.

Sportsbooks already offer golf fans a comprehensive way to find the latest 2021 Masters odds, where the full list of current underdogs and favorites is clearly listed.

Favorites and Underdogs at this year’s Masters

Favorites for the Masters this year include reigning champion Dustin Johnson and the players he beat by five shots, Cameron Smith and Sungjae Im.

Bryson Dechambrau, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm and Brooks Koepka are also attracting a lot of attention.

But there are a whole host of underdogs to wager on. Here is a selection of some of the players due to appear in the upcoming tournament who could potentially cause a surprise.

Patrick Reed

Reed looks to be a good prospect for a wager in this year’s Masters. Last year he finished tied for 10 th , and has continued to play some excellent golf. Reed won two NCAA championships at the nearby Augusta State University, so he has a track record for wins in the state. While unlikely to be amongst those predicted for the top finishes, Reed could be someone to cause an unexpected result.

Ryan Palmer

With four PGA tour wins under his belt, Ryan Palmer has the experience needed to cause a surprise at this year’s Masters.

Qualifying for the first time since 2015, Palmer recently won the Sony Open in Hawaii in 2017. He also won the team event of the 2019 Zurich Classic of New Orleans with one of this year’s favorites, Jon Rahm.

Phil Mickelson

Mickelson certainly has a history at the Masters worthy of the one of the best. He followed up three third-placed finishes in a row in the early 2000s with wins in 2004, 2006 and 2010.

This makes talk of Mickelson being an underdog surprising, but it’s also an indication of how the fortunes of golfing careers change. Despite falling lower in the rankings since his most successful years, Mickelson is always a player to watch.

Lee Westwood

A smart bet would be to consider Westwood. While more recently being placed in the underdog group, the former world number one has been close to a Major title on several occasions.

As recently as 2016, the Masters saw Westwood finish as runner up to that year’s winner, fellow Englishman and the underdog we’ve already from, Danny Willet.

Westwood’s recent form – including a runner up spot in the Player Championship – indicates that this year could be the year when he upsets the odds to take a major title.

Zach Johnson

The 2007 winner Zach Johnson was to many minds the ultimate underdog. He won by the highest ever score of 289, equaling the record set by Sam Sneyd in 1954 and Jack Burke, Jr in 1956.

The fact that bookies were not even offering him any odds before the action began and that he was competing against Tiger Woods underlines how unexpected this win was.

Since then, Johnson has relished in the position of underdog and has psychologically used it to his advantage. More recently he won the 2015 Open Championship, where again he was not amongst the favorites.

Since then, Johnson has relished in the position of underdog and has psychologically used it to his advantage. More recently he won the 2015 Open Championship, where again he was not amongst the favorites.

Perhaps this year could again see the underdog effect bringing Johnson another championship?

Larry Mize

Mize is still a professional golfer and an experienced regular on the circuit. But could the underdog who won big in 1987 do the same thing over 30 years later? It looks unlikely, but who knows?

The surprise win was sandwiched between tied finishes at 16th in 1986 and 45th in 1988. Mize nhas been a consistent Masters performer ever since, with his best recent finishes being 51st in 2014, and 52nd in 2017.

The glorious thing about trying to make golfing predictions is that sometimes the unexpected does happen. Perhaps this year will be another of those years, and tipsters will celebrate the power of the underdog.