Who will win the Masters 2016? Rickie Fowler primed to break his Major duck and claim the Green Jacket

 
Ben Cleminson
Deutsche Bank Championship - Final Round
Rickie Fowler has never missed a cut in five appearances at the Masters (Source: Getty)

Creating history on a golf course so steeped in tradition takes something extraordinary – the perfect way to describe Jordan Spieth at Augusta last year.

The then 21-year-old became the second youngest Green Jacket winner, behind only Tiger Woods, with his wire-to-wire victory also tying Woods for the lowest final score of all time.

Spieth’s Masters record is remarkable – his two appearances in Georgia yielded second place in 2014 and last year’s win.

However, no first-time winner has ever defended their title the following year, and given Spieth isn’t quite in the red-hot form of 12 months ago I would be wary of backing him again.

A year ago all the talk was of whether Rory McIlroy could overcome his Augusta demons and complete the "Rory Slam" of all four Majors.

After his final round meltdown in 2011, the Northern Irishman was able to record his best ever Masters finish in fourth, but he was overshadowed by Spieth. He continues his chase for the one missing Major from his collection.

Given the form of new world No1 Jason Day, however, McIlroy is the least likely of golf's big three.

Day defeated McIlroy last month on his way to the WGC World Match Play and is winning tournaments at a rate of knots.

After six top-five Major finishes without crossing the line, Day finally broke his duck at the US PGA Championship in August, and he goes into this week as 13/2 favourite with Betway.

However, I’d be hesitant backing anybody so short at Augusta, especially with the forecast windy conditions.

If you’re looking for each-way value, Rickie Fowler is my main selection.

Like Day, Fowler has consistently challenged in the slams without winning any. And like Day at Whistling Straits, this could be the tournament he comes of age.

Fowler enjoys Augusta – he’s never missed a Masters cut in five attempts – and has added to his game since going close in the past two years.

His touch around the notoriously difficult greens has always been assured, while he has improved his driving this season.

The 16/1 price with Betway is a good each-way bet for what would be a hugely popular winner.

The firm also offer a £10 free bet if your pre-tournament outright winner leads at the end of the first, second or third round.

Fowler’s improvement has been in part due to joining Phil Mickelson in Butch Harmon’s stable, and Lefty will also fancy his chances in the wind this week. I like the 20/1 offered on the three-time winner who knows this course inside out.

Louis Oosthuizen is another player who won’t worry about blustery conditions. The 2010 Open winner has missed the cut four times here but was second in 2012 and looks too big at 33/1.

Matt Kuchar had three top-10 finishes in a row from 2012 to 2014. A very consistent player, selling his finishing position at 29 with Sporting Index would have returned a profit in five out of the last six years.

Pointers

Rickie Fowler e/w at 16/1 with Betway

Phil Mickelson e/w at 20/1 with Betway

Louis Oosthuizen e/w at 33/1 with Betway

Sell Matt Kuchar’s finishing position at 29 with Sporting Index

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