The Masters returns to Augusta National this week as Hideki Matsuyama prepares his defence of the green jacket.
Matsuyama became the first Asian to win the Masters in 2021, with a tournament score of 10-under enough to see off American trio Will Zalatoris, Xander Schauffele and Jordan Spieth.
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US Open champion John Rahm enjoys the lush greens of Augusta and goes in as this year’s favourite, though 2020 Masters champion Dustin Johnson and red-hot Australian Cameron Smith are among a clutch of front-runners eyeing the green jacket.
Rory McIlroy will again aim to to bury his Masters demons and clinch golf’s career Grand Slam. McIlroy blew a four-shot lead in the final round of the 2011 Masters and has since failed to finish higher than fourth in his quest for Augusta supremacy.
The latest Masters outright odds for 2022
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Who will win the Masters in 2022? The leading contenders
John Rahm: While Augusta can make even the most consistent golfers look wildly volatile, Rahm has placed in the top 10 across the last four years and knows his way around the famous course. He arrives this year with a Major monkey off his back after ending his wait for one of golf’s top four prizes at the US Open last year.
Cameron Smith: The Australian goes into Masters week in arguably the best form of the lot. He’s already got two PGA Tour victories under his belt in 2022, posting four top 10 finishes in seven starts. His expert green game has propelled him into the best-putter-in-the-world conversation and could give him the edge on Augusta’s fiendish short stuff. Smith’s as short as 12/1 to end his wait for a maiden Major in Georgia and his $3.6m Players win in March stands him in good stead for further glory.
Justin Thomas: It feels like Justin Thomas is due a big week at Augusta — a course which would appear to suit his creative ball striking. His fourth-place finish at the Masters in 2020 remains his best by some way, with a round of 66 his lowest at Augusta. Stringing together four good rounds will be key and he’s showing some consistency in 2022, with seven top-20 finishes. He certainly looks well placed to end his five-year wait for a Major.