Dustin Johnson has been installed as the 8/1 (9.00) favourite with Bet365 and various other bookmakers to secure a second consecutive Masters triumph.
The world number one clinched the green jacket when he finished five shots clear of Cameron Smith and Im Sung-jae last year. The 2020 Masters was pushed back to November due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It is now returning to its usual April slot, meaning Johnson will return to Augusta just five months after his famous victory.
He now has three top-5 finishes under his belt at the Masters, so it is easy to see why he is the favourite to repeat his success once more. However, he will need to display greater consistency than he has shown in recent weeks if he is to keep hold of his green jacket.
Johnson maintained his fine form by winning the Saudi International last month, but he struggled at the World Golf Championships and then finished T48 in last week’s Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass. Yet he insists that he can rally quickly in time for the start of the Masters on April 5.
“I feel like it’s really close,” said Johnson during a conference call scheduled ahead of the Masters. “Last week at the Players, I felt like I played pretty good, I just made a lot of mental mistakes, just a little bit of everything.
“I just didn’t score very well. I played good enough every day to have a chance to win on Sunday, but was just kind of pissing away shots, which is real uncharacteristic, but we will get it worked out. But the game feels like it’s in pretty good form and it is really close to being really good again.
“My game is not quite where I would like it to be, but I’ve got plenty of time to get it back in order leading up to Augusta.”
Johnson visited Augusta earlier this month and played a couple of rounds in preparation for the tournament. “The course is in immaculate condition. It looks like it’s shaping up to be a normal Masters, and so I’m really looking forward to that,” he said. “I’m pretty sure when I was playing on most of the holes, I was definitely thinking about the shot that I hit on that Sunday when I played.”
Johnson became the only player in history to finish 20 under at the Masters as he won by five shots in November. In 2019, he finished T2 at the Masters, just one shot behind champion Tiger Woods, so he should be in the mix on the final day at this year’s event.
Bookmakers are offering some pretty attractive place terms on the Masters, which could appeal if you want to bet on Johnson. Bet365, Unibet, MansionBet, Betway and 10Bet will all give you a quarter of the odds if you go each-way and he finishes in the top five. Bet365 has 8/1 on him winning the tournament, so you would double your money if he failed to win but finished in the top five.
Paddy Power and Betfair also have a really attractive offer whereby you will receive a fifth of the odds on the top eight places by going each-way. If he were to finish eighth, you would still earn 1.6 times your stake as a profit by betting on Johnson each-way.
If you want a longer shot, Lee Westwood might appeal at 33/1 (34.00) with Betfred, which pays a fifth of the odds on the top six places for each-way bets. Bet365 and Paddy Power have him at 28/1 (29.00). The 47-year-old Englishman is coming off a runner-up finish at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, and then a second placed finish at The Players Championship.
He should have had plenty of time to recharge his batteries in time for the Masters. He finished second at the Masters in 2010 and 2016, so his game clearly suits Augusta, and he looks like an appealing each-way option.