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Rory McIlroy leads Masters betting

April 10, 2014

The first and arguably most exciting major of the year, the US Masters, gets underway tomorrow but preparation for the 2014 tournament has not been smooth. The old course in Augusta will be missing two of its more famous residents this year with no Eisenhower Tree and no Tiger Woods, missing for the first time in 20 years. Add to that a practice day cancelled due to stormy weather, a caddie banned for wearing sandals plus a very open field, and there is no doubt that the battle for the green jacket is going to be dramatic.

Outright Betting

Rory McIlroy remains the favourite with Paddy Power at 10/1 with the Northern Irishman recently beaming that the branch that ruined his chances in the 2011 tournament is long gone due to an ice storm. Not far behind McIlroy is defending Champion Adam Scott priced up at 12/1 who will hope to be inspired by his victory a year ago, and Phil Mickelson , who has had three Masters victories and six other top-five finishe s, at 14/1 .

Other golfers being backed by punters this week include Sergio Garcia at 22/1 , who started 2014 well with a win at the Commercialbank Qatar Masters and has had three top-ten finishes in his last four events, and Bubba Watson at 28/1 , who won here two years ago and showed encouraging form earlier this year with a win at the Northern Trust Open.

Each-way Betting

Angel Cabrera placed as runner-up to Scott last year after a two-hole playoff and is a regular at the Champions Dinner thanks to his own win in 2009, and although priced at a long 60/1 for outright winner he could prove a good choice for an each-way bet given Paddy Power are paying out the first six places.

Born and raised in Georgia, Harris English, who landed a hole in one on the 12 th hole during his practice round on Sunday, is also 60/1 but an option for each-way, as well as Patrick Reed at a slightly shorter 55/1 having won three titles since last August - the Wyndham Championship, the Humana Challenge and the recent WGC-Cadillac Championship - and should feel at home here as he went to Augusta State University.

Brandt Snedeker's form figures of T15, T19 and T6 at Augusta in the past three seasons means his Masters-graph could be pointing to another high finish and having finished T8 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational he is priced at 40/1 with Paddy Power but should not be ruled out of each-way betting.

Leader after Round 1

Golf's number 4 in the official world rankings after his WGC Accenture World Matchplay title in February, Jason Day, is 20/1 to be the leader after round one after a third place finish last year. He is just behind the tournament favourites McIlroy, Scott and Mickelson who are priced at 14/1 , 16/1 and 18/1 respectively to be first round leaders.

Having never missed a cut in eight visits to Augusta, Justin Rose is not far behind the pace and is 25/1 to be the leader after round one with Garcia priced at the same odds to repeat history with another lead after round one. Dustin Johnson was in the T3 position on the leaderboard after round 1 last year and is 28/1 with Paddy Power to reach the number one spot after the first round of this year's Masters.

Winning Nationality

With the support of their own countlessly crying 'get in the hole' and the likes of Mickelson, Watson and Matt Kuchar on team USA it is evens for this year's M asters champ to be wearing a member of the stars and stripes brigade. Second favourite in the country betting is Australia at 4/1 to be celebrating another victory, with an Irishman at 15/2 and an Englishman a slightly longer 17/2 to conquer stateside.

Top European Player

European players have won all three of the other Majors as well as dozens of top-class events in every corner of the globe, but they haven't won a Masters since 1999. With 28 Europeans competing on Thursday, more than a quarter of the field, chances of a European winning are better than ever.

McIlroy, who is expected to bring better form than most and has impressed in his recent appearances stateside, is the favourite to be the top European player at 11/4 , closely followed by Spaniard Garcia at 11/2 and Swedish man of 2013 Henrik Stenson at 13/2.

A Paddy Power spokesperson said: "With an open field we wouldn't be surprised to see a first time winner this year at Augusta. There is no doubt it's going to be an exciting few days and with McIlroy as slight favourite team Rory will be hoping the young star can avoid another major meltdown."

Paddy Power Masters Offer

Paddy Power has a special offer in place for the Masters, the bookmaker is paying out on the first 6 places at the tournament

Link to market:

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