Perhaps the most illustrious tournament in the pantheon of professional golf, the Masters Tournament kicks off later this week with a stacked field. This will be the 86th edition of the Masters Tournament and the first of the four major golf championships held this year. The winner of the 2021 edition of the tournament was Hideki Matsuyama. This year’s field will feature a stacked roster from former champions Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson to recent U.S. Open winners Bryson DeChambeau, Jon Rahm and Brooks Koepka.
Below, SBS breaks down the top four athletes predicted to take home the green jacket and who will ultimately be crowned as the champion.
|Odds to Win The Masters 2022|
|Carissa Moore (HAW)||+150|
|Stephanie Gilmore (AUS)||+400|
|Tyler Wright (AUS)||+500|
|Tatiana Weston Webb (USA)||+700|
One of the most tenacious competitors on the PGA Tour, Jon Rahm is aiming for his first ever title at the Masters. Rahm has been riding a huge hot streak as of late and held the top spot in the Official World Golf Ranking for 43 weeks. Only recently was Rahm knocked off of his perch but if he has a strong performance at Augusta, he will return to the top of the mountain immediately. The winner of the 2021 U.S. Open, the Spaniard is one of the best players as of late on the PGA circuit and is coming off a third-place finish at the Farmers Insurance Open. His previous best performance at Augusta was a fourth-place finish in 2018.
Another former world number one player, Thomas has also never won the Masters Tournament, but will be looking to change that this week. Winner of 16 professional events on the PGA Tour, Thomas has been steadily stacking up wins since his breakout 2017 campaign where he won five PGA Tour events, including the 2017 PGA Championship. In 2021, Thomas won The Players Championship with a one stroke victory over Lee Westwood. Also late last year, Thomas played on the U.S. team in the 2021 Ryder Cup and won his Sunday singles match against Tyrrell Hatton. The U.S. team would go on to win the competition, 19-9.
The winner of the 2020 Masters Tournament, Johnson will join some elite company if he can win another green jacket in 2022. If Johnson is able to pull off the victory at Augusta, this would be his third major championship, along with his win at the 2016 U.S. Open. The 2020 PGA Tour Player of the Year, he held the top spot in the World Golf Rankings for 135 weeks starting back in 2017. An amazing player, the native of Columbia, South Carolina has notched 24 victories total on the PGA Tour and was also part of the victorious U.S. team at the 2021 Ryder Cup.
The final spotlight on our list, Smith has been a professional on the PGA Tour since 2013 and finished tied for second at the 2020 Masters. Perhaps the biggest dark horse candidate of any of the players on this list, Smith has never won a major championship, but that could change this week at Augusta. Earlier this year Smith won the 2022 Sentry Tournament of Champions at the Kapalua Resort on Maui and shot a PGA Tour record of 34 under par. Then in March, he won the The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass with a one shot victory over Anirban Lahiri. Of all the players on this list, Smith has had the most success in 2022.
Prediction: While it is not the sexiest pick in such a wide-open field, rolling with Rahm to win the tournament is a strong bet. The Spaniard is riding a big hot streak as of late and has consistently been playing at a high level. This will be another great tournament, but Rahm has stood toe to toe with the game’s best in the past.
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