Hello Friends — and degenerates! The end of our long, torturous ordeal is finally nearing an end. The light at the end of the tunnel is now a solid beam of blinding light full of hope, the promise of Spring, green outerwear and pimento cheese.

Masters week is upon us. Five words I have been dying to say for about 365 days, give or take. Christmas in April, the most wonderful time of the year, yada yada.

Before getting into handicapping the easiest tournament of them all to handicap, indulge me.

I. Hate. Ian Poulter. Megaloathe. Despise. Ian Poulter.

After peering into my crystal brain last Wednesday and pulling out Beau Hossler’s name, it seemed ol’ No. 1 was finally going to get back on top. Instead, it was that patron-ejecting, frosted-tipped, English annoyance Ian Poulter who was the last one standing. For the first time in something other than the Ryder Cup, he made a big putt when it mattered. Of course he f***ing did.

Missing out on what would have been a $7,500 pay day to watch the tartan’d one pull a rabbit out of his arse (Ehh..it was Easter, I guess) was cause enough to bury myself in the bottle. Tuesday couldn’t come soon enough.

Anyway — and thankfully — the Houston Open is in the rear-view. It’s like the great poet Thomas Petty once said: “God, it’s such a drag when you’re living in the past.”

So lets look forward — to the new Masters champion and the payday that awaits those wise enough to heed my advice. Here are my can’t-miss, no-doubt, mortal locks for the 82nd Masters Tournament.

The Masters
Augusta National Golf Club – Augusta, Georgia
April 5 – 8, 2018

ODDS to Win:
Jordan Spieth 10/1
Dustin Johnson 10/1
Rory McIlroy 10/1
Jason Day 18/1
Rickie Fowler 16/1
Hideki Matsuyama 30/1
Justin Rose 14/1
Jon Rahm 18/1
Justin Thomas 10/1
Brooks Koepka WD
Sergio Garcia 30/1
Adam Scott 60/1
Phil Mickelson 16/1
Paul Casey 25/1
Henrik Stenson 30/1
Thomas Pieters 60/1
Bubba Watson 16/1
Matt Kuchar 40/1
Louis Oosthuizen 60/1
Charl Schwartzel 125/1
Patrick Reed 40/1
Daniel Berger 125/1
Tommy Fleetwood 30/1
Marc Leishman 40/1
Kevin Kisner 100/1
Tiger Woods 12/1
Alex Noren 40/1
Branden Grace 100/1
Russell Henley 100/1
Rafael Cabrera Bello 125/1
Martin Kaymer 250/1
Jimmy Walker 150/1
Ryan Moore 100/1
Matthew Fitzpatrick 125/1
Kevin Chappell 125/1
Zach Johnson 100/1
Gary Woodland 150/1
Charley Hoffman 60/1
Ian Poulter 60/1
Francesco Molinari 200/1
Bryson DeChambeau 80/1
Xander Schauffele 80/1
Tony Finau 80/1
Jason Dufner 125/1
Brian Harman 80/1
Danny Willett 500/1
Tyrrell Hatton 80/1
Adam Hadwin 150/1
Si Woo Kim 250/1
Patrick Cantlay 100/1
Bernd Wiesberger 300/1
Billy Horschel 250/1
Brendan Steele 200/1
Pat Perez 150/1
Wesley Bryan 500/1
Kyle Stanley 250/1
Ross Fisher 300/1
Haotong Li 200/1
Angel Cabrera 500/1
Fred Couples 300/1
Jhonattan Vegas 500/1
Webb Simpson 100/1
Cameron Smith 150/1
Bernhard Langer 500/1
Vijay Singh 1000/1
Harry Ellis 2000/1
Jose Maria Olazabal 5000/1
Trevor Immelman 2000/1
Mark O’Meara 5000/1
Mike Weir 2000/1
Ian Woosnam 5000/1
Larry Mize 5000/1
Sandy Lyle 5000/1
Doug Ghim 2000/1
Doc Redman 2000/1
Matt Parziale 2000/1
Yuxin Lin 2000/1
Patton Kizzire 250/1
Austin Cook 300/1
Kiradech Aphibarnrat 125/1
Yusaku Miyazato 1000/1
Ted Potter, Jr. 500/1
Yuta Ikeda 1000/1
Joaquin Niemann 500/1
Shubhankar Sharma 200/1
Chez Reavie 300/1
Dylan Frittelli 300/1
Satoshi Kodaira 1000/1

Mortal Locks: 

Rory McIlroy (10/1) — With only a green jacket left to claim on his run the career grand slam, Rory McIlroy has been sneaky good at Augusta National in recent years. Couple that success with the fact that he’s finally figured out his putter and you’ve got the recipe for a win at the Masters.

Tiger Woods (12/1) — I’ve long said that Tiger Woods would win another Masters Tournament. Even in the deepest depths of his depression, I’ve stood by the assertion that Woods would win another green jacket and now that he’s playing great golf, you’ve got to figure he’s going to be a force to be reckoned with.

Phil Mickelson (16/1) — Phil and Tiger are the two top stories heading into Masters Week. All of a sudden, it feels like 2001 again. Don’t be fooled by the ages of the combatants — like Woods, Mickelson has a legitimate chance to don the green jacket for the fourth time. If he does, he’ll supplant Jack at the tournament’s oldest champion.

Bang For Your Buck:

Marc Leishman (40/1) — The highest ranked Aussie in the world loves Augusta National and has played well here in the past. If Leishman can put together four good rounds this week, he could pick up that elusive first major title.

Bryson DeChambeau (80/1) — When Bryson DeChambeau first teed it up in the Masters as an amateur in 2016, there was plenty of buzz. The tinkerer put together a stellar first couple of rounds and found himself in serious title contention. A rough weekend forced him to settle for low am honors. DeChambeau enters this week with all the talent and even more poise then he had as a Masters rookie. At 80/1, the juice is definitely worth the squeeze.

Pat Perez (150/1) — Pat Perez has picked up right where he left off in 2017 with a great start to the 2018 season. Perez, like so many, is only missing a major from his resume. Could this be the week he gets it done? Probably not — but I’d be anything he’s in contention. After seeing Danny Willett cash in when Jordan Spieth faltered two years ago, I’m going to take a chance on Perez at 150/1.

Fun Under $5:

Billy Horschel (250/1) — I love Billy Horschel, inconsistency be damned. He’s proven he can win on the biggest of stages when he won the FedExCup and the $10 million that goes with it. Now, only a major championship stands between him and (potentially) a hall of fame career.

Fred Couples (300/1) — I’d be curious to see what Fred Couples could do with a pair of those big soled, optic white geriatric shoes on his feet for a week. He can still move it out there and put up low numbers — until the weekend when the rolling hills of Augusta National take a toll on 56 year-old’s ailing back. Still, he’s worth a look at 300/1.

Matthew Parziale (2000/1) — Brockton firefighter who plays golf with my dad and his friends. Of course I want this guy to win.

Sucker Bet:

Adam Scott (60/1) — Every one loves Adam Scott. Except me. And Kate Hudson.

There you have it, friends and degenerates. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a date with one of everything on the menu at Augusta National Golf Club. Until next time, go and choose wisely…

-Golfstradamus.

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