The golf intelligentsia has all but bestowed on Tiger Woods a fifth green jacket, and with good reason. Of the 15 PGA Tour events played thus far in 2013, Woods is the only golfer to win more than one tournament, and only four events have been won by another golfer ranked in the top 25.
Yet while Woods is the clear favorite, it has been eight years since he last won at Augusta, and the aura of invincibility he once cloaked himself in is no more. Handicappers currently have nine other golfers at 25/1 odds or better, an indication of the level of parity that has fallen on golf since the era of Tiger's complete dominance came to an end.
Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson are given the best odds to upset Tiger, with each selling at 12/1. While McIlroy has had his share of struggles recently and has never played particularly well at the Masters, Mickelson has finished in the top five of the tournament 10 times, has claimed three victories and is always a threat to win at Augusta.
Previous success at the Masters is far from a perfect predictor of future victory, of course. Last year's winner, Bubba Watson, had not finished higher than 20th in his three previous attempts to win a green jacket, and 2011 winner Charl Schwartzel had finished in a tie for 30th in his one previous tournament the year before. Five of the last six winners have been first-time champions, the first time we've seen such a run since the 1980s.
Many frequent golf bettors are hesitant to place a wager on this year's Masters due to the unusual degree of uncertainty in this year's tournament, but for those with great confidence—or those in Las Vegas who have hit it big at the tables and are playing with house money—here are the betting odds for the top 25 golfers in the world, courtesy of British gaming site Ladbrokes.
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