US Masters Switcher:
Rory McIlroy is the new World Number One after a two-stroke victory at the Honda Classic. But joint runner-up there Tiger Woods was in imperious form himself and things are tight in the Betfair US Masters winner market.
Rory McIlroy is the number one golfer in the world this morning after his two-stroke win at the Honda Classic on Sunday. He overtakes fellow Ryder Cup star Luke Donald, who opted to not play this week, at the top of the rankings.
McIlroy played a near-flawless final round of golf, dropping only one shot in a final round of 69 for a 12-under-par total. This was his seventh career win, including the famous US Open victory last year, where he also played a final round of incredible maturity. That was just weeks after he imploded at the US Masters, suffering a final round meltdown in shooting 80, having gone into the fourth day with a four-shot lead.
The secret to the 22 year-old's success, who became the second-youngest world number one after Tiger Woods (who was 21 years and 167 days old at the time), has been consistency. Since the USPGA Championship last August he has played in 11 ranking events and finished outside the top-five in only one of them. Only last week he reached the final of the WGC Accenture Matchplay, beating the likes of Lee Westwood and Miguel Angel Jimenez along the way, before somewhat surprisingly losing to Hunter Mahan in the final.
But if McIlroy is a justified joint-favourite to win the US Masters at 6.86/1, the man sharing jolly status with him is no ordinary player. Tiger Woods' price has been shortening consistently for the first Major of the year, which he's won four times. Those who secured odds of 18.5n/a on Betfair about him winning at Augusta will be in a pretty good position right now. They will be relishing Woods' current form, as demonstrated by his final day charge at the Honda Classic yesterday, where he finished joint-second (alongside veteran Tom Gillis) after playing the final round eight under par, having gone into the last day nine shots off the lead. It was vintage Woods: making the most of the par fives (securing eagles on both of them), putting beautifully and whipping the crowd into a frenzy with his dramatic charge, although it ultimately wasn't quite enough on this occasion.
Another familiar name at the top-end of the Betfair market for Augusta glory is Lee Westwood, at 16.5n/a. Consistency has also been a big feature of his game in recent times, finishing fourth yesterday, the same position as the week before at the WGC Accenture Matchplay.
But let's not forget Phil Mickelson either, available at odds of 10.09/1. The left-hander may not play too many tournaments these days but his performance in holding off Woods at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am proved he's still got it. Mickelson is no stranger to success at the Masters himself, having won there three times already.