The winner of the Masters receives a gold medal, a sterling silver replica of the trophy and $1,350,000 (£845,158) in cash. Impressive, but none of that matters compared with the right to don the famous green jacket. It’s that iconic garment that secures your place in history. BBC Sport’s Mark Pougatch rates his favourites to succeed at Augusta this weekend.
“While his current form is wayward, you can’t write him off. He’s capable of winning it for a fifth time because he’s used to the obstacles that Augusta throws up — it really is the Grand National of golf in terms of water hazards. Regarding quality, however, it’s the equivalent of the Gold Cup, and Woods [pictured] certainly has quality.”
“The greens at Augusta are hilly and dry because they use a moisture-prevention system, which makes them extremely quick. You’ve got to be able to putt brilliantly to conquer the course, and McIlroy can do that. He’s made an explosive start to his career. Plus, he’s a golfer who can get on a real hot streak, and it’s easy to charge up the leaderboard with a few good holes at Augusta.”
“A wildcard, this one. Coming off a huge win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the Scot will tee off and have US fans know who he is, which will make a big difference. After his breakthrough win, he’ll use this as a yardstick to see how he’s progressing. But he beat Woods to clinch that trophy, so he could surprise us.”
“Kaymer’s high on confidence, which has catapulted him to world No1. He’s proved that he can win a major and get to the top, and he’ll be looking to show that those feats aren’t temporary. A European hasn’t won the event in over a decade, but he can change that.”
“Westwood was world No1 without having won a major — a bit like being No1 at tennis and not winning a Grand Slam. Now that he’s No2, the spotlight is off and he can show what an exceptionally good golfer he is by winning the Masters. He’s an accurate hitter — avoiding Augusta’s unforgiving second cut [thicker rough].”
Mark Pougatch is part of the BBC’s Masters coverage, Highlights 8 April (7pm) & 9 April (11.30am) and live coverage 9 & !0 April - all on BBC Two and HD