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Dublin: 13 °C Thursday 6 August, 2020
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5 longshots who could surprise at the Masters this week

All the focus will be on the the big three, but what about the rest?

Say what you want about Bryson DeChambeau, but he has his own style.
Say what you want about Bryson DeChambeau, but he has his own style.
Image: Nam Y. Huh/AP/Press Association Images

AMIDST SHOT AFTER shot of blooming alzaleas, there will undoubtedly be hundreds of slo-mo close-ups of Jason Day, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlory when the 2016 Masters gets under way at Augusta National on Thursday.

It makes sense too.

Day is the current world number one, Spieth is looking to become the first man to defend the title since Tiger Woods 14 years ago and McIlroy, of course, is hoping to complete the ‘Rory Slam’ by adding the Master to his other Majors.

But, while few people are looking past the big three, there are some reasons to believe the field may well provide this year’s winner.

Spieth has admitted his own form this season has been “rubbish” while putting four good rounds together at Augusta National has always been a problem for McIlory.

While Day has been imperious this season, not since 2002 has a current world number one won the Masters.

With that in mind, while these players may not do enough to don the hallowed green jacket, we fully expect them to be there or thereabouts on the back nine come Sunday.

Brandt Snedeker – world golf ranking: 17; odds: 55/1

Source: AP/Press Association Images

Eight years ago, Snedeker went into the final round of Augusta in second place, two shots behind the leader and eventual winner Trevor Immelman. He eventually finished third after shooting a disappointing 77 on the final day.

Whether or not he has the temperament to win a Major remains to be seen, but he’s already a winner this season having overcome deplorable conditions at Torrey Pines to claim the Farmers Insurance Open and can’t be ruled out.

Danny Willett – world golf ranking: 12; odds: 55/1

Source: Jeff Roberson/AP/Press Association Images

Willett has just become a dad for the first time and has never finished in the top five at a Major but has been one of the most consistent players in golf over the past two seasons winning on the European Tour as recently as February.

The 28-year-old has finished in the top five in three of his last six events and has the game to succeed at Augusta National, particularly as the pins get trickier over the course of the four days.

Justin Thomas – world golf ranking: 33; odds: 90/1

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Source: Lynne Sladky/AP/Press Association Images

Thomas ranks in the top 30 on the PGA in terms of driving (301.8 yards) and scoring average (70.4) which bodes well for a course like Augusta National. He’s also being helped in his preparations this week by Jeff Knox, holder of the members’ course-record of 61, and whose son Lee played with Thomas at Alabama.

Going against him, however, is the fact that only three first-timers have ever won the Masters – Horton Smith, Gene Sarazen and Fuzzy Zoeller for those wondering — at their first attempt.

Rafael Cabrera Bello – world golf ranking: 36; odds: 100/1

Source: Ricardo Arduengo/AP/Press Association Images

Eight of the last ten winners have come into the Masters in good form and Cabrera Bello definitely has that after a third placed finish at the World Match Play and bogey free 65 on Sunday to finish fourth at the Shell Houston Open.

Indeed, the Spaniard hit 17 greens in regulation in that final round and had only one bogey over his final 54 holes so, if anybody has their eye in it’s Cabrera Bello. On top of being a rookie, the 31-year old (like Willett) must overcome 16 years of American dominance to don the green jacket.

Bryson DeChambeau - world golf ranking: NA; odds: 250/1

Source: Martin Dokoupil/AP/Press Association Images

It’s 11 years since Ryan Moore tied for 13th as an amateur but the 2015 US amateur champion goes into this week knowing that it will be his final event before turning professional and is looking to bow out in style.

The 22-year-old knows what it takes to go shot-for-shot with the world’s best too. Paired with McIlory during the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, both shot 66 with DeChambeau’s card blotted by a three-putt on the last.

What about you, can you see anyone coming from the pack to cause a surprise this week?

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About the author:

Steve O'Rourke

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