2021 Masters: who is currently the number one in PGA Ranking?
The best golfers in the world will take on each other and the Augusta National in Georgia, but who is currently leading the rankings?
Thursday 8 April sees the commencement of the first round of the It's 2021 Masters at the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia. The tee times and pairings were known, but many onlookers are checking out the early form to see who they may want to back with the bookmakers to be leading come close of play on Sunday.
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One man who is high up the list of potential winners is Dustin Johnson, who not only comes into this year's tournament as the holder of the famous green jacket, he also leads the way on the PGA world rankings. Behind him in the list lie Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Colin Morikawa and Bryson DeChambeau.
2021 Augusta Masters: Johnson number one
Johnson says that despite posting some lacklustre results over the last few tournaments his all-around game is clicking again as he prepares to defend his Masters title this week.
Johnson's 20-under total at the covid-delayed tournament at Augusta National Golf Club last November broke the Masters all-time scoring record and delivered the American his second major title.
But in his last three tournaments he finished tied for 54th at the World Golf Championships at The Concession, tied for 48th at the Players Championship and failed to qualify for the final 16 knockout phase of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play event.
The hard-hitting 36-year-old said those results were not representative of where his game is now.
"I feel like the game is starting to get really sharp again and I feel really comfortable, so I'm looking forward to this week," he told reporters on Tuesday.
Johnson is incredibly consistent and has claimed victories every year since he joined the PGA Tour in 2007, with the exception of a still-impressive 2014 campaign.
He has managed to avoid the kind of slumps that have bedeviled players like Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth in recent years but understands that everyone hits rough patches.
"It's golf. It's a game that one day you're on, one day you're off," he said. "I've gone through some spells where I wasn't playing that well, but generally for me I just found that if I go out and keep working at it eventually it's going to come back around."
He said having added the green jacket to his wardrobe just five months ago takes some of the pressure off his shoulders.
"I've won the Masters so there's no pressure on trying to win the golf tournament," he said. "But still, I want to go out and I'm defending champ, so I want to go out and put myself in a position where I've got a chance to defend my title come the back nine on Sunday."
Johnson begins his title defence in a group with former runner-up Lee Westwood and amateur Tyler Strafaci.
2021 Augusta Masters: betting odds
Johnson may still be edging the better but Jordan Spieth has gotten a bit more expensive to back. Spieth bagged the Valero Texas Open title on Sunday for his first victory since The Open Championship at Royal Birkdale Golf Club in England in 2017 and upped his odds to win The Masters this week.
PointsBet offered Spieth last week to win the Texas Open and Masters at +12500 odds, meaning a $20 bet would net $2,520. Now, Spieth is among the Masters favorites at FanDuel. Defending champion Dustin Johnson (+950) and Bryson DeChambeau (+950) are listed as co-favorites, and Spieth is tied with Justin Thomas at +1100, ahead of Jon Rahm (+1200).
PointsBet lists Johnson (+900) as the favorite with Spieth second at +1100. DeChambeau and Thomas are both +1200. At DraftKings, Johnson is the solo favorite at +950, followed by DeChambeau and Spieth at +1150. Rahm and Thomas are +1250 and Rory McIlroy is +1900.
A bet for Johnson to finish in the top five is +225 at DraftKings, and +275 for DeChambeau, Spieth and Rahm.
2021 Augusta Masters: AS English live coverage
You can follow our live, stroke-by-stroke text commentary of the tournament here on AS. We’ll be picking through the rough and the smooth of the field throughout the Masters with an up-to-date account of the action as it unfolds, whether neatly placed on the fairway or sunk deep into the sand.