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2019 Masters First Round Leader Odds: Can Spieth Lead for Fourth Time in Five Years?

Jordan Spieth
Jordan Spieth is famous for his fast starts at Augusta National. Photo by Peetlesnumber 1 (Wikimedia Commons) [CC License].
  • The 83rd edition of the prestigious Masters tourmament tees off April 11th
  • Jordan Spieth always get off to blazing starts at Augusta National
  • Who are the best bets to be the first round leader?

The best tournament in golf is finally upon us as the Masters is back in our lives this week.

Before a champion can be crowned on Sunday, who might get out to the hottest start and take the lead after Round 1?

2019 Masters First Round Leader Odds

Golfer Odds to Lead 2019 Masters after 1st Round at Bovada Odds at BetOnline
Rory McIlroy +1200 +1200
Dustin Johnson +1600 +1600
Justin Rose +2000 +2000
Tiger Woods +2000 +2200
Jordan Spieth +2200 +2500
Justin Thomas +2200 +2500
Jon Rahm +2500 +2500
Rickie Fowler +2500 +2500
Brooks Koepka +2800 +2500
Bryson DeChambeau +3300 +2500
Francesco Molinari +2800 +3300
Tommy Fleetwood +2800 +3300
Paul Casey +3300 +3300
Jason Day +3300 +4000
Phil Mickelson +3300 +4000

*Odds taken 04/08/19. Follow the link in the table above to see all options.

Rory McIlroy Historically Starts Slowly at Masters

Last year Rory McIlroy shot a 3-under, 69 in the first round, his lowest total after one day since 2011 (7 under), so despite his status as clear favorite, it might not be a slam dunk that he’ll be on top of the leaderboard early on.

Rory McIlroy’s Last 5 First Rounds at Masters

Year Score
2018 -3 (69)
2017 EVEN (72)
2016 -2 (70)
2015 -1 (71)
2014 -1 (71)

If he is to contend for that elusive green jacket to become just the sixth man to complete the career grand slam, historically he’d better get off to a hot start. In his four career major titles, the Ulsterman hasn’t been further than a shot off the lead after day one in any of them.

Rory McIlroy’s 1st Round Position in 4 Major Victories

Tournament Score Position
2011 U.S. Open -6 (65) 1st
2012 PGA Championship -5 (67) T-2nd
2014 Open Championship -6 (66) 1st
2014 PGA Championship -5 (66) T-4th

There’s every reason to think he’ll be in the hunt on the second nine Sunday, but at relatively low +1200 odds, I’d pass on Rory.

Jordan Spieth Has Held 1st Round Lead in 3 of Last 4 Masters

He’s been on the longest prolonged slump of his career (no victories since 2017 Open Championship), but he’s shown signs through two rounds of competing at a few events this season including last week’s Valero Texas Open.

Last 5 Masters First Round Leaders

Year Leader Score
2018 Jordan Spieth -6 (66)
2017 Charley Hoffman -7 (65)
2016 Jordan Spieth -6 (66)
2015 Jordan Spieth -8 (64)
2014 Bubba Watson -7 (65)

There’s something about Augusta National that brings out the best in Spieth, and at +2500 odds, that could wind up being a steal. Bet Spieth with confidence.

Charley Hoffman Another Intriguing Name to Follow

While he realistically won’t find himself breaking through to win a major title, Charley Hoffman always finds his name on the first page of the Masters leaderboard in the early going. He’s also in great form too, finishing second in last week’s Valero Texas Open.

Charley Hoffman’s Last 4 First Rounds at Masters

Year Score Position
2018 -3 (69) T-4th
2017 -7 (65) 1st
2016 -1 (71) T-13th
2015 -5 (67) T-2nd

He has very intriguing odds as well, as he’s listed at +4000 to be the first round leader. With his recent track record around Augusta National, that’s worth a wager.

2019 Masters 1st Round Leader Best Value Picks

  1. Matt Kuchar (+4000): Two wins this season with opening rounds of 63 and 64 respectively. Only one opening round worse than 69 (72) in 10 stroke play events. Runner-up at WGC-Dell Match play two weeks ago and T-7th last week. Tied second after first round in last year’s Masters.
  2. Kevin Kisner (+5000): Has held first round lead in two of last five majors (2017 PGA, 2018 Open Championship) Won his last tournament, the WGC-Dell Match Play.
  3. Gary Woodland (+5500): First round leader at latest major, the 2018 PGA. Six top-10 finishes on the season, including a pair of runner-ups.
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Michael "Hound Dog" Harrison is well known in the sports industry as the resident statisitician for the Jay and Dan Show. He has worked at TSN for over 13 years, where he's been featured on Sportscentre, That's Hockey, That's Hockey 2Nite, The Masters preview shows, and several more.