PUNTERS have lumped on Phil Mickelson to make sure he starts hot favourite to win a fourth Green Jacket.

The US Masters, the first Major of the season, tees off on Thursday and last week's Shell Houston Open champion is a best 7-1 with Ladbrokes.

Woods is his biggest starting price for a Major in more than a decade at 12-1 with the likes of Ladbrokes and Betfred.

While Mickelson, 8-15 with Paddy Power to be in the top 10, showed a return to form in Houston, Woods has given backers nothing but his past form at Augusta and I can't see him being a threat.

If it's not Mickelson, who has an amazing eight top-five finishes in the last 10 years, it could be another American in the shape of Nick Watney collecting the trophy.

Doral winner Watney has developed into a Major contender and is joint third favourite with Lee Westwood at 16-1 with McBookie, Ladbrokes and Hills.

Watney has finished 11th, 19th and seventh in the last three Masters so he can certainly play the course. He's definitely worth an each-way punt.

Westwood is one of many Europeans struggling form and doesn't look great value.

The biggest European threat could come from world No.1 Martin Kaymer who is 22-1 at McBookie, Paddy Power and Hills.

Kaymer proved he had the temperament to win a Major at the US PGA and has the mentality required for handling ups and downs on a tough layout.

It really is a wide open tournament and others to consider include Hunter Mahan (28-1, McBookie, totesport), Rory McIlroy (33-1, Ladbrokes) and Justin Rose (33-1, Ladbrokes).

Europe boasts five of the top six players in the world and Paddy Power offer 15-8 for a European win.

Paddy Power go Woods and Mickelson at 7-2 against 1-6 the field.

Scotland's Martin Laird won the Arnold Palmer Invitational a fortnight ago and is 5-1 with Rickie Fowler to be top debutant.

I'd favour Fowler but don't rule out Transitions Championship winner Gary Woodland at 8-1.

Mr Fixit's top six

  1. Nick Watney
  2. Martin Kaymer
  3. Phil Mickelson
  4. Hunter Mahan
  5. Rory McIlroy
  6. Gary Woodland

Mr Fixit

6043 articles

Resident football tipster at Scotland's most read newspaper, the Daily Record, for over 20 years and proud host of one the best betting communities on the web with daily betting tips.

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