There is a brief window to get Rory McIlroy in the book today – prices may go quite quickly.
At 19:40 UK time McIlroy tees off at Augusta trying to overhaul his three-shot deficit to playing partner Patrick Reed and win the Masters. He’s 3.1 on Betfair exchange to do so.
A win would complete the set of major golf titles (the career grand slam) for McIlroy – something that has only been done by five other players, and only Tiger Woods in the last 30 years. So it would be a special achievement.
The northern Irishman famously blew a four-shot lead at the Masters in 2011 and has been looking for redemption ever since. In Reed he faces a formidable opponent. Although he’s yet to win a major he’s considered to have the temperament and game to win one soon. Reed and McIlroy have history too. Reed beat McIlroy by one hole in a fiery battle at the 2016 Ryder Cup so it looks set for an entertaining evening ahead.
While he is up against it somewhat and challengers could still spring from the pack behind, if Rory was to win tonight it’s easy to imagine his SPOTY price going very short. To give some indication Danny Willett traded at 6.2 when winning the Masters in 2016 and that was an Olympic year. The career slam aspect to this would add a crucial extra level to the achievement.
McIlroy should remain in the news through the rest of the year with chances of other major and big tournament wins including the Ryder Cup in Paris in September.
I still have Anthony Joshua as a real threat this year if he can unify the heavyweight division but that means a fight with Deontay Wilder and that is far from guaranteed at this stage.
* 1.5 point win Rory McIlroy 12/1 Coral / Ladbrokes, 10/1 Bet 365, Unibet, Winner
* 1 point lay Rory McIlory on Betfair Exchange at 3.1 (liability 2.1 points) for the Masters