AUGUSTA, Ga. – Jordan Spieth finds himself in familiar territory with Las Vegas bookmakers: the Masters’ defending champion is the favorite to win his second green jacket.
Spieth, who shot 6-under 66 on Thursday for the first-round lead at Augusta National Golf Club, has been installed as a 7-4 favorite by Westgate LV Superbook.
Spieth started the tournament as an 8-1 pick, behind favorite Jason Day at 7-1. Spieth had spent most of the year as the oddsmakers’ favorite until Day won the WGC-Dell Match Play event two weeks ago and replaced Spieth as No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking.
In 2015, after blitzing Augusta National with an 8-under 64 in the first round of the Masters, Spieth entered the second round as a 9-4 favorite.
Day, who struggled to an even-par 72 after having been 5 under through 14 holes, fell to 10-1 odds. Day, the reigning PGA champion who has won six of his past 13 starts on Tour, had gotten to within one stroke of Spieth before going bogey, triple bogey, bogey on Nos. 15-17, giving Vegas pause.
Rory McIlroy, a four-time major champion who lacks only a Masters green jacket for a career Grand Slam, started the day at 8-1 but is a 6-1 pick after a 2-under 70. Like Day, McIlroy also struggled to finish, making two bogeys over the last three holes to slip into a tie for ninth.
Justin Rose proved to be the big mover among the oddsmakers. Rose, the 2013 U.S. Open champion, shot 3-under 69 and boosted his line from 25-1 to 9-1.
Other notable players’ odds (with first-round scores): Phil Mickelson (72) 25-1, Dustin Johnson (73) 40-1, Bubba Watson (75) 60-1, Adam Scott (76) 100-1, Rickie Fowler (80) 500-1.