Who to back at The Masters: Ben Coley picks out five players to follow at Augusta National
Could we see a maiden major champion at The Masters? Will Justin Thomas win the Green Jacket? Who will be in contention at Augusta National? Watch throughout the week exclusively live on Sky Sports Golf
By Ben Coley - @BenColeyGolf
Last Updated: 06/04/22 11:53pm
Who should you back for The Masters? Who could be in for a big week at Augusta National? Golf expert Ben Coley picks out five golfers to follow at the opening men's major of the year...
Everything is in place for Justin Thomas to become a Masters champion on his seventh start at Augusta National.
Thomas has made the cut in all six previous cuts, and his shot-shaping brilliance is perfect for this test. The number one asset to have at Augusta is quality approach play, and Thomas has been consistently among the very best in the world ever since becoming a PGA Tour winner for the first time.
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Also sharp around the greens, it's only putting that has held him back here in the past. This year, though, he's started to warm up that club and he also has a trump card: Jim Mackay, or Bones as he's better known. Phil Mickelson's former caddie could make all the difference, just as Tiger's did when Steve Williams helped Adam Scott to victory.
There are plenty of alternatives and my favourite among them are Will Zalatoris and Shane Lowry, both of whom merit each-way support.
Zalatoris was runner-up on his debut last year and seeks now to emulate Jordan Spieth by winning on his return. He's certainly good enough as one of the best ball-strikers in the sport has an ideal game for this test.
Lowry has improved here of late, benefiting from the experience of playing alongside Tiger Woods in 2020 to hit the ball really well last April. His long-game has never been better and he's been close to winning this year, not least when so unfortunate at the Honda Classic.
At slightly bigger odds, Tony Finau and Joaquin Niemann also merit respect.
Finau has three top-10 finishes in four Masters starts. He putted much better than he had been when inside the top 30 in Texas last week and must be an each-way player here given how comfortable he is both at this course and in majors in general.
Niemann doesn't have the same experience or course form but he's won arguably the strongest tournament of the year and his game is a good fit. He may just benefit from playing a practice round with mentor Sergio Garcia and shouldn't be underestimated.
Watch The Masters throughout the week exclusively live on Sky Sports. Live coverage begins on Thursday with Featured Groups from 2pm on Sky Sports Golf, with additional feeds and bonus action during all four rounds available via the red button.
A stream of the notorious Amen Corner will also be available for all four rounds and focuses on the famous three-hole stretch from the 11th, with that coverage also live - for free - on the Sky Sports Golf YouTube channel.