It’s very rare that the bookies’ favorite goes on to win the Masters. In fact, the last time it happened, Tiger Woods won his fourth (and most recent) green jacket in 2005. Last year’s winner, Patrick Reed was a rank outsider at 50/1 when he won the coveted prize and in this year’s Masters odds, he’s priced at 33/1, so is by no means one of the favorites. It’s equally as rare that a winner goes on to retain their jacket, with Woods again the last back-to-back winner in 2001-02. But can Patrick Reed be an outsider’s choice to retain his green jacket?

Recent form

Since winning the Masters last year, the American is yet to win on tour again, with a string of mediocre finishes. He’s currently ranked 17th in the world, a drop of five places since his Masters win elevated him to 11th.

Most recently, he failed to make the cut in the Valspar Championship, while prior to that, he was only able to notch top 50 finishes in the Players Championship (T47) and the Arnold Palmer Invitational (T50). In fact, his best finishes this year have both been in American competitions, at the Famers Insurance Open and the Sony Open in Hawaii, where he ended T13. Reed had the biggest success since his Masters win in the World Tour Championship in Dubai where he finished T2 with Matt Wallace, two shots behind the winner, Danny Willett.

Golf Majors 2018

After winning at Augusta last April, Reed didn’t have much luck in the other three Major competitions. He finished fourth in the US Open in June, three shots behind the winner, Brooks Koepka. He then came T28 in July’s Open Championship, alongside players including Louis Oosthuizen and Rickie Fowler. But he didn’t make the cut in the PGA Championship in August after storms suspended play and the cut line was set at even par. Sitting on +3, Reed was one of many to be unfortunate, with the likes of Sergio Garcia, Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson not making the grade. Koepka was triumphant again.

This year’s Masters and competition

Reed faces stiff competition to retain his green jacket, with a number of players looking to relinquish him of his accolade. Favorite Rory McIlroy will be looking to complete his career Grand Slam and the world number 4 recently won the Players Championship. World number 1 Dustin Johnson and number 2 Justin Rose will both be looking to add to their Major titles, having both won just the US Open; while the world number 3 Koepka cannot be discounted – the American won two Major titles last year. Tiger Woods name is still often mentioned; however, the 43-year-old hasn’t won a Major since 2008.

However, Reed believes he’s more mentally prepared for this year’s Masters, stating: “I’ve hit golf shots and have done things on the golf course that I feel a little bit more comfortable this year doing than I did last year at this point, but I just need to go out and continue playing to put four rounds together. I feel like I’m really close.”

“The preparations have been going really well. I feel like I am in as good form, if not a better place, than I was last year at this time”.

He also mentioned how he’s not ready to give up the green jacket: “Even the times I’m not actually wearing the green jacket, to be able to see the green jacket sitting in your closet or sitting in an area where you’re always kind of walking by and you’ll see it, it just gives you motivation and kind of picks me up and tells me that you want to keep it around”.

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