It’s that time of year again when – if you live up North like me – you can use the Triple Crown of Aussie golf as a great excuse to hide from the heat in the air conditioning with a daytime beer or five and a punt or two to barrack for.
The Masters returns to Huntingdale for the first time since 2008. The course has been re-vamped since then but we should expect lightning quick greens to be a feature, as they always have been here.
The favourite at a measly $3.75 is Adam Scott who is looking for his 3rd win in the event in just four years. He lost by a single stroke to Nick Cullen last year who unfortunately won’t be here to defend his title due to being in contention in the US for qualification for the Web.com tour.
Scott is a worthy favourite but cannot be backed at those odds with his suspect putting. He actually putted really well a couple of times recently but his 158th in strokes gained putting on the PGA Tour in 2015 tells its own story.
So, if we are happy to oppose the short priced favourite who is next most likely to win the thing?
Aussie PGA Tour winners Steven Bowditch and John Senden are next best according to the bookies and it’s hard to argue with that assessment.
Bowditch has not been in the very best of form recently but his opening round of 64 in the HSBC Champions event in China two weeks ago was very encouraging. He has shed a fair bit of weight and has stated his commitment to these Aussie tournaments while admitting that he has lacked just that in the past.
Senden has shown signs of his best form in a 37th placed finish at the CIMB Classic and 16th place at the Shriners Hospitals tournaments on the PGA Tour recently with his 2nd round 65 at the latter the best of all competitors that day. Senden finished 4th here in 2005, 14th in 2006 and 15th in 2007 so has plenty of good form and experience around here.
Veteran Aussie Richard Green was 2nd here in 2006 and has been in decent nick on the European Tour with four top 20 finishes in his last eight starts.
Cameron Smith‘s tied for 4th in the USOPEN saw the youngster get plenty of media coverage and he looks destined to join the likes of Jason Day and Adam Scott in the World’s top 20 in the future but he’s struggled a bit since the USOPEN and has missed three of his last five cuts.
Nathan Holman is a player i’ve been tracking for a while and he was just seven shots off the lead going into round four of his most recent start on the Asian Tour in the Hong Kong Open before a final round 75 saw him drop to a tie for 35th. he could go very well this week at big odds.
World number 479 Matthew Millar‘s recent form figures read 2, 8, 21, 2 and 10 but his odds of $31 are nothing to get too excited about in this stronger company but the amateur who beat him last week to win the NSW Open, Ben Eccles, is of more interest at $51. He was only added to the field yesterday and should be able to play with complete freedom here after his win last week.
1 unit win on Bowditch at $15.27 with ($17 with SKYBET for UK readers)
1 unit win on Senden at $13.23 with
1 unit each way Richard Green at $29 with
.5 units each way Holman at $61 with
1 unit Eccles Top 5 at $11 with