By Vince Eager
The US Masters at Augusta National is without doubt my favourite tournament of the year. There is simply nothing like the back nine on Sunday (or Monday morning if in Australia), especially if you have a player or two in contention.
The recipe for success at Augusta is to look for big hitters with a top 20 at the event already in the bag and some solid recent form. A high, right to left ball flight is big an advantage too. The high ball flight allows the ball to drop onto the undulating greens a bit softer than a low ball flight while a right to left flight (a draw) helps considerably on three of the par 5’s.
Bubba Watson has the perfect game for Augusta National. He won the tournament in 2012 and 2014. He is one of the longest hitters on tour and can shape the ball both ways. His ability to fade the ball (as a left hander) on the par 5’s gives him a huge advantage over most of the field. He should be sub $10 for this.
2 units win at $13.61 with
Dustin Johnson has returned from his six month break in excellent form and appears to be more focussed on his game than ever. He hits a high right to left ball and will have learned a lot in his four previous appearances here. His best finish was 13th in 2013.
1.5 units each way (1st 6 places) at $17 with
Phil Mickelson has won the Masters three times and also has a host of top 10’s to his name. Like Bubba Watson he has the ability to hit a high fade which means he can score well on the par 5’s. He showed enough form in the opening two rounds at the Houston Open last week to put him in the staking plan.
1 unit each way (1st 6 places) at $23 with
JB Holmes did us a nice favour on Sunday by winning the Houston Open at $26 and his odds dictate that we get on him again this week. He has, surprisingly, only played in the Masters once, in 2008, but a 25th placed finish suggests he is well enough suited to the course. He favours a fade rather than a draw but hopefully that won’t hinder him too much.
1 unit each way (1st 6 places) at $51 with
Ryan Palmer has a nice combination of good recent form – his worst finish this year is 25th and has progressive recent form figures of 25, 12, 6 and driving distance – ranked 6th in 2015.
1 unit each way (1st 6 places) at $101 with
We have two bets in the non outright markets.
Freddie Couples just loves it here and has been quoted as saying this is one of the very few tournaments he feels he can still win on the main tour. His last five finishes at the Masters have all been inside the top 20.
2 units top 20 finish at $6.50 with
Previous course experience is important to do well here which makes the Top Debutant market somewhat of a lottery. For this reason we’ll take a punt on the Korean youngster Gunn Yang at huge odds. He won the 2014 US Amateur.
1 unit each way at $151 with