The Masters: Top betting tips from our guest expertApril, 2015
Who to put your house on for the first Major of the season
It’s time for the first Major of 2015 – The Masters and in theory with the same course being used every year and with a limited field with a number of players who cannot win it should be an easier puzzle to solve!
There are a few basic rules to observe – it is a well documented fact that Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979 remains the only player to win on his first appearance.
It comes as no great surprise as it is a course which a player needs to know before performing well on with so many nuances it is unlike any other golf course.
Don’t back defending champion Bubba Watson unless you think he is a player of the highest calibre. The only players to win back to back so far are – Nicklaus in 65/66, Faldo in 89/90 and Woods in 01/02. So if you don’t think he belongs in such illustrious company give him a swerve.
The last winner in his 40’s was Mark O’Meara back in 1998 and he was only 41 and was at the peak of his career winning the Open Championship later that year.
Do make sure your player made the cut at last years Masters as all the winners bar one in the last twenty years made the cut at Augusta the year before. The only player to have missed the cut was Tiger Woods in 1996 so I guess that is one exception we can accept.
Do check the weather – not just the forecast compared with tee times as to who might get the most favourable conditions such as wind strength but also look at what the weather has been like running up to the tournament.
If it has been really wet and Augusta National is playing even longer than normal then you can rule out the shorter hitters.
Do bet in running – all bookmakers will be doing this through all four days but try and wait until your player is through the 12th hole.
The reasons are fairly straightforward as the all time hardest holes are the 10th followed by the 12th and then the 11th . After that tough challenge things ease down a little as the 13th is the second easiest and the 15th the easiest.
Billy Horschel is my strongest bet of the week and in my mind is very much the wrong price – hence the big bet. When betting if you think a price is wrong then it’s time to go in heavy and that’s exactly what I have done.
Horschel was so impressive at the end of last season when he went 2nd, 1st, 1st in the last three events of the season and it was hardly a major surprise he struggled to capture that form after the birth of his child.
I have been keeping a close eye on him in recent months and reading all his interviews it is clear he has felt his game has been close.
Then in his last event it finally clicked – his GIR stats were good in the Texas Open and he finished 3rd.
Looking back he has managed to string a series of good finishes together before apart from last year he also went….. He made the cut on his Masters debut last season and although he struggled on the greens he was actually 2nd for GIR and Augusta National is a difficult place to master the greens first time of asking.
I make him a lot shorter than he is and have gone for £140 ew 80/1.
I backed Angel Cabrera a few months ago when he seemed to be hitting form and he is one player you can definitely say is an Augusta specialist.
Since then not a lot has happened in his game but he can always turn it on around here and despite the fact he is probably too old and missed the cut last year I am always happy to have him onside in the Masters £30 e/w 100/1 + £15 120.
Russell Henley could follow in the footsteps of fellow Georgia Bulldog Bubba Watson and one day put on a Green Jacket.
He has been in solid form over the past nine months amassing four top four finishes including last time out in the Houston Open where he topped the all round stats.
Whilst he is not the longest hitter on tour he is certainly no slouch and has a pair of wins on tour. He improved on his Masters debut to finish 31st last year when he was 2nd in the putts per round category so he is certainly able to cope with the greens £25 e/w 125/1 7 places + £30 170.
Stephen Gallacher is my idea of a dark European horse in this years renewal and last years debut 34th needs a closer look.
He really struggled on the the three tough holes from the 10th to the 12th where in round three he had three consecutive double bogeys leading to an 81 but his other rounds were 71,72 and 70 and he was 8th in the all round stats.
He has proved he can win big events such as the Dubai Masters and the Dunhill Links. To be honest I have struggled to decide how to back him but in the end have plumped for £50 win 590 (to hopefully trade) £25 e/w top Euro 100/1 1/4 3 and £50 top 20 8/1.
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