Masters tips: Cabrera-Bello and Poulter dark horses at AugustaApril 5, 2016 The Masters
A Major display is in the offing from this pair
Is there anyone in hotter form than Rafa Cabrera-Bello at the moment?
The Spaniard has burst into life this season and, if he takes to the unique experience of Augusta National, he could be well worth a quid at 125/1.
Tied second in Qatar and Dubai, Cabrera-Bello has kicked on in fabulous style – beating Rory McIlroy to third in the WGC Match Play and then following up with a fabulous final round 65 to finish fourth in the Houston Open on Sunday.
Add in 11th at the WGC Cadillac earlier last month and the 31-year-old looks like a player getting used to the big time.
History dictates it takes time to learn the complexities of Augusta, to get to grips with the subtle borrows and undulations of the greens.
But some, like Jordan Spieth, take to the course like a duck to water and Cabrera-Bello could be one of those.
Accurate with his iron shots – he is gaining 1.5 strokes on average from tee to green in his limited PGA Tour starts this season – that is always key at the Georgia track.
General wisdom says Ian Poulter is in a funk. But the Englishman, often criticised for favouring style over substance, can bring out his best at the Masters.
Poulter has often cited Augusta as his best chance of winning a Major, believing the quirky course suits his game.
He has the performance figures to back that up, with three top 10s and six top 20s down the years.
Sixth 12 months ago, his putting has been a concern as he has stuttered through the early stages of the 2016 campaign.
But, even though he didn’t win in Puerto Rico, there were enough signs of life from his third placed showing to suggest he may be on the way back.
At a slightly shorter price of 80/1, it would also be no surprise to see Marc Leishman launch another Augusta assault.
Tied fourth in 2013, having stuck around at the business end of affairs for much of that final day, the Australian missed the cut 12 months later and didn’t play last year.
After tying for fifth at the Northern Trust Open and putting in another decent performance at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Leishman took a couple of weeks off to prepare for the Masters and could reap the benefits.
Tomorrow, we’ll run the rule over the nationality markets and see who could make a run for a top 10 finish.