Would you rather Rory or Tiger win The Masters?
Mark Townsend: Rory.
Alex Perry: I just want Rory to win it once. Then Tiger can get as many as he wants.
James Savage: Would you rather Rory win the Masters or Tiger win another major?
Alex Perry: Oosh.
James Savage: Think I’d rather Tiger win another major. It would be absolute limbs.
Alex Perry: If I say Tiger can Rory still win as many of the other majors as he wants?
James Savage: Yeah but he misses out on the Grand Slam.
Alex Perry: I can live with that. Especially to see Tiger slip into green again.
James Savage: Think if Tiger has one more major in him I’d want it to be The Open as I’d get to see it in real life. I’d think it was a movie if it was The Masters.
Alex Perry: If Tiger is in contention on Friday at Carnoustie I’m sticking around for the weekend.
James Savage: I’m Rory’s biggest fan boy but I’d rather Tiger win one more major even if it meant Rory never landed another.
Alex Perry: I’m trying to picture myself in 15 years and am I happier that Tiger won a 15th major or Rory won a fifth? I’m 99 per cent sure it’s the former.
Steve Carroll: I’d love to see Rory do it. Sadly I don’t think he will. It’s too big in his mind now, and every year he’s got eight months of build up beforehand. Frankly, with that sort of pressure every year, I’m surprised he makes the cut.
James Savage: Tiger might take a bit of the focus away from him this year.
Mark Townsend: My answer was wrong, it should have been Tiger. I wanted Seve to beat Nicklaus at the ‘86 Masters as I was too short-sighted at the time. Tiger winning anything would be amazing.
Alex Perry: If you had a free £10 bet to back the Masters winner, who you got?
Mark Townsend: Right now Justin Thomas. In my head he’s the only one I am convinced will play well whatever happens, with everyone else there is the odd chink.
Alex Perry: I’ll have the other Justin. Rose is in some of if not the best form of his life and his Augusta record speaks for itself.
James Savage: You just beat me to it Alex. Rose has been knocking on the door for a while now. But I’m going to put my £10 on Rory. (Again.)
Steve Carroll: At this stage, I’d have Rose and Spieth at 14s. Justin’s never out of the top 10 anymore and I don’t care how Jordan is playing I always fancy him to at least be in contention at Augusta. Tommy Fleetwood feels a big price to me at 40s given his form over the past year and, as a stupid long odds punt, I’d have a quid on Shubhankar Sharma at 125/1. I think he’s going to be a proper player.
Alex Perry: Your £10 free bet is for one player only…
Steve Carroll: I never just have one bet…
Alex Perry: No one does. But that wasn’t the game.
Mark Townsend: I’ve had two actual bets, both in the past week. I give you Jason Day and Hideki Matsuyama. This is all too good to be true, all this talk of Tiger and Rory and Dustin and Justins so I’ve put my money on some world-class party poopers.
Alex Perry: I’ve slipped a few quid on Grayson Murray for the same reason.
James Savage: Not feeling Hideki this year. Think he’s injured and a bit unhinged.
Alex Perry: And his dress sense is awful. Jason Day isn’t a bad shout. Basically anyone whose name begins with J.
James Savage: I might go for Tyrrell Hatton each way or top European/Englishman. I think he’s proved he can compete against the best. He’s a great putter normally. Maybe if he can keep his emotions in check, he’ll be up there on Sunday.
Mark Townsend: Hoffman, Charles. 125-1. Game on.
James Savage: No bookies are taking bets on first-round leader. They fear the Hoff.
Alex Perry: Speaking of which, at the time of writing Rory, Tiger and DJ are the three favourites at 8/1. Agree with those?
Mark Townsend: No. You can’t make Tiger the favourite. But the world and his wife will all be on so there you go. If I were a turf accountant I would go Thomas and DJ at 10s, Spieth and Rory at 12s and then Rose. Woods would be 20/1, with Townsend 365.
Steve Carroll: Tiger plays two, admittedly, nice tournaments and he’s the Masters joint favourite? Regardless of his chances, that shows what mug punters we all are.
James Savage: For a guaranteed return, I’d go each way on Justin Rose. If I was feeling dangerous I’d stick it all on Bubba Watson.
Alex Perry: I won big on Bubba in ‘12. And Scott in ‘13. Very little since.
James Savage: I was on Bubba in ‘12 he was 66/1 if memory serves and I had £2.50 each way. My biggest golfing gambling success to date. Next best was £2.50 each way on Tommy Pieters last year he got me a place at 60s. Not quite enough to retire on sadly.
Mark Townsend: I’ve documented my major betting woe before. My only Masters successes: Bernhard Langer, 1993 22/1; Jose Maria Olazabal, 1994, 14/1; Peter Hanson, 2012, each way 275-1. I started betting on the Masters in 1984.
James Savage: Who did you back in ‘84? Old Tom Morris?
Mark Townsend: He didn’t play for a variety of reasons. Sam Torrance.
James Savage: Missed the cut?
Mark Townsend: Top 15 I think, I was on a school holiday in Snowdonia. There was an earthquake.
James Savage: I wonder which Masters champion had the longest odds going into the tournament? Trevor Immelman must have been tasty.
Alex Perry: Charl Schwartzel was probably 100/1 with 9 holes to play, let alone at the start.
James Savage: Tiger in ’97?
Mark Townsend: Larry Mize? Most gutting moment in Masters history. First Seve, then Norman. Fair play to him but how good would it be having Norman back there every year.
James Savage: Apparently Woods was 50/1. Zach Johnson was 150/1 in 2007.