The Masters betting tips: Steve’s top tip

Having the Green Jacket stripped off his shoulders hurt Justin Rose deeply.

But the Englishman, who lost in a play-off to Sergio Garcia 12 months ago, has responded in magnificent fashion and this could be his year.

There are still question marks about Rory McIlroy’s ability to get it done at Augusta National, Dustin Johnson has his own demons to conquer while Jordan Spieth looks terribly out of touch.

None of these issues can be applied to Rose, who will drive down Magnolia Lane in fine form.

His record since overhauling DJ to win the WGC-HSBC Champions last year has been outstanding. He picked up the Turkish Airlines Open, finished 4th at the World Tour Championship in Dubai, and has maintained that strong form in the early part of 2018.

Rose has finished in the top 10 in four of his last five starts – most recently at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He skipped last week’s WGC Matchplay to preserve his energy.

Super consistent at Augusta – his last three starts read:  2nd, tied-10th, 2nd. I’m very happy to take him at 14/1.

The Masters betting tips: Steve’s each-way bet

The Masters betting tips

Matt Kuchar looks an absolute steal at 66/1. How can this most consistent of players in the biggest of events be so continually overlooked?

Runner-up at the Open as Spieth went on a birdie and eagle rampage at Royal Birkdale, Kuchar didn’t stay in the doldrums for long.

Tied 5th at the Phoenix Open represents his best finish this year but I’m more happy to focus on his major record.

The US Open, when he was tied 16th, was the only one of the big four where Kuchar failed to finish in the top 10 last year.

With firms offering up to 10 places at The Masters, it could be time to fill your boots.

Tied 4th 12 months ago, he also finished no worse at Augusta than tied 8th between 2012 and 2014.

In all, Kuchar has racked up 10 top 10s in majors. You’d have to think that, at 66s, you’re going to get a run for your money.

The Masters betting tips: Steve’s outsider to follow

The Masters betting tips

Brian Harman has only played once at Augusta – when he missed the cut in 2015.

Put that out of your mind, though, because the 31-year-old is a very different prospect these days.

Harman held the 54-hole lead at the US Open last year, finishing in a tie for second following a final-round 72.

He went on an absolute tear at the start of the PGA Tour season, recording six top 10s in a row. He looks to be peaking again at the right time and is nicely priced at 80/1.

Tied 5th at the WGC-Mexico Championship, he also had a nice run at the Match Play – notably hammering McIlroy in his final group game.

He’s got a nice profile to do well at Augusta. Second on tour in greens in regulation, he is also 15th in birdies made and eighth in strokes gained putting.

At the risk of repeating a Masters cliché, he also happens to be left-handed. Could he be another Mickelson, Weir or Watson?

Keep an eye out on National Club Golfer in Masters week as Steve picks out some more contenders as he looks through some of the special markets.