The 83rd edition of The Masters takes place from Thursday 11th April
The aim here is to look look beyond the top 20 in the outright at some “live” outsiders.
Amongst the favourites are Brooks Koepka, looking to win his fourth Major title in less than 2 years. Favourite Rory McIlroy is looking to win a Grand Slam of majors and up and coming players such as DeChambeau, Fleetwood, Rahm and Schauffele are on the hunt for their first Major title.
In previous years I’ve gone into a number of the factors that make the Masters such an interesting betting heat. Just briefly:
a) Fairways are mown back to towards the tee to minimise driving distance and run after pitching meaning the course plays close to 7,700 yards. This length puts shorter hitters at a big disadvantage, accentuated this year as the par 4 5th hole has had 40 yards added to it.
b) Putting surfaces can rate up to 14 on the Stimpmeter and as long as there is no wet weather play fast and tricky
c) A player must be aggressive on the four par-5s and minimise bogeys across the rest of the course via hitting greens in regulation, scrambling and solid putting.
Key features of recent winners have been
a) Since 2011 in-form players have dominated with only one winner featuring with as little as one top 10 in the season’s events prior to the Masters.
b) Every winner since 2008 has been in the top 35% in terms of power hitting on Tour
c) Reach the Par fives in two. Last year Patrick Reed led par-5 scoring, with a score of -13 across the 16 Par fives.
My shortlist of players outside the top twenty of the betting is as follows, from biggest price down:
Charles Howell III won the RSM Classic late in 2018, his first USPGA win for 11 years. Since then he hasn’t missed a cut, has six top 20 finishes and three top tens. He is inside the top third in five of the six major stats categories, including second on tour in greens in regulation. He is from Augusta, and has five top 30s in 8 Masters appearances, and is back in the field for the first time since 2012. A decent each way prospect at a three figure price.
Cameron Smith tied 5th in the Masters last year on his second appearance. He has three top tens in 2019 and is a good scrambler and putter, helping him to be competitive here last year despite not being the longest hitter. Pretty much overlooked at 80-1.
Tony Finau finished 2nd in the WGC HSBC Champions this season and is a “bomber”: top 15 on the PGA Tour in driving distance and top third in the putting stats. He finished tied for 10th on his Masters debut last year and had three top tens in four majors last year.
Writing over a week before the event the standard terms across the mark are five places one quarter the odds, and this is before the announcement of any industry promotional offers which I would wait for the extra each-way places.
each way Tony Finau 50/1 each way (1/4 1,2,3,4,5) Bet365 and BetVictor
each way Cameron Smith 80/1 each way (1/4 1,2,3,4,5) Bet365 and BetVictor
each way Charles Howell III 125/1 each way (1/4 1,2,3,4,5) Bet365 and William Hill