The first Major of the year is upon us with the US Masters teeing off in Augusta, Georgia on Thursday. We select a handful of players to take on the field.
Augusta National plays to a par 72 and the first thing to note this year is that holes 11 and 15 have been changed and these changes include the addition of a few more metres. Augusta is certainly a course that favours the long hitters, but another big factor can be the wind which is not usually significant, but this week certainly looks like it is going to make the course very tricky to play.
Driving distance is more important than accuracy, those that are long off the tee will have an advantage with the approach shots when positioning the ball in the right area of the green is crucial. It is the sort of Tournament players are going to miss greens though and the ability to scramble and sink those tricky 6 footers is also an important ingredient to victory.
Defending Champion, Hideki Matsuyama is the 50/1 shot this week with the betting headed at the moment by Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas at 12/1 ahead of in form combination of Cameron Smith and Scottie Scheffler both priced at 16/1. You can get 18/1 and better the balance and looking down the list for the first South African we find Louis Oosthuizen priced at 40/1 and he is also 9/10 to be the Top South African.
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2021 – Hideki Matsuyama -10
2020 – Dustin Johnson -20
2019 – Tiger Woods -13
2018 – Patrick Reed -15
2017 – Sergio Garcia -9
2016 – Danny Willett -5
BETTING – Click here to bet
Jon Rahm 12/1
Justin Thomas 12/1
Cameron Smith 16/1
Scottie Scheffler 16/1
Dustin Johnson 18/1
Rory Mcilroy 20/1
22/1 and better the balance, prices correct at the time of posting but are subject to change
Justin Thomas each way at 12/1 (Paying 6 places)
Thomas is in good form with three Top 10 finishes in his last 5 starts. His game looks ideally suited to Augusta and he has an excellent course record not finishing outside the Top 25 in the last 5 years, but in only 1 of those has he managed to break into the Top 5 and that was in 2020. I am expecting a big challenge from Thomas this week.
Brooks Koepka each way at 22/1
Koepka has battled with injuries over past seasons, but this multiple Major winner is showing signs of playing himself into form and has a Top 15 and a Top 5 to his credit in his last 2 starts.
Koepka missed the cut here last year, but prior to that had solid Augusta form with a runner-up finish and some other strong showings. Koepka is a man for the big occasion and if his health holds up I am expecting him to be right there come the back 9 Sunday.
Matthew Fitzpatrick each way at 60/1
Fitzpatrick has shown some reasonable form at Augusta although his best placed finish of 7th took place in 2016. His form hasn’t been as hot as the likes of Scheffler and Smith, but he has strung some good results together and has 4 Top 10’s in his last 6 starts. I always fancied Fitzpatrick as a Major winner and I am hoping 2022 is his year.
Corey Conners each way at 66/1
Conners has put in some pretty consistent form in the Major Championships with 4 Top 20’s including 2 Top 10’s in his last 5 starts. He has looked in good nick of late with a Top 3 and a Top 15 finish in his last 4 starts and some solid contributions either side of that. Conners seems to be getting the hang of the Augusta National Course and his last two finishes have been a 10th place in 2020 and a 2nd place finish last year. He ticks plenty of boxes and looks well priced.
Justin Rose each way at 90/1
Given that this is a Major, I am throwing in an excellent selection this week and I can’t resist a nibble at Justin Rose who has excellent Augusta form with 9 out of his last 10 finishes seeing him land up in the Top 25 and in that time he has had 2 runner-up’s and 3 Top 10’s.
There is a reason we are getting 90/1 and that is of course that Rose hasn’t been in the greatest of form, but there were signs in his last start that he is coming to hand at just the right time.
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