The first Major of the year has finally arrived and golf fans across the globe are frothing to see who can win this one. There’s a theory that certain players go well at Augusta but don’t place too much emphasis on course history. Rather the focus needs to be on the players who like to draw the ball and on those who are strong on the green. The generous fairways mean that errant shots aren’t punished too badly but the greens are another story. At Augusta the greens are treacherous and the different tiers mean that approach shots are key. Hit it stiff and you’re looking good but errant shots will be punished severely. Who has the ability to pull this off? Let’s see…..
|Will we see Tiger don the Green Jacket once again? Bookies think so!|
Tiger Woods 9/2
Rory McIlroy 11/2
Phil Mickelson 12/1
Luke Donald 15/1
Lee Westwood 18/1
Charl Schwartzel 40/1
Louis Oosthuizen 70/1
Trevor Immelman 125/1
Rory Sabbatini 500/1
Tim Clark 660/1
Webb Simpson (66/1 a win, 33/2 a place)
This is a value bet if I have ever seen one. Simpson ended 2011 on a high and rather than ease into 2012 he kicked it off with a bang. His statistics say it all: 7th in ball striking, 24th in total driving in 2011 and most importantly 1st in GIR’s so far this season make him a no brainer this week. He has the BMT required to go far in the Masters and has proved more than once he can handle all sorts of pressure. 66/1 is huge, get involved here early because this price will not last.
Adam Scott (35/1 a win, 88/10 a place)
Adam Scott has proven that he has what it takes to perform at Augusta. He finished in the top 20 here in 2010 and last year ran in a close 2nd. He seemed to let his weaknesses get the better of him last year and fell apart on the greens, but he now has Steve Williams on the bag and if anyone can carry him through this week it’s that man. His new belly long putter has sorted out his putting woes and the rest of his game suits Augusta perfectly. He ranked 32nd in GIR% and 5th in total driving last year so there is little stopping him from victory here.
Bill Haas (100/1 a win, 25/a place)
Another massive price here this week, the 100/1 on offer about Haas is a real surprise. Last year’s FedEx Cup winner has some course experience under his belt and there is good reason for this. In 2011 he ranked 11th in GIR% and Total Driving, a lethal combination that will be put to good use at Augusta. I’m going to stay away from the win here but places seem the way to go.
TOP BET: LUKE DONALD (15/1 a win, 38/10 a place)
There is no doubt in my mind that Luke Donald is the best player on tour around the greens. His stats from last year speak for themselves. He finished T4 in 2011 and this was due to more than one factor. Donald ranked 1st in strokes gained putting and scoring average last time out but more importantly he ranked first in putting from 5-10’. He hits the ball deceptively long so expect to see more than a few birdies from the Englishman. 15/1 is a steal, get on.