Jordan Spieth’s monumental Masters collapse in 2016 highlighted how pressure can turn one of the most consistent players in the modern game into a player who hits the water or sand more often than the fairway or green. Is it wise to side with an outsider when betting on the US Masters? Read on to find out.
This year, as ever, there aren’t any guarantees as we move to the business end of Masters Week. What that does mean for sharp golf bettors is that there’s still significant value to be had amongst the (current) 94 entrants. Add to that some tantalising titbits within the tournament matchups available at Pinnacle and you’ve got four days of spectacular golf to enjoy and plenty of betting decisions to mull over.
The experienced leftie
With 18 past champions in the mix and some stalwarts of the game still able to pull off a few tricks unavailable to men half their age, there’s some good reasoning to back those who have beaten the course before. Phil Mickelson is perhaps the first person that comes to mind when looking for some past experience.
Mickelson has won three Master’s Green Jackets - 6 of the last 13 Masters winners have been left-handed.
Mickelson won the last of his three Master’s Green Jackets in 2010 and he is approaching his twilight years in the game. With three second-place finishes from 22 starts last year, Mickelson’s odds of 26.860* do have some appeal - 6 of the last 13 Masters winners have been left-handed.
The major maiden
Hideki Matsuyama has been on fire this season and is unfortunate to be counted in the “nearly men” club alongside Rickie Fowler, Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia having yet to claim a major victory. Matsuyama has an average of 1.584 shots gained tee-to-green in 2017, but his average of 28.76 putts per round has let him down.
With plenty of power to get him round the 7,435 yard course - an average drive distance of 302.9 this year - if Matsuyama can muster a good week on the greens, his consistency elsewhere on the course will give him a real chance of breaking his majors duck.
Last year’s champion
Danny Willett capitalised on Spieth’s inability to cope with the demands that playing Augusta National brings when he returned a 101.00 winner in 2016. Willett can thank his young son Zachariah at least in part for the victory - it was his early birth that allowed the Sheffield born pro to claim the biggest win of his career to date.
Only Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo and Tiger Woods have won back-to-back Green Jackets - the lost double coming back in 2002.
Only Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo and Tiger Woods have won back-to-back Green Jackets - the last double being way back in the halcyon days of 2002. Willett, currently 143.570* to win this year’s Masters, hasn’t exactly been firing bullets since his surprise victory (T37 his best finish in a major) but if there’s one thing that’s guaranteed about this hallmark event, it’s that we’ve come to expect the unexpected.
The outsider of the outsiders
Pat Perez is definitely in long shot territory – and that’s not his driving. However, the American has had a promising season so far with four top 10 finishes and at odds of 220.870* to win the Masters outright, he offers a great hedging opportunity.
Although putting is a crucial element to winning any golf tournament, it’s the short game that is notoriously tested at Augusta. Perez has hit 69.86% of greens in regulation this year and falls comfortably in the top 25 on the PGA tour for shots gained around-the-green - his approach play is a dangerous weapon that should be taken into consideration.
Jeunghun Wang's stats for this season make for pleasant reading – with three previous career European Tour wins and a Qatar Masters title already to his name, Wang has got enough talent to bring an element of surprise to the Augusta fairways. At the age of 21, the South Korean is one of the few players in the betting that can afford to play without any pressure.
Currently priced at 323.690*, bettors could be forgiven for thinking Wang won’t even make the cut. That view will most likely change if one of the youngest players to grace the course this year can card a decent opening round - especially when you consider the influence luck can have on golf betting.
Fancy one of the outsiders in the 2017 US Masters betting to cause a shock? Get unbeatable golf odds at Pinnacle.