The Masters 2016 Betting Preview

RECOMMENDED BETSMARKETODDSBOOKMAKERS
Charl Schwartzel (ew)Tournament Winner40/1Coral
Dustin Johnson (ew)Tournament Winner25/1Coral
Hideki Matsuyama (ew)Tournament Winner40/1Coral, Bet365, BetVictor

Venue

The Augusta National Golf Club has hosted the Masters, the first major of the season, since 1934 and is one of the most famous venues in sport. The course was extended by 450 yards to 7,435 yards in 2010 but while it has kept up to date with advancing technology, it has retained both its charm and its ability to test the world’s best golfers. With several right-to-left tee shots, the course sets up well for left-handed players and Phil Mickelson (3) and Bubba Watson (2) have each won more than one Green Jacket, a unique prize which has been presented to champions since 1949. Add in Mike Weir in 2003 and six of the last 13 winners have been left-handed. The course is renowned for Amen Corner, a testing run of shots around the 11th, 12th and 13th holes played in front of a huge gallery. The par three 12th, played over water into a tight green surrounded by thick shrubbery, is perhaps the best-known tee-shot in major championship golf.

Favourites

After his victory at last week’s WGC Match Play event, Jason Day became the new world no.1 and moved above Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy at the top of the Masters betting. The Australian, who won the final major of 2015 at the US PGA, finished in the top three at Augusta in both 2011 and 2013 and has placed in the top 10 at no fewer than seven of the last 12 majors. He’s a best price of 13/2 with Bet365 and William Hill. Spieth is the defending champion, who was also runner-up here in 2014 and after also winning last year’s US Open and finishing fourth and second at the Open and PGA Championships, he is on a remarkable run at the majors. His recent form is not so good, however, and that is the chief reason why he is available at 15/2 alongside McIlroy, who has won four major titles but produced a best Augusta finish of fourth 12 months ago. With two wins here in the last four years, Bubba Watson demands to be taken seriously at odds of 12/1, while the 2013 champion Adam Scott is at the same price after winning both the Honda and Cadillac Championships in recent weeks. Rickie Fowler is one of the best players in the world yet to win a major, although he went close with four top fives in 2014, and he can be backed at 18/1, while the three-time winner and last year’s runner-up Phil Mickelson is at 22s with William Hill. Few players have a better claim than Mickelson to be specialists at Augusta National.

Tips

CHARL SCHWARTZELCHARL SCHWARTZEL was the winner here in 2011 and the 31-year-old is having a great season, winning twice on the European Tour, but more significantly he also won last month’s Valspar Championship – his only success on the PGA Tour outside of his victory here five years ago. That represents a major breakthrough and with his confidence up and the knowledge that he can beat the best here – Day, Scott and Tiger Woods were all in the top five when he claimed the Green Jacket – he looks value at 40/1 with Coral.

Dustin JohnsonLike Fowler, DUSTIN JOHNSON is another man who hasn’t quite made the leap from PGA Tour star to major champion, but top 10 finishes at 3 of last year’s 4 majors adds to the feeling that he isn’t far away from a breakthrough. DJ shared sixth place here last year and was runner-up at the US Open. His season to date has seen a couple of near misses, including top fives at the HSBC Champions event and the Northern Trust Open, while he was 14th at the recent WGC Cadillac event. There’s a major winner in there waiting to get out and he is 25/1 with Coral.

HIDEKI MATSUYAMAThere has never been a Japanese major champion, but HIDEKI MATSUYAMA is the most likely entrant to change that record. The 24-year-old is a rising star of the PGA Tour, with six victories on his home Tour by the age of 22. His recent play-off victory over Rickie Fowler at the Phoenix Open underlined his growing talent and capacity to deal with the most testing moments, while he finished in the top five at Augusta 12 months ago. The World no. 14 can be backed at a best price of 40/1 with Coral, Bet365 and BetVictor and after backing him at the Phoenix Open, we’ll be sticking with him this week.

RECOMMENDED BETSMARKETODDSBOOKMAKERS
Charl Schwartzel (ew)Tournament Winner40/1Coral
Dustin Johnson (ew)Tournament Winner25/1Coral
Hideki Matsuyama (ew)Tournament Winner40/1Coral, Bet365, BetVictor