After the wind and rain in January and February all of our thoughts have quickly turned to Magnolia Drive, Augusta andThe Masters.
We have seen some of the top players in the world throwing away final round leads and a lot of new faces have been there to mop up the dollars and World ranking points. The casual golf fan may not even recognise the names of Henley, Every, Hadley, Stallings, Reed or Senden but they will recognise Amen corner when it reappears on April 10th!
Augusta has never had a debutant win the tournament so we can look at those with previous form on the track to find our winner. As always Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are the ones to start with as they have the best course form. Between them since 2002 they have 17 top 5 finishes including 5 wins!! At the time of writing Tiger is a huge doubt because of injury and his poor form this year but he did win a US Open on one leg so if he can turn up he has a chance. It seems Phil only has eyes for Majors now and at 43 years old he is performing as well as ever. He loves this place and I wouldn’t put anyone off backing him at 14/1. It’s hard to tip Rory McIlroy at 8/1. He has played very well this season without putting away a victory. While he should have won here in 2011 his record is actually not that good on the course so he’s not for me. A final round 65 at the weekend has turned me a round a little on Rory and I have a sneaky feeling he could be in contention this week after all. I will be having a little wager on him at 14/1 in the First round leader market. I can never bring myself to back players like Bubba Watson and Dustin Johnson as they are too wild and inconsistent for my liking. In terms of consistency over the years and a liking for the venue I’m putting my money on Matt Kuchar at 33/1 he finished 8th last year and 3rd in 2012 and has the smooth rhythm and cool temperament to win his first major championship. This was written two weeks ago and in the meantime Kooch has almost won twice. He’s in the form of his life and I expect a great showing. Unfortunately you won’t get 33/1 anymore!
David is tipping Australian Jason Day (16/1). 3rd last year, 2ndin 2011 and already with a WGC win this year he will be followed by many a shrewd punter.
Gary is plumping for Brandt Snedeker at 33/1. He finished 6thlast year and 3rd in 2008 and his last showing was a Tied 8th inBay Hill.
There are always some extra markets to keep you interested at Augusta so here are my tips for some of those!!
Top Senior: Fred Couples 7/4
Top Australian: John Senden 18/1 (each way)
Top English: Luke Donald 10/3
Top Debutant: Harris English 13/2
Enjoy the week
Mark @babypro Collins
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!