Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, Georgia
Par 72, 7,435 yards
Augusta National is one of the most beautiful, eye catching golf courses on the planet and has seen so much emotion over the years. Augusta National first opened 82 years ago in 1933, and has been modified many times by different architects. It is a long demanding test with very tricky greens and lots of run off areas.
The Masters was started by Clifford Roberts and Bobby Jones. Jones designed Augusta National with course architect Alistair MacKenzie. The field of players is smaller than those of the other major championships because it is an invitational event, held by the Augusta National Golf Club.
This course measures just under 7,500 yards and will demand a mixture of power and accuracy. There are a few elements to consider at Augusta when compiling a list of players to bet on. The first element is experience. Players that have played well here in the past tend to go well again, even more so if they are showing some good current form. The second element is a hot putter and a good short game. Augusta National’s teeth are its lightning fast greens with its tricky slopes and run off areas.
If a player misses the fairway at here, the key is to land the ball in the right part of the green with a high penetrated ball flight. If a player has a high penetrated ball flight with a draw, or a fade if you’re a lefty, that will be a big advantage. The main reason for this is that many of the holes in Augusta are dog legs so players that can shape the ball should score well.
Greens in regulation is another stat to consider here as the greens are big and slopey so hitting the ball in the right portion of the green will be very important. Approach stats, strokes gained putting, scrambling, par 4 and par 5 scoring are other stats to take into consideration here.
Bubba Watson 11/1
Bubba has two wins already under his belt this season with a win at The Hero World Challenge just before Christmas where he shot four rounds in the 60’s including a third round 63 to finish 25 under for the tournament. He followed that with a T10 at The Hyundai Tournament of Champions and a T14 in Phoenix. He had a great week in Riviera at The Northern Trust Open and didn’t shoot worse than a 68 in his four rounds to finish 15 under for the tournament. He continued that good form in Doral and again shot three rounds in the 60’s finishing 11 under for the week. He has a great record in Augusta with wins in 2014 and 2012.
Bubba ticks a lot of boxes here ranking fourth in driving distance averaging over 310 yards off the tee, which will be a big help here. He also ranks first in GIR and SGTTG. He is one of a few players that can shape the ball in both directions and can cut the corners on some of these tricky doglegs. With great current form and a great record here Bubba looks a huge contender here.
Phil Mickelson 20/1
If it wasn’t for the dreaded sixth hole at The Golf Club of Houston last week, Phil would’ve finished a hell of a lot better than T13. He was a whopping six over par on that one hole and finished eight under in total and the winner was 15 under so he wasn’t far away. He comes into this with four top 11 finishes this season starting with a T3 at the CareerBuilder Challenge which included four steady rounds in the 60’s finishing 21 under in total. He followed that with a T11 in Phoenix, solo second in Pebble Beach and a solo fifth at The WGC Cadillac in Doral.
Phil is a veteran of Augusta and is a three time winner winning in 2004,2006 and 2010. He also finished solo second last year, third in 2012, fifth in 08 and 09 and 10th in 05 and comes here this week in much better form than he did last year. Mickelson has been putting particularly well ranking sixth in SGP and ninth in SGTTG. He also ranks sixth in scrambling, first in par 3 scoring and eighth in par 5 scoring. With a solid start to the season and a good performance last week, Phil looks set for a good week on a course he knows so well.
Louis Oosthuizen 33/1
The South African looked superb in The Matchplay beating Jordan Speith, Dustin Johnson and Rafa Cabrera Bello on his way to the final only to be beaten by the unstoppable Jason Day. His form has been superb over the last few weeks with a second place finish last week, a T7 at the Valspar and a T14 at The WGC Cadillac. He has also been in flying form on The European Tour with a win at The Perth International in Australia at the end of February, T12 at The Malaysian Open and a T7 in Qatar. Louis has played superb around Augusta over the last few years finishing second to Bubba Watson in 2012, T25 in 2014 and T19 last year.
He comes here in much better form this time around and is hitting it a long way off the tee averaging over 300 yards and ranks 16th in GIR and 12th in SGTTG. Louis looks in tip top form coming into this and could be another one to watch.
Charl Schwartzel 35/1
The South African has been in fine form lately with two wins and two top 20’s in his last six starts. He finished T9 in The Nedbank Challenge just before Christmas and followed that with a win in The Tshwane Open in his native South Africa shooting an impressive final round 63 to finish 16 under for the tournament. More recently Schwartzel finished in a respectable T17 at The WGC Cadillac and following that with a superb win at The Valspar. He had a good performance last week in Houston shooting a final round 69 to finish T13 for the week.
Schwartzel is another player that has a green jacket already tucked away with a win here in 2011, T30 in 2010 and a T25 in 2013. Charl ticks a lot of boxes statswise averaging just under 300 yards off the tee and ranks 18th in GIR, 10th in SGTTG, 11th in scrambling and 21st in par 4 scoring. Charl’s game looks great coming into this week and he could be a big contender at a decent price.
Zach Johnson 60/1
I really thought Zach looked superb at the Matchplay. He looked to be hitting his irons beautifully and putted really well all week and got into the final 16 but just fell short losing against McIlroy losing the match one down. He has been going through an equipment change and seems to have settled in with some good performances over the last few weeks. He started the season with a T9 at the Sony and followed that with a T14 in Phoenix which included three rounds in the 60’s finishing seven under for the week. Johnson had another great week in Bay Hill recently at The Arnold Palmer Invitational shooting two 68’s over the weekend to finish solo fifth.
Johnson is no stranger to Augusta winning here in 2007, T20 in 2008 and a T9 last year. He putted superbly well in the Matchplay which will be a big plus here. He ranks 25th in GIR, 21st in proximity to the hole and is incredibly accurate from 50-125 yards. With some good current form and a solid record here Johnson looks a great bet at 60’s
Final Selections –
Bubba Watson 11/1 2pts EW
Phil Mickelson 20/1 2pts EW
Louis Oosthuizen 28/1 1pt ew
Charl Schwartzel 35/1 1pt EW
Zach Johnson 60/1 1pt EW
Total Staked = 14 pts
Good luck and enjoy the golf,
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