Masters 2013 Betting Preview

The first major of the year is here and that means endless videos of stunning azaleas, Tiger in red powering to one of his four victories and then of course the 40 yard hook Bubba hit from around 160 yards out to win the play off last year.

Over the last ten to fifteen years long hitters have dominated The Masters with Zach Johnson’s incredible pitching in 2007 the one real anomaly. As always, whoever gets to grips with the greens the best will stand a real chance. There are a number of players coming in with good form whilst some big players are notably off the boil.

We take a look at some possible winners:

The Likely Lads:

Tiger Woods – Three wins out of four in stroke play events on the PGA Tour this year makes him a ridiculous 4/1 favourite and is as low as 3/1 with some sportsbooks. Then again it is hard to look beyond a player of Tiger’s quality, experience and form as he looks to chase down the Golden Bear’s record of 18 majors.

Rory McIlory – The young Northern Irishman’s struggle for form has been well documented but we all know that if he gets it together he is almost unstoppable. He came 2nd at the Texas Open denied only by an inspired round from Martin Laird. An 8th place finish at the WGC also hinted that he may not be that far away. Widely available at 8/1 but with Woods in the form of his life the odds seem very short.

Bubba Watson – could he go back to back and join the list of Nicklaus, Faldo and Woods as the only golfers to retain the Green Jacket. Five finishes in the top 25 from six starts this year show Bubba is there or thereabouts despite struggling with illness. He will need some more inspiration to take this one home though. 35/1

Dangermen:

Keegan Bradley – The current world number 11 has finished in the top 10 in his last four tournaments and has finished under par in every tournament he has played in 2013. Bradley hits the ball a huge distance and if he can putt like he did during the Ryder Cup he will be heavily involved.

Dustin Johnson – The prodigious hitter has had a mixed 2013 with a win in his first tournament back in January followed by 3 cuts missed out of 4. He has found his form though in the last month coming tied 12th at the WGC and then 4th last time out at the Houston Open. Has never been in contention at The Masters previously but with his length anything is possible.

Charl Schwartzel – Winner in 2011, the South African knows his way around the course and has started the year consistently after winning the Alfred Dunhill Championships and the Thailand Golf Championship in December 2012. At 25/1 the odds aren’t on our side but it’s highly likely he will be there or thereabouts come Sunday afternoon.

Longer Odds:

Stewart Cink – Former major winner who has two top ten finished this season including tied 6th at Houston Open in a competitive field last time out. Cink consistently gives himself chances at birdies and if his putter can fire he could be a snip at 150/1.

Peter Hanson – 3rd last year and eagled his last hole before this tournament. Hanson started last year on fire and is looking comfortable with his swing already in 2013. A fantastic putter of the ball and has added length off the tee. 90/1 looks pretty generous at Paddy Power.

Nicolas Colsaerts – the Belgian is a player we always keep an eye out for with his prodigious distance off the tee. His Ryder Cup experience will have benefited him and hopefully we can see a more mature golfer ready to get in the mix at the weekends – 100/1.

Other bets:

Top Debutant: Nicolas Colsaerts 9/2 – The Belgian comes to Augusta having not played competitively for over a month but has the ability to take on this course and win.

Top Australian: Jason Day 9/4 – Adam Scott may have seemed the obvious choice but Day has fond memories of Augusta and already has three top 10 finishes this season including 3rd at the WGC Matchplay.

First Round Leader: Tiger Woods– anything can happen on the first day of the Masters but the world number 1 is playing better than anyone and is available at 10/1.

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