We are getting ever nearer to The Masters getting underway but before the first tee shot is hit, there is just enough time to take a look at the side markets for the tournament and see if we can pinch a little more value from the week.
As ever when Augusta National opens its doors to the great and good of the game of golf we have markets on all the different nationalities as well as the finishing positions, the cut and a lot more. There are three markets we like this week.
The first market which interests me is the nine-runner field which is the top Englishman one where there looks to be some excellent value on one of my outright selections Paul Casey who is only slated as a fifth favourite in the betting.
Tyrrell Hatton is the rightful favourite in this market at around the 7/2 mark but his record at Augusta is terrible and while he’s in good form he has been a leading player for a while now and he has shown no signs of improvement here. His results to date at Augusta have been MC-T44-T56 which hardly inspires confidence. When you look down the rest of the market there isn’t many players in form.
You could argue Matt Fitzpatrick is one who is although he seems to have a bad round in four at the minute and since a T7 here in 2016 he hasn’t broken the top 20. The rest all have question marks over them. Lee Westwood’s best is behind him, Ian Poulter and Danny Willett are carrying injuries while Tommy Fleetwood, Justin Rose and Matt Wallace aren’t convincing right now.
Casey loves it at Augusta. Prior to a missed cut last year he had a T6-T4-T6-T15 four year stretch which further highlights his liking for this track. He has two previous top 10s as well including in 2007 when the course played very soft when Zach Johnson won. His form isn’t the best right now but it wasn’t long ago that he was second in the USPGA and a repeat of his golf from that week can land top English honours here.
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Top Rest of the World Player
A slightly deeper field which catches my eye for value is the top Rest of the World market where there are some very established stars on show, many of whom have either won around here or shown their best form at this track.
Of those who have won who tee it up here Adam Scott is the best known and would have the best chance while going back in time Charl Schwartzel, Mike Weir and Vijay Singh have also won on this track but their best is well behind them. Of the others both Jason Day and Louis Oosthuizen have been the bridesmaid here while Hideki Matsuyama, Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith all have decent results here.
It is Oosthuizen that I like though. He has the ideal game for around here and I think the softer conditions will really help him as he is usually dialled in with his iron play and short game. He comes here having finished third in the US Open earlier in the season where he once again showed he plays tough courses well. There isn’t anyone with insane length in this field which should bring the iron and short game wizardry of the South African to the fore at an appealing 8/1.
I’ve already laid my colours to the Bryson DeChambeau mast but someone will follow him in second and the 66/1 on the dual forecast between the US Open champion and Rory McIlroy looks like it is worthy of a few quid for the week.
I won’t go back into DeChambeau, just click on the outright preview on this site for my thoughts on him, so I’ll focus this bit on McIlroy who should go well this week. I’ve watched a lot of the build up and he seems nice and relaxed and having things to focus him away from the course will likely take away some of the intensity of the career Grand Slam that seems to dog him whenever he tees it up here. Ultimately you have to be very wary of the Northern Irishman on soft courses. Almost all of his major wins have come on them and as the week goes on and the rain continues this place will only get softer. McIlroy made 29 birdies at the Zozo recently and while a lot of mistakes hampered him, this is a course where you can make mistakes and get away with them, especially in these conditions. I would imagine all the Bryson, DJ, Brooks talk will fire Rory on and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he and Bryson are the 1-2 here.
Back P.Casey Top Englishman (e/w) for a 1.5/10 stake at 8.50 with Betfair (1/4 1-3)
Back him here:
Back L.Oosthuizen Top Rest of the World (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 9.00 with William Hill (1/4 1-4)
Back him here:
Back B.DeChambeau-R.McIlroy Dual Forecast for a 0.5/10 stake at 67.00 with Betway