US Masters 2019 Tips
The golf season starts in earnest this week with the Start of the US Masters. In theory the tournament where finding the winner ante post should be the easiest of all the majors. The size of the field is small and with various amateurs and old tim`ers like Ian Woosnam in the field the list of players with realistic chances of winning is further reduced. Check out James Punt’s US Masters 2019 free tips and preview below.
Reed and Rose Discounted
Historically US Masters winners have fitted various profiles which helps whittle down the field even further. Defending champions have a poor record. Just three players, Nicklaus (G.O.A.T.), Faldo and Tiger Woods have successfully defended their title. Sorry Patrick Reed, you’re fired.
It’s been a while since a World number 1 has won the Masters, a strange stat but true. Sorry Justin Rose but this looks like another year without the green jacket.
Course Form Key
Ironically while defending champions struggle, good course form is essential. Debutants don’t prosper with just Fuzzy Zoeller winning on debut. At least one top 30 finish around Augusta is a bare minimum. The average number of Masters appearances before winning the title is around 8-9 visits but at least 3 is the bare minimum. The key to success on this course is knowing where to hit your ball to on the fairways and especially the greens. Augusta is regarded as a second shot course for a reason.
Last year’s winner, Patrick Reed, got his placement spot on last year. Leaving the ball below the hole with his approach shots rather than closer but above the hole. That was the difference between playing well and winning. You miss a downhill putt here and you can have twice the distance coming back.
The course is increasingly becoming a big hitters course. The fairways are cut with the nap of the grass facing the tee and preventing the ball running out on the fairways. In practical terms the course plays closer to 8000 yards than the 7500 on the card. There has also been plenty of rain around in the last few days and the course, the fairways at least, will be soft, further limiting distance off the tee.
Golden Oldies Could Struggle
Older players doing well is increasingly rare. Yes experience is worth a lot here but with the power required these days, it’s becoming a younger man’s course. Over 40? Off the list.
The better players do better on tougher courses and this is a very tough course. Outside the world’s top 30? Stay at home and watch it on TV.
Good current form is important and you want your selection to have shown some good form in the last five or six weeks. The winner of last week’s Texas Open doesn’t go well this week so Corey Connors can be ruled out although he has a game that could go well here.
Value Can Be Found Away From The Favourites
A lot of recent winners have been first time major winners and not amongst the big favourites in the betting market. Reed, Garcia, Willet, Spieth, Scott, Bubba Watson, Schwartzel, Immelman, Zach Johnson all won their first major here at Augusta in the last 12 years. In that time only Cabrera, Mickelson and Bubba Watson’s 2nd Masters win bucked that trend.
Of the last ten winners of the US Masters only two started with odds of less than 28/1 so while the likes of McIlroy, Rose, Dustin Johnson, Fowler or Justin Thomas make plenty of appeal on form, their odds are prohibitive.
US Masters 2019 Tips: Matsuyama Could Shine
There aren’t many players who perfectly fit the bill, well only one it seems this year and he is 27 year old Hideki Matsuyama. He would be the first Japanese winner which does put some unnecessary pressure on his shoulders. He is in good form though, with two top 10’s on the PGA tour in the last two months. Matsuyama has played here on seven previous occasions with form figures of 27/54/-/MC/5/7/11/19 so he has a good course record and knowledge bank to draw on.
He is one of the very best players when it comes to shots gained on approach to the green, ranked 2nd on the PGA Tour and around Augusta he is ranked 5th in that category. He played very well the year that Danny Willet won, finishing 7th. The conditions that year were similar to what is expected this week. Breezy, gusty at times with more rain around to keep the course soft and long.
He has won on pure bentgrass greens before and while putting is his weak spot he will give himself birdie chances with his tee to green excellence.
Molinari Could Come Up Short
Other Players who tick a lot of the boxes include Brooks Koepka. He has previously won majors of course, he plays his best golf in majors, winning three of the last six he has played in. His Augusta form isn’t that good however, just one top 10 and he has only played in four Masters. He has already won this year and had a 2nd place at the start of March so he could go well. His odds of 30.00 are pretty good given his phenomenal majors form. He is the prototype modern young pro, built like a body builder and smashes the ball for miles.
Francesco Molinari is one of the best players in the world right now. He is in great form having won last month. The Italian ace has played in seven previous Masters and has had three top 30 finishes. He hasn’t really contended however and the feeling is that the course is too long for him.
Ricky Fowler has yet to win a major, is young but with a lot of course experience including being runner up last year. He has a win and a 2nd place in recent weeks but he is now just a 19.00 shot which is too short. He does handle tricky windy conditions very well however and another good run could well be on the cards.
US Masters 2019 Tips: Jason Could Have His Day In The Sun
Jason Day has previously won a major which might rule him out but he has had four top 10’s in 2019 and had two top 3 finishes here from nine starts. His fitness isn’t the best and he can pull up lame all too often but he has a game that suits this course and he is a great putter. At odds of 31.00 he represents serious value.
Mark Leishman flies under the radar as he isn’t a big name. However, he has been around a while now and plays well in Majors. His Augusta form is not a picture of consistency but he has two top 10’s including 9th last year. He has a win and four other top 10 strokeplay finishes this season.
US Masters 2019 Tips: Watson Has The Course Form To Figure
The soft course will suit Rory McIlroy’s game and he is playing better than for quite a while. He needs this to complete his career Grand Slam and that is what puts me off him. That and odds of just 9.00. He should have won here before and there are deep scars from past errors. He has been a bit wobbly at times when in contention recently and while he is putting much better again, he can get a bit flaky at the wrong time on these ultra-fast greens.
Two time winner Bubba Watson seems to get overlooked for this event despite those two wins and a 5th place last year. Yes at 40 years old he is at the extreme end of the winning age range. However, a 4th place in the recent Valspar Championship tells us he is in good form. Additionally, he knows how to win over this course which is hugely important. He isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but you can’t knock his Augusta form. Not many players can shape a shot like Bubba Watson and this is a course that has a lot of shape to it. It isn’t just a straight up and down lay out and he can move the ball beautifully. Odds of 36.00 do look a touch of value.
US Masters 2019 Tips
2 points e/w Hideki Matsuyama to win @ 34.0 with Ladbrokes, Boylesports (e/w top 7 at 1/5th the odds)
1 point Jason Day @ 31.00 with Boylesports (7 places 1/5th the odds)
1 point e/w Bubba Watson to win @ 36.00 with Unibet (7 places 1/5th the odds)
0.5 point e/w Mark Leishman @ 51.00 generally available (Boylesports 7 places 1/5th the odds)-