The US Masters tee off at Augusta this week, and if you’re thinking of having a punt on the tournament, we recommend the spread betting markets on offer from London bookies Sporting Index. We persuaded their Senior Golf Market Maker to share his opinions, if you’re in need of some inspiration deciding which way to bet…
This is the one big tournament in the world where course experience gives certain players a pronounced advantage. With very little rough to be found, and very tricky undulating greens which do not forgive an errant approach, winning at Augusta is generally about two things. The first is placing the second shot on exactly the right part of the green; the second is knowing how to chip over the dips and bumps if a recovery is needed. Experience and a cool head will produce this year’s winner.
Tiger is the favourite to win here again, and his game is perfectly suited to Augusta. His length off the tee will help make the birdie-able par fives easier, but he’s not hitting straight enough down the fairway for my liking, and his putting is ever-so-slightly off. Personally, I’d have Mickelson as favourite. He’s got an outstanding record at the Masters, his chipping and putting form is incredible and he’s toned down his hot-headedness which means he’s hitting more fairways. To me, his record over the past four years (winner last year, third ’01 to ’03) says it all.
Moving away from the Big Guns, I quite fancy the look of Olazabal. He’s won here twice before and only missed the cut three times in the last 20 years – a true Augusta specialist. He may have lost his exempt status on the PGA Tour, but he’s had a couple of good finishes this year and I fancy him to pick up his game. Unfortunately I can’t say the same for Garcia. He’s not putting at all well – currently in 180th place on putting averages – and the fast greens here will be punishing. He’s a naturally talented player, but is currently erratic and going through a poor run of form.
Three years ago, Adam Scott finished in an amazing ninth place on his first trip to the Masters. Luke Donald is no doubt aware of this, but as far as I’m concerned he will not achieve a similar feat. Donald is a great iron player, which certainly helps on this course, but he doesn’t know the quirks on the greens and will probably be made to pay because of this. I also predict that Westwood will struggle; he’s been doing alright on the European Tour, but the competition there is much weaker than on the US Tour and I don’t believe he’s playing well enough to justify his position in the betting.
On Sunday, I’m expecting to see the winner’s score sitting at around 9 under par. This is a few shots below what you’d expect on a normal PGA Tour tournament, and shows what a tough course it is. Similarly, my spread for the total number of players who’ll make the cut and finish under par is just 12 to 14, a third of what you’d see elsewhere. Finally, I’ll be keeping an eye on Davis Love III – he’s got the right game for Augusta, and I have a feeling he’ll lift his game enough to be in the mix this Sunday.
Double your Money
Sporting Index like to look after all their clients, new and existing, and are running a tasty promotion on the Masters:
SELL (bet low on) a player’s Finishing Position in the Masters and if he wins, they’ll double your profits.
Please note that qualifying bets must be placed before the beginning of the tournament. Maximum bonus is £2000.
Free £100 Cashback**
If you haven’t got a Sporting Index spread betting account yet, it’s a good time to take advantage of the choice of free bets or cashback on offer. Open an account* and place ten bets (risking £20 per bet) to claim:
– Free £100 Cashback**, or a
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*Credit and suitability checks, **terms and conditions apply. See site for full details about an account with Sporting Index. Sports spread betting is high risk and is not suitable for everyone. You can lose more than your original stake so make sure you understand the risks involved. Sporting Index is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.