Author: Tony MacDonald
2016 US Masters
Published: 15:00 15/03/2015
As the wrold's best golfers prepare for the 2015 Masters, Freebets.com looks at some recent trends to assist your outright betting an hopefully help you to pick out a winner.
1. Avoid European Golfers
Not since José María Olazábal's second Masters triumph in 1999 has a European player won the season's first major and in the fifteen tournaments since the Spaniard's success there have been just two European runners-up.
Three-time champion Nick Faldo is the only Englishman to ever win it, though Lee Westwood finished 3 strokes behind Phil Mickelson in 2010. The last European to go close was Swede Jonas Blixt who was tied second with the impressive Jordan Spieth on 3 strokes behind Bubba Watson in last year's tournament.
So although it may be tempting to lump on pre-tournament favourite Rory McIlroy on the back of his incredible achievements last season, bear in mind that his tied 8th at Augusta was his best Masters performance to date. Online bookmakers will naturally be keen to keep the Ulsterman in side as he is certainly capable of winning the Masters, but the trends indicate that his current odds do not represent anything in the way of value.
2. Consider A Previous Winner
Bubba Watson became the 17th multiple Masters winner when donning the green jacket for the second time in 2014 and there is a case for backing a previous winner with experience of the unique challenges at Augusta. Many players have the ability to win, but simply buckle under the pressure and supporting a tried and tested golfer is advised.
Tiger Woods may come with risk attached nowadays with his injury problems, but must be considered if in form heading into the tournament. He won his second, third and fourth titles in the space of 5 years between 2001-2005 and was a runner up in 2008, finishing 3 strokes behind Trevor Immelman. Woods may not have been as competitive in recent renewals, but there were thirteen years between Gary Player's Masters wins, so don't be overly put off by his barran spell.
Ángel Cabrera triumphed in a three-way play-off with Kenny Perry and Chad Campbell in 2009 and was beaten by the same method by Adam Scott in 2013, so the Argentinian clearly likes it around Augusta. Scott himself was a runner-up to Charl Schwartzel in 2011, further enhancing the theory that good course form can go a long way in future renewals.
Phil Mickelson is another multiple champion who has proven track form and is always worth a market check, while Louis Oosthuizen and Jason Day have both been runners-up and should enter any calculations when trying to pick out a possible winner.
The 2014 Masters Tournament had 19 past champions in the field, including five multiple champions, and one three-time champion. Nine past champions made the cut including five senior golfers aged 50 or above; Vijay Singh, Fred Couples, Larry Mize, Bernhard Langer and Sandy Lyle.
3. Look For American Value
While the Masters is no longer exclusively won by golfers from the United States as was the case up until Gary Player's success in 1961, the Americans do still tend to go well at Augusta.
12 of the past 20 renewals have been won by a player from the United States, while only 2 of the last 10 tournaments have not featured an American in the top two. On both of those occasions Tiger Woods was tied fourth; in 2013 when Adam Scott beat Ángel Cabrera in a play-off and in 2011 when Charl Schwartzel was victorious.
Exciting prospect Jordan Spieth is likely to be prominent in the betting after leading until the eighth hole before finishing tied second last year, while his fellow countrymen Rickie Fowler and Matt Kuchar were only three shots behind him in tied fifth and may be of each-way appeal.