Golf betting tips: Preview and tips for the 2023 US Masters
The Masters is one of four major championships in professional golf. Unlike the other majors, the Masters is held each year at the same location, Augusta National Golf Club.
The tournament is an official money event on the PGA Tour, European Tour and the Japan Golf Tour. The field of players is smaller than those of the other major championships because it is an invitational event held by the Augusta National Golf Club.
Bobby Jones designed Augusta National with course architect Alister MacKenzie. The layout is one of the finest and most visually spectacular courses in the world.
Augusta is home to the famous stretch of holes known as Amen Corner (Holes 11-13).
For a tree-lined course, Augusta National is deceivingly wide off the tee. History tells us that there is a premium on scoring on the Par 5’s making Driving Distance an advantage but not absolutely crucial. Zach Johnson laid up to all the Par 5’s when he won in 2007. Also, with a number of right to left doglegs, an ability to shape tee-shots is a distinct advantage.
Players will need to be dialled in with their iron play to hit the greens and more importantly the right part of the greens to setup birdie opportunities. But by far and above the most important attribute is putting.
Any player aspiring to don the Green Jacket will need to putt brilliantly on the lightning-fast sloping greens.
Course knowledge cannot be under estimated. Those with experience of the undulating greens are usually separated from those making their debut. Invariably greens will be missed making Scrambling a key stat to consider this week. Augusta National is not a catch-up course so a fast start is imperative.
2022 US Masters | Scottie Scheffler
Last year, Scottie Scheffler won 2022 Green Jacket for his first career major. He carded a final round -1 (71), which included a double-bogey on the final hole, to finish the tournament at -10 (278). Rory McIlroy finished three strokes further back in solo second.
25-year-old Scheffler was the only player in the field to break par in all four rounds. He is also the sixth first-time major winner among the last eight Masters champions.
Scheffler became the fifth golfer to enter Augusta National ranked No. 1 in the world and go on to win the Masters, joining Ian Woosnam (1991), Fred Couples (1992), Tiger Woods (2001 and 2002) and Dustin Johnson (2020).
“I can’t thank my family enough, they’ve made many sacrifices over the years. To have the honor of winning the tournament and to have my family with me was incredible.”Scottie Scheffler
Scheffler finished the week inside the Top 20 for Driving Distance and in the Top 10 for both Driving Accuracy and GIR. He finished the week -2 for the Par 3’s, E for the Par 4’s and -8 for the Par 5’s. He also finished 2nd for Birdies circling a total of 21 for the week. Scottie carded nine bogeys and one double-bogey for the tournament.
2021 US Masters | Hideki Matsuyama
In 2021, Hideki Matsuyama became the first Japanese player to win a Major when he won the 2021 Masters. He finished on a score of -10 (278) one stroke clear of Masters debutant, Will Zalatoris. Xander Schauffele and Jordan Spieth finished a further two shots back in a tie for third.
“Hopefully, I’ll be a pioneer and many other Japanese will follow”Hideki Matsuyama
Matsuyama led the field in Eagles with three in total and finished second for Scrambling, saving par 72.73% of the time that he missed a green in regulation. He squared nine bogeys for the week and was -11 for the Par 5’s.
2020 US Masters | Dustin Johnson
In 2020, Dustin Johnson captured his second major title in winning the 2020 US Masters. His winning score of -20 (268) broke the tournament scoring record by two strokes. He finished 5 shots clear of both Cameron Smith and Sungjae Im with Justin Thomas a further three shots back.
“Well, I proved that I can get it done on Sunday with the lead at a major, especially in tough conditions”Dustin Johnson
DJ topped the pile for the week in both Greens in Regulation and Putts per GIR. He squared only four bogeys for the week and was -11 for the Par 5’s.
2019 US Masters | Tiger Woods
2019 saw one of the most emotional finishes in Masters tournament history.
Tiger Woods emerged from the pack to win his fifth Green Jacket and first since 2005. The victory put him just one behind Jack Nicklaus’ record of six wins at Augusta.
Tiger closed with a final round -2 (70) for a winning total of -13 (275) one shot clear of Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Xander Schauffele. It was Tiger’s 15th Major championship victory with his last coming at the 2008 US Open.
Tiger topped the field for the tournament in both GIR (80.6%) and Putts per GIR (2.107). He finished the week -8 for the Par 5’s, -1 for the Par 4’s and -4 for the Par3’s.
“To have my kids there, it’s come full circle. My dad was here in 1997 and now I’m the dad with two kids there”Tiger Woods
2018 US Masters | Patrick Reed
In 2018, Patrick Reed closed with a final round -1 (71) for a total -15 (273) to win the Green Jacket and his first major. He finished one stroke ahead of Rickie Fowler with Jordan Spieth a further shot back.
“Any time trying to close off a golf tournament is really hard but to close off my first major at a place that’s so close to me, being where I went to college, means so much”Patrick Reed
Reed was the ninth first-time major winner in the past 12 Masters. He finished the week T13 for Driving Accuracy, 6th for Driving Distance (2 measured drives), T21 for GIR and 2nd for Putts per GIR.
2017 US Masters | Sergio Garcia
In 2017, Sergio Garcia became the third Spanish winner at Augusta National with a birdie on the first extra hole following a sensational battle with Justin Rose.
The pair had finished tied on -9 after closing rounds of 69. Rose overturned an early three stroke deficit to lead by a shot after 16 holes. However a bogey at the 17th opened the door for Sergio who narrowly missed a chance to win with a birdie on the 18th.
The players returned to the 18th with Garcia emerging victorious after holing a 12 foot birdie. The Spaniard was 6th for Driving Distance, 2nd for Driving Accuracy, T2 in GIR and topped the field for Putts per GIR. He racked up 1 eagle, 14 birdies and carded only 7 bogeys for the week. Garcia finished 20th for Birdies and T1 for Bogeys.
2016 US Masters | Danny Willett
In 2016, Danny Willett was the surprise winner of the Green Jacket. He was the first European to win at Augusta since José María Olazábal’s victory in 1999. Going into the final round the Englishman was level par, three shots behind the overnight leader Jordan Spieth.
Spieth led by five shots as he approached the 10th but dramatically dropped six shots in three holes. This included a card wrecking quadruple bogey on the Par 3 12th.
Willett capitalised on Spieth’s misfortune and completed one of only two bogey free final rounds shooting a -5 (67) to capture the title. He finished the week T32 for Driving Distance, T26 for Driving Accuracy and T16 for GIR. For the week he had 51 Pars, 13 Birdies and 8 Bogeys.
2015 US Masters | Jordan Spieth
In the 2015 Masters Jordan Spieth emerged victorious. He finished -12 for the week on the Par 5’s and won with a record-setting performance. He tied Tiger Woods’ tournament low -18 after breaking the 36 and 54 hole scoring records along the way. He was T2 in GIR, T10 in Scrambling and 1st in Birdies shooting 28 in total.
US Masters | Past Champion Stats
The following table details the key stats for some of the past champions of the Masters.
|2018 Patrick Reed
|2017 Sergio Garcia
|Greens in Regulation
|Putts per GIR
|Putting: Birdie/Better %
In a nutshell, hitting Greens in Regulation is paramount, Scrambling is challenging, Par 5 Scoring is crucial and racking up pars on the Par 3s and Par 4s is sufficient.
US Masters Tips
Justin Thomas 18/1 (E/W) – his last five results on the hallowed turf of Augusta National read T17-T12-4-T21-T8. From eight starts this season, he has 2 x Top10’s among 6 x Top 25’s including a T10 in his last outing at the Valspar Championship. Despite weak SGP stats, he still manages to place inside the Top 30 in this week’s Stats Analysis table. He is also 1st on Tour for Strokes Gained Around-The-Green and 17th for Birdie Average. Has certainly earned his stripes in terms of Augusta ‘knowledge’ and experience. Fair to say he ticks a lot of boxes and some. If his putter ‘heats-up‘ then he will be in the mix come back-nine Sunday.
Tony Finau 22/1 (E/W) – the big hitter from Utah has 3 X Top 10 finishes from five starts at Augusta National. The 33-year-old has 9 x Top 25’s from ten starts this season including a victory in the Houston Open. Sits top-of-the-pile in this week’s Stats Analysis, no mean feat considering it is the year’s first Major. He is also 3rd on Tour for Strokes Gained Approach-The-Green and 5th for Scoring Average. Confidence will be high driving down Magnolia Lane and would be no surprise to see him hanging around the top of the leaderboard. All things considered, he is hard to ignore.
Max Homa 25/1 (E/W) – this will be his fourth look at Augusta National with no form of note in his previous visits. Already a multiple winner on Tour this season with victories at the Fortinet Championship and Farmers Insurance Open. He also finished runner-up at the Genesis Invitational. No surprise that his stellar play translates to his stats placing 3rd in this week’s Stats Analysis. The 32-year-old is also 5th on Tour for Strokes Gained Approach-The-Green and 4th for Scoring Average. Among the elite in the field, his form this season is too hard to ignore. Lack of Augusta form is mitigated by other very compelling arguments. Good each way value.
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