24 Bets, 6 Players, One Awesome Masters Weekend!
The pain of the Easter weekend was very real on Tuesday at Club 20 but as we approach a Masters Thursday evening, enthusiasm levels have skyrocketed in the lead up to one of the best weekends on the sporting calendar.
We are diverting funds from our (very depleted) AFL kitty to free up some more Masters monies – excitement levels for Augusta are too high right now to worry about the Swans and Bombers in Sydney, but we will have some plays out tomorrow afternoon for the weekend of footy (hopefully with some cash from our First Round Leader bets).
We’re taking six guys on our betting card this week, all each way and also all for the first round leader (each way as well) so let me just, carry the seven, yep, that’s 24 bets in pursuit of a green jacket tonight!
PGA - The 2021 Masters
The 85th Masters at Augusta National Golf Club starts tonight (10pm Eastern) and two words coming out of Georgia all week have been ‘firm’ and ‘fast’.
Throw out last Novembers Masters form. All of it. All due respect to Cam Smith, but when he is breaking scoring records that have stood for 80 odd years, there is something terribly wrong.
The course, and more specifically the greens, are hard and lightning quick which confirms our suspicions that a reaction (or even overreaction) to the soft conditions in November will dictate a very low single digit winner this year.
There is a good chance the expected rain wont come as much or at all, so if you can’t put your irons where you want to, AND you can’t get up and down from around or on the greens, then you are not making our card this week.
It is going to be brutal and we will be loving every single minute of it.
What we will not be doing is making the same mistake we did last week, identifying Seung Yul Noh at Valero, betting him in the Outright at 750-1 but leaving him off the First Round Leader bets.
Watching him finish the first round in fourth (75-1) was a hard start to a pretty f*cked weekend that has shattered our AFL confidence.
All will be forgiven ofcourse if we hit the winner at Augusta this week, and we’re pretty confident one of these six guys will give us a really good look down the stretch on Sunday.
Webb Simpson EW @ 51.00 / 10.00 (Top 6)
Solid Augusta form, solid recent form, able to hit fairways off the tee, good with irons and amazing around/on the green – that’s spider Webb Simpson.
20th in 2018 and 5th here in 2019 when Tiger won shows he has become experienced enough here to plot his way around the course, and a shift from mid teens to high single digit winning score brings webb right into contention.
His Feb/March form includes a 4th at the Sony and T6 in Phoenix and he’s ranked #2 scrambling in this field, in firm, fast conditions.
Webb will know that he just needs to fit the fairway here and then everyone else is in his wheelhouse.
The Stats Insider Golf model likes Simpson as well this week, giving him a 25.6% chance for a Top 10 finish (which makes that 10-1 for the each-way look pretty nice!
Lee Westwood EW @ 51.00 / 10.00 (Top 6)
Runner up at Bay Hill and TPC Sawgrass is as good a recent form as you can hope for, and when you add in the likelihood that Augusta will play old school hard, Westwood fits perfectly into the card we are building.
Rock solid off the tee (#27 OTT in field), great ball striker particularly effective at the very difficult Par 4’s here (Ranked #3 in this field for Par 4 Scoring 450-500yd at Augusta).
Gained 4 and 2 strokes around the greens at BayHill and the Players, and putted lights out at Sawgrass (6 strokes!) so he is coming into Augusta in form across all areas.
Has his son on the bag this week and looks to be in a great head space.
Matthew Fitzpatrick EW @ 46.00 / 9 (Top 8)
A darling of the Stats Insider model, Fitzy ticks the excellent recent form box, the Augusta experience box and the sharp around-the-green/putting game.
In fact there is not really much to dislike about him and the model agrees, highlighting Fitzy as the best value in this field with a 23.9% chance of a Top 10 finish.
(If you are betting Top 20/10/5 or Outrights tonight, make sure you check out the Tournament Futures page on the Stats Insider website here)
T5 at Genesis, and a T9 at the Players is excellent recent form. I do have a question mark about his misses with his mid irons but if they are on then Fitzy is live big time.
Jason Day EW @ 51.00 / 10.00 (Top 8)
Found form during the Florida swing with a T7 at Pebble then T18 at the WGC and T31 at API – those three results were despite losing almost a stroke on the field on approach.
Then came Sawgrass where Day found his tee to green game (+4 Off the tee, +2.5 on approach) but lost, wait for it, -7.7 stroke on the greens!
That is the worst putting performance of his entire career and instead of be deterred by it, we are forgetting it. He found the irons and the putter was great prior to that.
Has 3 Top 5’s at Augusta and aside from last year which we don’t care about, has not finished outside the top 28 from 8 attempts.
Over the last 50 rounds Day is ranked #1 in scrambling in this field, he is excellent around the green and loves it firm and fast as his speed control and creativity around the greens is superb.
Obviously always a WD danger but if a butterfly doesn’t flutter past him at speed he looks set up to contend this year at great odds.
Si Woo Kim EW @ 111.00 / 22.00 (Top 8)
It can all turn to shit quickly for Si Woo but he is jumping off the stat sheet this week.
T9 at the Players and T23 at Valero, won earlier this year at the American Express, his lead-in form is solid. Has a T21 (2019) and T24 (2018) at Augusta last two years (2020 doesn’t count).
Excellent scrambler, great off the tee and excellent on approach – if it is all on for him he can contend here. Obviously that is a big ‘if’ given the pressure of the event and the likelihood of extreme Sunday pressure, but with the extended placings for the each-way Si Woo has the game to both fall into a placing and shoot a 67 on Sunday to rocket up into one.
Christiaan Bezeidenhout @ 141.00 / 28.00 (Top 8)
I’ll be betting Bez every year until he wins one.
Since his debut there in 2020, he went on to win back to back on the Euro Tour and was in contention for the hattrick until late Sunday – that is not nothing.
He is suspect off the tee which obviously is not great here, but big Ernie will have been in his ears about where to miss.
Get a long iron or wedge into his hand though and he is fire, and if he misses the green, he is one of the best on tour at getting it up and down (#8 in this field scrambling).
It is a long shot, obviously, but all he needs is to have a good driving week and he is in the mix so at those odds, he is well worth being early on.
First Round leader bets
We like all six of these guys for the First Round Leader as well (Each way)
Simpson @ 41/8
Westwood @ 41/8
Fitzpatrick @ 46/8
Day @ 51/10
Si Woo Kim @ 81/15
Bezeidenhout @ 81/15