GOLF GURU Louis Ross (@Louis Ross67) nailed three of the four Majors in 2015. Having landed a 66/1 winner last week, can Louis find us more glory in Augusta?
The Masters: Outright | Thursday-Sunday | Sky Sports
It’s finally here – the world’s greatest golf tournament is upon us.
The 7,435 yards of the stunning Augusta National will once again play host to the world’s best. It’s The Masters!
The organising committee have set this place up as a bombers’ paradise in the last few years. When looking for a winner here, the essentials have to be a player that hits the ball miles and has a very sweet short game. A hot putter is an absolute must.
Those are qualities that Jordan Spieth had in spades last year. At that point, you would back him to sink any putt within 20 feet.
Previous results are a big factor on a golf course as individual as this. A note of caution when looking at 2015 though; it was incredibly wet in the lead up to last year’s event and surprisingly, those in charge decided not to dry out the greens as much as they could have – that meant much lower scores than we would normally expect.
One of the keys to this year’s renewal may be that, Augusta did not enjoy its pride and joy being taken apart in the way it was on Thursday and Friday especially by the eventual winner. A winning score of -2 or -3 is ideally what they would like.
Using their expensive drying systems to make these greens rock hard will ensure players are unable to shoot at pins for most of the four days. Pin positions may well be changed to protect the course but the drier the course is overall, the harder it will be.
Ball flight is crucial on this golf course. The ability to move the ball through the air – mostly right to left – is an essential but also those with a high trajectory have a distinct advantage. The higher the ball in the air, the less run off you will get when it lands.
Rickie Fowler was the first name on my shortlist some time ago. His breakthrough win at The Players Championship last May was hugely impressive and he has Major ‘form'.
In fact, in 2014, Fowler finished in the top-5 of all four Majors, something that should get an award in itself. And his five starts here read 38-27-28-5-12.
Fowler clearly likes the set-up, has every quality you could ask for and is just popping back into form after a decent start to the year. I really like his chances and he will certainly give us a run for our money at 18/1 (BetVictor).
Henrik Stenson must go well. Nobody hits a 3-wood harder or higher than Henrik and that tactic could really pay off here, as it’ll lessen the number of times he uses the driver.
The Swede has the ability to get very hot for a number of weeks and at the time of writing, he has a fine chance of winning in Houston. 33/1 (BetVictor) is a number I like when compared to others of the same standard.
Bubba Watson has to make most shortlists. Its either feast or famine with Bubba as his two green jackets are sandwiched by lots of 20th-50th-placed finishes. It’s easy to be too concentrated on technique or hard statistics.
With Bubba, it is always a leap of faith but has to be on the shortlist and the form of Jason Day and a few others has him at a reasonable 12/1 (BetVictor) – that’s reasonable n comparison to 6/1 favourites, certainly.
Bill Haas has a record that can’t be ignored for someone priced at 125/1 (BetVictor). A best of 12th last year, Haas is a multiple PGA Tour winner with a 72.17 scoring average around Augusta – over six starts, that’s outstanding.
Would Haas stand up to the pressure of the back nine on Sunday? Possibly not but another for the notebook considering the eight places available with Skybet.
Zach Johnson is the reigning Open champion and already has a green Jacket to his name. I have backed him at 80/1 but there are still bits and pieces of 60/1 (William Hill) available. Zach will play the par-5s differently to almost everyone else – he will lay up on all of them and it works for him.
His form in the Matchplay was exceptional as he was the hottest player in the field over the first three days. What really caught my eye was his putting – as good as I have ever seen it. Again, I’ll get involved with the eight places on offer from SkyBet.
The 1st Round Leader market bagged us a 66/1 winner last week through the efforts of Charley Hoffman. Only two firms have priced up so far and it is something I shall tweet on throughout this week.
The Spaniard was another who came to prominence in the Matchplay with his fantastic short game. That ability around the greens makes him another standout amongst those with triple-digit odds and I will be having a little of the eight places with Skybet at a massive 175/1.
The Masters – Rickie Fowler to win (18/1 BetVictor)
The Masters – Henrik Stenson to win (33/1 each-way BetVictor)
The Masters – Bubba Watson to win (12/1 BetVictor)
The Masters – Bill Haas to win (100/1 each-way Skybet)
The Masters – Rafael Cabrera Bello to win (175/1 each-way Skybet)
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