US TOUR specialist Louis Ross (@LouisRoss67) shares his views on the alternative markets at the US Masters.
The Masters | 5th-8th April 2018 | Sky Sports
Vince has provided the main preview and picks. We Love Betting thought we would treat you to an additional piece for this wonderful tournament and I will be taking a look at some of the more obscure markets. Please feel free to contact me on Twitter (@LouisRoss67) if you have any questions throughout the four days.
Sport does not get much better than the Back nine at Augusta on Sunday evening – having one or two in the mix just adds to the drama. For what it is worth, I really like Justin Thomas as a potential winner. This could and should be the most competitive Masters for a generation though and its easy enough to make a serious case for seven or eight players and still be miles away.
Xander Scauffele heads the market here at a best priced 7/2. A two time winner last year including East Lake marks this young man out as having a huge future. It may surprise one or two that Tony Finau is on this list.
This powerful hitter already has three top 20 finishes in just seven Major starts. Length off the tee is huge around here and gives him a huge advantage. Shubankar Sharma and Daryl Fritteli are next in the betting with neither having much appeal. Both lack experience on the PGA Tour let alone somewhere as unique as Augusta National.
Li Hao Tong is a very interesting player. A closing 63 gave him third spot at last years Open and beating Rory at the Dubai Desert Classic (where the last two winners have won here) is eye catching. Patton Kizzire has two wins in the last six months and is another to be taken seriously.
Schauffele is probably the safest bet but I am finding it hard to not involve Li Hao Tong. I have big hopes for him in the future.
Top 20 Finish
I have a couple of picks for this market. Ian Poulter took the final qualifying spot on Sunday with victory in the Houston Open. Those winning the last event before a Major dont have a great record the following week. Poulter gave it everything in that final round and playoff. He is tough as nails but 5/2 is a little skinny.
Ryan Moore was 13th as an amateur here and has had plenty of top 20 finishes since. Finishing fifth behind Rory at the Arnold Palmer is a lovely warm up and 4/1 with Ladbrokes is a price I am happy to take. I mentioned in the debutant market above that Patton Kizzire has wins in Mexico and at the Sony Open this season, so at 6/1 he looks to be the value pick.
A small market with some really attractive prices. Jason Day and Adam Scott are the favourites of course but at 7/2 I have to back Mark Leishman. The big man could well have won back in 2015 and should have also had an Open title in the bag by now.
He is in cracking form of late, winning the FedEx play-off at the back end of last year and a top 10 at Bay Hill recently allied with the poor form of both Scott and Day make him a stand out punt this week.
Top South African
This market features another small field with a standout contender at an attractive price. South Africans have always gone well here. Charl Schwartzel backed up his 2011 win with a 3rd last time although his recent form gives cause for concern as hes crashed out of the Top 50.
Branden Grace could well win a Major in his career but it won't be this one. 2008 champion Trevor Immelman's career ended around the same time whilst Daryl Fritelli lacks experience. Louis Ooshuiezen is the standout and at 7/4 he is one of my bankers of the week.
In-Play is where I find a lot of winners and its my main focus this week in the outright markets. The selections should hopefully be in contention come Sunday evening. Good luck all!
US Masters – Xander Schauffele Top Debutant (7/2 Ladbrokes)
US Masters – Mark Leishman Top Australasian (7/2 Boylesports)
US Masters – Louis Oosthueizen Top South African (7/4 Bet365)
US Masters – Ryan Moore Top 20 Finish (4/1 Ladbrokes)
US Masters – Patton Kizzire Top 20 Finish (6/1 Boylesports)