After the inaugural fall event in November last year where Dustin Johnson broke his duck the major now reverts to its early April slot in the sporting calendar.
As stated, every year it’s still the best sporting event to consider placing a wager whether you are a golf fan or not as so many factors are stacked in the punters favor.
Firstly, even though it is an invitational event with only 90 participants many sportsbooks will quote up to ten each way places.
The field can then be whittled down considerably as many are ceremonial past winners some of which have not played competitive golf in years and cannot possibly contend against the modern-day player.
No US Masters debutant has won the event since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979. This stat is rolled out each year just to highlight that previous visits to the course in a competitive environment are paramount when trying to pick the eventual winner.
This year there currently is only six debutants which include left handers Robert MacIntyre & Brian Harman but there are plenty of solid tournament trends in recent years at this iconic sporting venue which suggest the winner will be amongst a select group.
Previous winners of the last ten Green Jackets had previously won on US soil in the two years leading up to their victory again this would rule out a few players at the head of the betting like Tony Finau who is the model of PGA Tour consistency but struggles to find the winning circle despite being a regular fixture on the leaderboard. If you continue to highlight the previous decade, 80% of the last Green Jacket holders had gained a top thirty finish before their victory which also correlates to course form being a necessity.
In the Fall Masters last year Bryson DeChambeau started as red-hot favourite after he spread-eagled the US Open in Winged Foot and most sages thought he would do similar in Augusta especially given his newfound length off the tee.
However, BDC finished outside the top thirty and a distant eighteen shots behind Dustin Johnson.
We would expect him to improve vastly on that performance but given he is yet to show anything in terms of course, form odds of 10/1 look incredibly on the skinny side and we should look elsewhere.
At the front of the market Dustin Johnson will start favorite although he won the Saudi International in February he has failed to win since his Masters success in November in the US and did not qualify for the last sixteen in last week’s WGC World Matchplay.
Jon Rahm has been very consistent in 2021 with seven top ten finishes on the PGA but the imminent birth of his second child in the week of the event might mean that his wait for the inevitable first major could continue.
Recent Players Championship winner Justin Thomas looks a solid proposition and has great form around Augusta with three top twenty finishes in the last three US Masters with a best fourth placing last time out.
Despite being only 27 years of age, Thomas has won fourteen times on the PGA Tour sixteen as a professional globally and is a major winner having won the USPGA Championship in 2017.
Others to consider at bigger prices would be Sungjae Im from Korea who is now World ranked 18 after breaking on to the PGA Tour in 2018 has already won the Honda Classic last year which in valiantly defended recently with a top ten finish.
His tied second in last years Masters on debut was promising showing for the 23 year old and at odds of 40/1 he is outstanding value at claim the Green Jacket.
Xander Schauffele is another sub-30 years old professional destined to win a major soon. At 27 years of age he has already won four times and been runner up no less than ten occasions on tour despite this being only his fifth season. Given the US Open is the toughest major statistically, Xander has completed four consecutive top six finishes and was second to Tiger Woods in the US Masters 2019. Odds of 20/1 look exceptional value each way.
Of the European players competing it would not surprise if Lee Westwood at the age of 47 appeared on the leaderboard at some stage. Although a major championship has eluded the Englishman he has had two recent seconds on the PGA Tour beaten by only the quality of Thomas and De Chambeau at the Players and Arnold Palmer Events respectively
Westwood has six top ten finishes at Augusta in his career and has been runner up twice in 2010 and 2016.
Don’t be surprised if he contends in derivative markets such as Top European and Top GB Player at tasty prices.
Justin Thomas 12-1 (EW 8,9 or 10 places general)
Xander Schauffele 20-1 (EW 8,9,10 places general)
Sungjae Im 40-1 (EW 8,9,10 places general)
Lee Westwood Top European Each Way