The time has finally arrived, it’s officially Masters week folks. Welcome to the Super Bowl of Golf. For an entire week the epicenter of the golfing world is in Augusta, GA. The first major tournament of the year comes intact with decades of storied history and tradition.
Jon Rahm (+1000) is the betting favorite, despite losing his #1 world ranking to Scottie Scheffler (+1600), after posting four consecutive Top 10’s. Jordan Spieth (+2000) has five Top 3 finishes in his eight Masters appearances. Believe it or not, Tiger Woods (+5000) is considered a game-time decision to play in his 24th Masters. Given his track record, if he is healthy enough to play, he MUST be taken seriously.
The past dozen winners have all been ranked inside the World’s Top 30 players. The last time a golfer won this tournament in his first appearance was Fuzzy Zoeller way back in 1979. Here are the rest of the current betting odds, provided by Caesars Sportsbook.
This world-renowned event separates itself from the pack in a plethora of ways. It’s the only major held at the same location each year. Its field is annually the smallest (just 91 golfers this year) of all major tournaments, due to it being an invitational event.
Since 1949, the infamous Green Jacket has been awarded to the champion. The jacket must be returned after one year, but remains in the golfer’s personal property – exclusively stored in the Champions Cloakroom.
The Champions Dinner, inaugurated by Ben Hogan in 1952, is always on the Tuesday evening before the tournament. Only open to past champions (and their families) and board members of the Augusta National Golf Club.
The famed Par-3 contest was first introduced in 1960. The 1,060 yard, 9 hole course with a Par of 27 has traditionally been played each Wednesday before the tournament. The family friendly event, nowadays aired on ESPN, allows players to use their children as caddies. A need to know betting nugget is that no Par-3 contest winner has ever gone on to win the Masters.
Augusta National Course Preview
Let’s dig into the course itself – Augusta National. The Masters has been played on these same grounds every year since the tournament’s inception back in 1934. Bobby Jones’s creation undertook many shaky events along the way.
This course is laid out on a once plant nursery and each hole is named after a tree or shrub it became associated with. Augusta National is sprawled across a massive property, setting a record elongated distance of 7,510 for this year’s tournament.
As always it features four, reachable in two, high risk/reward, Par-5’s. They are the only holes with a scoring average under par on property. Historically, players who have taken advantage of these holes have found the most success.
As expected from any Major championship venue, the Par-4’s play long. In fact, 9/10 of them play 440+ yards, and 3/10 play longer than 490 yards. Even though Augusta features some of the widest fairways on tour, the vast variety of green entrance ways ensures that players hit the correct side of the fairway. Given this fact and many other creative requirements to win a green jacket – Augusta National is unique beyond compare and certainly not regarded as a second shot course.
Originally, the grass on all the putting greens was the wide-bladed Bermuda. After decades of play, the greens had slowed significantly. Finally in 1981, the healthier strain of narrow-bladed Bentgrass was installed property-wide. This resulted in faster putting surfaces and far less complaints.
Historically, course experience has been widely known as the most desired quality in a player when looking to select future winners. The main culprit for this is Augusta National’s ban on “green reading books” and the laser technology that creates them.
The Masters Playing Field Qualification
Being an invitational event, most invites are issued automatically by players meeting some criteria. The top 50 players in the official World Golf Ranking are all invited. Past Masters champions earn lifetime eligibility, but nowadays are discouraged from playing at advanced ages.
Other major tournament winners receive a 5-year exemption to the tournament. A handful of top amateurs in the world are invited. Winners of any PGA sanctioned event within the prior calendar year qualifies you as well. It’s very safe to say that the cream of the crop will be teeing it up this week at Augusta National.
Stats to Watch for The Masters:
Rounds Played – more than any other course, experience is rewarded on the scorecard. The lack of putting green books and the amount of sheer creativity required, can take years to master.
SG : Approach – ball striking remains at the forefront at Augusta. Each hole has disaster areas to land your approach and these undulating greens can easily produce 3 putts if starting in the wrong section.
SG : Around the Green – If you don’t have a high GIR% at Augusta, you damn sure better be able do magic with your 60 degree wedge. In fact, many holes potentially offer the opportunity to flop a shot off the green.
Par 5 Scoring – as mentioned earlier, all four Par-5’s at Augusta National are reachable in two. Considering, they’re the only holes that play under par – you MUST take advantage. In order to contend get the majority of your birdies/eagles across your sixteen Par 5 attempts
Bogey Avoidance – Generally, Masters champions finish somewhere between 8-12 shots under par. Let’s assume you dominate the Par 5’s and shoot -10, you’d only need to play scratch golf around the rest of Augusta National to contend or even win!
Past Masters Tournament Champions:
Every golfer dreams of slipping into a green jacket one day, it’s that prestigious of an accomplishment.
The record for most green jackets is held by none other than Jack Nicklaus, who won six between 1963-1986. Tiger Woods has won five tournaments and Arnold Palmer holds down third place with four wins. How about that for a podium of tournament champions? Below are the most recent Masters champions along with the winning score and take home winnings.
Sungjae Im , Cameron Smith
Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Xander Schauffele
Sergio Garcia (playoff)
Jordan Spieth, Lee Westwood
Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose
Golfers to Watch in the 2022 Masters Tournament
I can’t recall ever seeing so many golfers with 20/1 odds or shorter? That speaks to how large the wave of young superstars that the PGA Tour currently possesses is. While more golfers have a legitimate shot at winning a green jacket than throughout history, the past dozen winners have ALL still been ranked inside the World’s Top 30. Keep in mind last time a golfer won this tournament in his first appearance was Fuzzy Zoeller way back in 1979, even though Zalatoris finished 2nd as a virgin just last year.
Colin Morikawa (+2000) – At age 25 he’s already halfway to a career Grand Slam, in just 8 major tournaments. This will be his third go-around here, he’s made the cut twice and he’s looking to improve on his Top 20 last year. The best iron player on the planet is clearly comfortable on the biggest of stages. If this new “saw” grip on the putter helps to solve his woes on the green, you’ll be looking at the youngest golfer ever to win 3 of the 4 majors.
Joaquin Niemann (+4500) – Believe it or not, he is still just 23 years old, a full year younger than Viktor Hovland. He struggled at Majors early in his career but has now made five cuts in a row. His dominating wire-to-wire win at Riviera in February turned me into a believer. Not to mention Riviera is the #1 most similar course to Augusta National.
Talor Gooch (+10000) – This late-bloomer is no doubt a top–tier player. His mental fortitude and consistent game is what major champs are made from. Average from the tee’s (both distance & accuracy) but is always gaining strokes on approach & around the green. At 100/1 you are getting value upon value. Love Gooch for Top-20/10 bets also.