US Masters tips: A 50/1 value play for first round leader at Augusta

Our tipster reckons Phil can thrill with a fast start at Augusta on Thursday.



*Prices are correct at time of publishing but are subject to change. The odds on the widget are bang up to date with 

With anticipation building for the first trip down Magnolia Lane in 18 months Paddy is determined to do the event justice by pricing up a raft of speciality markets for the US Masters 2020.

First Round Leader market

With a two-tee start, the whole field will tee off between 12 noon & 5:22pm BST, so there doesn’t appear to be any huge advantage in being an early or later starter, particularly as the forecast shows conditions set to remain pretty similar throughout the day.

The main advantage from a players’ tee time is not when they tee off – but where they tee off from.

Half the field will have to get their 2020 Masters campaign underway just before they enter the infamous Amen Corner and it is quite possible that the dangerous 11th and 12th holes could catch a few out early on.

On this basis, I will side with a couple of players who are starting at the first and can ease their way into the round. The first is Phil Mickelson who tees off at 4.27pm BST.

Now 50, you would think the chances of Mickelson adding another green jacket to his collection are slim, however on a course he knows like the back of his hand, he is still more than capable of producing some good stuff. True his form on the PGA Tour of late has been underwhelming, but he was a winner on the Champions Tour three weeks ago. I am happy to take him at good each-way odds to start quickly on Thursday at Augusta.

Alongside Mickelson I will take another former Masters Champion Zach Johnson who tees off at 5.11pm BST.

Johnson who bagged his 2007 Masters title under similar wet conditions to those expected this week has quietly been having a bit of a renaissance of late finishing eighth at Winged Foot in the US Open recently. Fourth in first-round scoring averages on the PGA Tour last season he has made a habit of going well on day one lately and he can get out of the gates quickly again.

Top Debutant market

This is an incredibly competitive market with Major winner Colin Morikawa the obvious favourite followed by Matthew Wolff and Cameron Champ, however Morikawa has understandably gone slightly off the boil since winning the PGA Championship.

I am happy to side with Erik Van Rooyen @ 16/1, who has made the cut in all of his previous five Major starts, arrives here in really solid form and he has a tee-to-green game perfect for Augusta. South African’s have a really strong history in the US Masters and he can upset the odds against the more illustrious American names in this market, where Paddy is paying the first 4 places each-way.


Top Asian market

Hideki Matsuyama is a strong favourite in the top Asian player market but Si Woo Kim @ 13/2 looks worth chancing with three each-way places on offer.

Kim missed the cut at the weekend at Houston, but prior to that he has been in really solid form and his last two visits here have reaped top 25 finishes. Aside from Matsuyama, the main competition to Kim is Sungjae Im who has been below par of late and is making his debut this week and an out-of-form Byeong Hun An.

With the remainder in this market also either badly out of form and/or making their debuts, the former Players Champion looks a solid option and could also be the pick in the Top South Korean player market.

Top 40 finish market

JT Poston is another making his debut at the Masters and his is by far the strongest club in his bag. My suspicion is that he will perform creditably. The one-time PGA Tour winner arrives at Augusta in decent form having finished 20th at Houston last weekend.

A top 40 finish is well within his grasp.

*Prices are correct at time of publishing but are subject to change. The odds on the widget are bang up to date with 

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