Golf tips: Justin Thomas among 5 to fly in US Masters at Augusta

Our tipster Martin Mathews expects Justin Thomas to shine at The Masters

Justin Thomas World Golf Championships - Dell Technologies Match Play Austin Country Club March 24, 2021


*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widget, while in-copy odds are accurate at the time of publication but subject to change

After last year’s amended schedule saw The Masters played in November, 2021 has seen the golfing world get back on track. With April upon us then that can only mean one thing – a return to Augusta National some five months after the last visit.

Gone will be the two-tee start and the soft conditions we saw in November, and with the azaleas in full bloom the world of golf at least will resemble the ‘old normal’.

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A par 72 measuring 7475 yards, the key to success here is two-fold. Firstly, you must take advantage of the four Par fives and secondly you have to play to the right spots on the greens. Find yourself on the wrong level on the lightning-quick putting surfaces and, as we have seen many times over the years, it is nigh-on impossible to get down in two. So, let’s take a look at some of the leading contenders.

Heading up the betting is the man who donned the Green Jacket last November – Dustin Johnson. Johnson triumphed here on the back of a run of two wins and three second-place finishes in his six previous events. This time around though all is not quite the same in his camp and, having struggled on his last three starts, he is easy to pass by at single-figure odds.

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With Bryson Dechambeau showing in November that he is still trying to adapt his game to the challenges of Augusta, the other very obvious candidate from the top of the market is the resurgent Jordan Spieth who arrives here fresh from his first win in four years at the weekend in Texas. Spieth certainly has the character to follow up this week on a course he loves, but back-to-back wins in a fortnight is a big ask and with his odds having crashed over the past few weeks I’m happy to let him go unbacked.

Of those vying for favouritism, that leaves Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas and with the Spaniard potentially distracted by the birth of his first child last weekend I will side once more with JUSTIN THOMAS.

Justin Thomas Golf player

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Thomas, who rewarded this column recently at TPC Sawgrass, should again be in his element here with his stellar approach play; the key to his success at The Players likely to again be crucial.

I suspect we will see firm, fast conditions due to both a recent lack of rain and the Augusta National Committee’s potential desire to counter-balance last November’s softer conditions, making second shot accuracy more important than ever. If so, JT will be firmly in his element.

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Progressive form figures here of 39th, 22nd, 17th, 12th and fourth also offer great encouragement in the way his previous history did at Sawgrass and he looks ready to step up and add a Green Jacket to his lone previous Major triumph at the PGA.

Looking at those just behind the market leaders, it is perhaps a sign of where he’s at that RORY MCILROY sits in this section of the betting. The Northern Irishman has turned to renowned coach Pete Cowan to address some swing problems but with back-to-back top 10s only a month ago, I don’t believe the malaise to be as big as is being made out.

McIlroy has finished top 10 here in six of his last seven starts which, in an event that Paddy are paying to 10 places each-way, makes his odds more than attractive and I am happy to chance that coming in under the radar he will have ironed things out with Cowan and the pieces will click.

Next up for me is ADAM SCOTT. The Aussie caught the eye with a hugely improved tee-to-green performance at the Honda last time out and the former Masters champion looks primed for another big run here in conditions, which should suit.

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Finally I shall round things off with a couple at three-figure odds in the shape of CHRISTIAAN BEDZUIDENHOUT and SI WOO KIM. Bezuidenhout’s approach game and strong putting touch makes him a perfect fit for Augusta and following on from a strong debut here in November, the rising star could be the next player from South Africa to spring a shock at a Major. Former Players Champion Kim meanwhile has the quality to triumph on the biggest stage and with a win already this season and a solid Augusta resume to his name, he is someone I want to have onside.

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widget, while in-copy odds are accurate at the time of publication but subject to change

The Masters bet summary

Justin Thomas
Rory McIlroy
Adam Scott
Christiaan Bedzuidenhout
Si Woo Kim

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