Golf tips: Paddy trader’s 5 US Masters selections at Augusta

Our trader Iain McLaughlin has named his five selections for The Masters this week.

*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

My headline selection is BRYSON DECHAMBEAU. I think he’s starting to really trend towards a big showing this week, as his win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and third at the Players Championship were really strong performances. What has really filled me with confidence is the upward trajectory of his ‘strokes gained on approach’ figures. At the start of the year he was losing strokes on the field in his approach play, but he gained 4.2 and 5.2 strokes on the field in his approach play during those last two appearances.

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Should that upward trend continue with his irons, meshed with his power off the tee – he’s been gaining so many strokes on the field off the tee for the last six months now – he will prove really, really tough to beat. Looking through his form at Augusta, it’s been consistent if not spectacular. Finishes of 21st 38th, 29th and 34th are not too bad and I’m not too discouraged by that. I think he will improve on those massively and I think he will be slipping on the green jacket on Sunday evening.

My first selection at a price is BUBBA WATSON. He’s a really big price for a two-time champion and this is one of his favourite courses on tour. His imagination off the tee with his irons really suits the test of Augusta, as you have to shape the ball both ways to play well here. That’s backed up by just one missed cut in only 12 starts here, while those two wins came in 2012 and 2014.

I liked what I saw in terms of ball-striking at the World Golf Championship-Dell Technologies Matchplay dash matchplay. It looked like he was going to cruise into the quarterfinals but Brian Harman rattled off seven birdies in a row and knocked him out – he was -4 in that match. I’m surprised Watson drifted out so much in this market after that game, and I think his current price is a bit of an insult to him. I think he will outplay those odds this week.

Bubba Watson

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COREY CONNERS is another one at a bit of a price. He finished 14th at the Valero Texas open, and what has been a common theme for him is excellent tee-to-green figures. He gained 4.6 strokes off the tee and 3.6 strokes in his approach play that week. Looking through this field in the last three or four months, Conners is one of the best players in the field.

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He isn’t the greatest putter in the world, but it’s an encouraging sign that he’s gained strokes on the greens in four of his last five events. He was 10th here in November in what was only his third appearance at Augusta and I think he looks a really solid bet this week with 10 places on offer.

ADAM SCOTT mentioned recently that major championships and events like this are the ones that he really gets up for and tries to prime his game for. That means that we usually get a better price than we should on weeks like this and that’s even more prevalent when Scott and Augusta mix together – he was a winner in 2013 and he’s posted 11 top 30 finishes. He loves the course and the long-game test that it presents.

What caught my eye was the warm up he had at the Honda Classic. He finished 13th in the end but gained 2.5 strokes off the tee and 7.2 strokes with his approach play. That’s really, really strong iron play figures and it was good to see him perform so well in that metric. I think he’s too big a price for a player who loves the course.

MAX HOMA has been in good recent form and his win at the Genesis Invitational reads really well. The Riviera Country Club correlates really well with Augusta National in relation to course characteristics. Plenty of Master champions have won at Riviera – Dustin Johnson, Adam Scott and Bubba Watson have all won at Riviera and Augusta in the last eight years. His tee to green figures have been really solid in the main too. He made his debut here in November when he missed the cut but he was in really poor form – he had missed four cut in his previous six starts leading up to November’s Masters and he is in exponentially better form now. I think can go really well at a price.

*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

Bryson DeChambeau
Bubba Watson
Corey Conners
Adam Scott
Max Homa

US Masters

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