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Sunday, April 11
Sky Sports The Masters, Live coverage at 8pm
*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.
It was a scintillating Saturday at Augusta and the man who took advantage of ‘moving day’ the most was Hideki Matsuyama who finally produced the sort of ruthless display his game has been lacking of late. A brilliant back nine of 30 saw him take the tournament by the scruff of its neck and open up a four shot lead on 11-under into today’s final round.
The prospect of him becoming the first Japanese male player to win a Major Championship will undoubtedly weigh heavily on the 29-year-old’s head, so can he finish the job tonight?
Players who have held a four-shot lead or greater heading in to Sunday at Augusta have won on 11 out of 15 times, the most recent being Dustin Johnson last November. So overall, the omens are good.
However, there are also examples of Rory McIlroy’s final round 80 in 2011 after he held a four-shot advantage on the final day.
No player outside the top five on Saturday night’s leaderboard has landed the Green Jacket in the past 31 years, so it is fair to assume that the winner will most likely come from the chasing quartet (Xander Schauffele, Justin Rose, Marc Leishman and Will Zalatoris ) on 7under par.
My preference is for Matsuyama’s playing partner yesterday and today, Xander Schauffele. Schauffele did very little wrong yesterday but his round of 68 was overshadowed by Matsuyama’s brilliance. All four of his PGA Tour wins to date having come from off the pace on Sunday so he is clearly comfortable in the roll of the hunter, not the hunted.
With six top 10s in Major Championship already Schauffele (last won on the US Tour in 2019) could be ready to pounce and take advantage of some anticipated nerves from Matsuyama whose last win came at the WGC Firestone in 2017. With an each-way safety net of three places still available, I am happy to jump on board.
I was keen on a big debut performance from the Scot and he goes into Sunday with a chance of overturning Zalatoris in the top debutant market and I expect MacIntyre to continue to thrive in the Augusta setting and post another solid day. With his opponent Finau having stalled in fairly typical fashion yesterday, I am happy to risk the Scot to get the better of him in their two-ball match up.
In all likelihood, Spieth now has too much to do to land his second Green Jacket, but I expect a bold showing from him later. With Harman having gone backwards yesterday, it may be his race is run.
I sided with Leishman yesterday as the underdog against Haman and he did not disappoint shooting a solid round of 70. It may well be the Aussie still has a say in the outright destiny of the trophy.
My suspicion though is Leishman will come up short on this front but with Rose having to really battle to hang in there for two days now, I suspect he may well run out of steam today.
I am happy to roll with the Aussie again.
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