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The US Masters at Augusta National signifies the beginning of spring – not to mention the beginning of golf's major season. The media hyped up a Tiger Woods return but those inside the golf world knew the signs were slim; Tiger has a new book out and hasn't played since withdrawal from injury in Dubai.
On paper the US Masters should be the easiest of the 4 golf majors to predict. While the British Open, US Open and USPGA visit a different course every year, every April golfers return to the same course (barring the lengthening of a few holes) at Augusta National. The weather plays a bigger part at the British Open and US Open courses are set up much tougher than Augusta ever is.
But picking a winner before the tournaments starts, or even after three rounds, is frustratingly difficult. "A player who is long off the tee, flights the ball right-to-left and putts well will dominate" chorus the experts.
But that is only partly true: big hitters such as Bubba Watson, Adam Scott, and Angel Cabrera have a green jacket each. But neither of those players are good putters. Conversely, short hitting Jordan Spieth and Zach Johnson have won at Augusta but are two of the best putters in the world.
This we can be sure of, the player who slips in to the green jacket on Sunday night in the Butler Cabin will be the one who has the fewest three putts and the lowest score on the par-5's for the week.
Where’s The Smart Money Going?
Logic dictates that any bet you place on the 2017 Masters Golf Tournament is going to come against one of the big three: Dustin Johnson, Rory Mcllroy and Jordan Spieth. Johnson has won his last three tournaments, has the length to do well at Augusta and got the major monkey off his back at the 2016 US Open. Spieth missed the cut last week but his record at the Masters is 2nd-1st-2nd. Mcllroy only needs the US Masters to complete the grand slam and has finished in the top-10 at Augusta the past three years.
Outside of the big three, the biggest young star in golf, Jon Rahm, has the perfect game for Augusta: long off the tee and a great putting touch. But if you want better odds, consider betting one of these players:
Follow your heart or follow your brain, but I’m happy to report that this author has just placed $100 on Jason Day to win the 2017 Masters
I also think Jason Day has the perfect motivation to take out a Masters Win – because let’s face it, if you can’t do it for your Mum who can you do it for?!
Checkout the latest Masters Golf Odds here
What Last Week Tells Us
What do the results from last week's Shell Houston Open tell us about who is playing well:
Amen Corner on Sunday
The old saying that "the Masters doesn't start until the back 9 on Sunday" has been around for a reason. Jordan Spieth held a five shot lead when the he stepped on to the 12th tee last year. His shot in the water and subsequent meltdown allowed Danny Willet to come through and win his first major. Rory Mcllroy held the lead when he teed off at the 10th in 2011 and signed for an 80 at the 18th. Amen corner, meaning the 11th, 12th and 13th holes, have claimed a lot of victims and will guarantee some excitement on Sunday afternoon.
Whoever you bet on, don't despair if he is 5 shots behind standing on the 11th tee. And if your guy is in the lead, don't celebrate until he starts walking off the 13th green.
Australian TV Broadcasting Times
The Masters Tournament tees off on Thursday, April 6 and FoxSports and Channel 7 will beam the live coverage into Australia.
FoxSports have launched a dedicated Masters channel that will begin at midnight on Sunday evening. The channel will cover all the live action from Augusta National as well as daily highlights, the par-3 competition and every practice session. Stuart Appleby will join Paul Gow and host Tim Sheridan for the live coverage.
For free-to-air viewers, Network 7 will be broadcasting live from the Masters on 7Mate as well as live streaming the event through their online TV site, PLUS7 Live.
Australian TV Broadcast times – 7Mate, PLUS7 and FoxSports 7
Round 1, 2 & 3
Fri April 7 – Sun April 9
Mon April 10