US Masters 2018 Preview
Golf's biggest major kicks off later this week so we thought we would preview it for you traders!
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In terms of picking an outright winner, golf is probably the hardest sport to predict. That said, the market knows this so the competitors are often long prices to win. Spotting value is tricky but not impossible. One of the big factors in my selections is course form as Masters winners tend to be players who have played well previously here. The course is of such a difficult nature that it does really help to have experienced it before and as such I have gone for player with good course form but also good year form.
Jordan Speith is favourite at 11.0, not often you will get a favourite in anything at those big odds, especially one who has 3/4 top 2 finishes in his last 4 appearances here. For me Speith is a deserving favourite and actually the odds look decent, his finishes are 11th, 2nd, 1st and 2nd at the masters and in a tournament where course form is key. Speith shot -16 last week in Houston so is in good form coming into this. Speith has been so impressive in the few years he has been pro, his win at the Open last year in tough conditions was nothing short of brilliant, he always seems to be there or there abouts.
Dustin Johnson is very close to Speith in terms of my favourite here, he is in great form as World No. 1 with 3/6 top two finishes on the PGA tour so far this year. At 13.5 I think Johnson is worth a go here, again another consistent performer who has good course form here, his last two finishes were 6th and 4th, so he is trending in the right direction. He will be raring to go after he had to pull out last minute last year with a back injury. Johnson has changed his lodgings since his freak injury just year and says he is feeling good about this week now.
Sometimes you have to go for the fairlytale, the phrase 'you couldn't script this' would be appropriate for Ian Poulter winning last week to book a place here this week. Poulter was told he had already qualified for the Masters, only to be told again that was wrong and he had to win the Houston Open to qualify. To then do that is an amazing accomplishment in a sport where everything is determined by such fine margins. I can't ignore Poulter this week and although it is a bit of a 'flyer' he is in good form shooting -19 at Houston. Poulter has 3 top 10 finishes here and a lot of middling ones also, so his course form is not bad. What makes this worth the punt for me is the odds a cracking 80.0, a boom or bust selection but clearly a player with the talent to win on tour and to win a major. Remember we are only 2 years removed from Danny Willett winning the green jacket, so you just never know!
It is always one of the highlights of the year to watch and I imagine this year will be no different, can't wait!
Back Jordan Speith at 11.0 - Small/Medium Bet
Back Dustin Johnson at 13.5 - Small/Medium bet
Back Ian Poutler at 80.0 - Very small bet