Readers of this column will know that 90% of my bets go down on rugby however at this time of the year I start to get excited about the US Masters Golf which is only a week away. Little beats the excitement of the first Major of the year and of course betting on the tournament only adds to the excitement.
The current odds at leading online bookmaker World Sports Betting has Rory McIlroy the favourite at 7/1 with Dustin Johnson 10/1, Justin Rose 12/1, Tiger Woods 16/1 and you can get 18/1 and better the rest. You have to scroll fairly far down the betting list to find your first South African who is Louis Oosthuizen priced at 40/1. Oosthuizen was beaten in a payoff here by Bubba Watson a few years ago and he certainly showed he is coming into some excellent form in last week’s WGC event.
I haven’t finalized my US Masters betting strategy but one player who caught the eye last week was Lucas Bjerregaard who was a beaten semi-finalist at the WGC Match Play. He faded on Sunday but showed plenty during the week including a great victory over Tiger Woods in the quarters. He is currently priced at 125/1 and while realistically I don’t see him winning the event as a 1st timer, I will be looking for a price on a Top 20 and will also be looking to back him in the Top Debutante market.
One player towards the top of the betting boards that may well get a few rand of mine thrown at him is Italian, Francesco Molinari. Molinari was a golfer that was always thereabouts but struggled to make it into the big league. He put his head down and made some changes to his game finding a bit more distance and in 2018 he was one of the hottest golfers on the planet and won The Open. Like Bjerregaard he lost in the semi-finals at the WGC, but for my money he was the best player all week and his putter was red hot which is critical for Masters success. At 22/1 to win the tournament, Molinari (whose best finish at the Masters is 19th) is shaping up as my main bet for my favourite golfing event of the year.
Lookout for our US Masters betting preview show on YouTube next week.
This article was written for the CitiGaming supplement of the Citizen Newspaper and was published on the 4th of April 2019.