IT'S time for the first Major of the year. Hope your wallets are full and you've got plenty to put on your favourites. My selections are all guys I’ve talked about before – Dustin Johnson, Matt Kuchar, Sergioa Garcia, Hunter Mahan and Adam Scott.

First we have Johnson. Let’s forget his first round of 80 last week and look at his stats. Won one, second twice and top five in another two from seven starts.

Ranked first in GIR, birdie average and scoring average, all-round ranking and par breakers, second in driving distance, eagles (per hole) and top-10 finishes. Putting from 10-15 feet he is second yet from 5-10ft he’s 148th! That could be his downfall on slipper surfaces at Augusta but I still back him to win his first Major here this week.

Kuchar blew it again last week for the second time in a row. I tipped the Kooch two weeks ago at the Valero Texas Open when he finished tied fourth after leading. Last week he had three sub-70 rounds and was leading going up the 18th when he landed in the water then lost the play-off to Aussie Matt Jones.

Out of nine tournaments he’s finished in the top 10 six times. His driving accuracy and GIR are in the mid-60s but he's a steady player and that’s what you need in the Masters.

Mahan had a steady four rounds at the Shell Houston Open last week and although he’s not had a stellar start to the season he seems to come alive at the Majors. His stats this season are awful but he might be worth a wee each way. He’s had three top-15 finishes in the last five years and was in the final pairing in two successive Majors last year so his pedigree is good. If he’s recovered from a hip injury sustained at Bay Hill he could be in the running.

Could this be Sergio’s year? The Spaniard is playing his best golf for a few years. Four top-ten finishes from six starts on the PGA Tour and one win and three top-10s from six in Europe.

On both tours his GIR is around 70 per cent but his driving accuracy has never been the best around and is currently 57 per cent. His putting on the PGA Tour is 82 per cent from 3-5ft and on the par fives he no slouch with -19 (averaging 4.66) so if he rips apart the par fives and gets close on these fast Augusta greens he’ll score well.

Can Scott do it again? After blowing a 36-hole seven-shot lead and a three-shot advantage at the beginning of the final round at Bay Hill you would think not. If he is in the winning position on the last day we could see a collapse like in The Open.

His putting wasn’t on song at Bay Hill and I think that was the reason he didn’t win. We can’t write him off because of one round can we?

He’s had three top-10 finishes in five starts with GIR stats of 68 per cent and driving accuracy of 61 per cent. His par-three average is not good (3.21) but par 5s are -41 and 4s -9. The man has a lot of talent and I’m sure he’ll have put Bay Hill behind him so he’s another one to add to my list.

My Bunker’s Bet is Canadian Graham DeLaet. He’s had five top-10 finishes and two second places from nine starts this season. His GIR stat is good (72 per cent) and par five average is 4.59. I think there’s a lot more to come from this young man and he’s worth a small each way wager.

20pt staking plan

Dustin Johnson 4pts ew 28-1 Betfred, Coral

Matt Kuchar 2pts ew 25-1 Betfred

Sergio Garcia 2pts ew 25-1 Betfred, McBookie

Hunter Mahan 0.5pt ew 50-1 Stan James

Adam Scott 1pt ew 12-1 Betfred

Bunkers Bet

Graham DeLaet 0.5pt ew 100-1 Skybet

Ace Venturer

  1. Kyleh 7 years ago

    Really like the sound of dustin johnson, mahan, oosthuizen and shwartzel. Think oosthuizen at 66/1 is very generous for a player that most years is there or there abouts. I also like the specials that skybet are doing of a play off at 5/2 and for the winner not to be in the finale pairing 13/8. Might even have a cheeky wee bet on the par 3 comp. keep up the good golfing tips mrfixit

  2. biglad69 7 years ago

    Jason day for me

  3. Dar 7 years ago

    I think Lee Westwood & k j choi are great bets @ great prices for a top ten finish with coral. What do you think? I’ve looked at stats for Augusta over the past years. Also like Harris English for a top 10 finish

  4. johnb 7 years ago

    To win

    Lee Westwood 50/1 e/w
    Charl Schwartzel 40/1 e/w
    Russell Henley 150/1 e/w

    first round leader

    Lee Westwood 50/1 e/w
    Sergio Garcia 33/1 e/w
    Charl Schwartzel 40/1 e/w

    Lee Westwood top 20 finish 15/8 stan james

    good luck everyone

  5. Alex 7 years ago

    Lee Westwood at nearly 2’s for a top 20 finish is a HUGE price. Can’t believe that!

  6. Lossie jim 7 years ago

    Westwood’s a bottler in the majors……a la Monty!!

  7. Dar 7 years ago

    Your wrong jim !!!
    Lee Westwood was 8th in 2013
    3rd in 2012
    12th in 2011
    6th in 1999
    All in the masters

    • Lossie jim 7 years ago

      Monty was 2nd in a couple of majors, but was still a bottler, like Monty I believe Westwood will never win a major,isn’t a good enough putter.

  8. Malkster 7 years ago

    Good weeknd for yours truly again at golf..2 top 20 doubles up..and few places..well chuffed.

    masters Ive did all these 4 weeks ago ..mahan walker reed furyk 20s choi and coetzee

  9. sha 7 years ago

    Good weeknd for yours truly again at golf..2 top 20 doubles up..and few places..well chuffed.

    masters Ive did all these 4 weeks ago ..mahan walker reed furyk 20s choi and coetzee

  10. cobramint 7 years ago

    Miguel Angel Jimenez top senior 5/2 paddy power….doesn’t have much to beat….looks a great price.

  11. Dar 7 years ago

    Cobramint that is a great bet at 5/2

  12. frago 7 years ago

    Cobramint my only worry would be if fred couples decides to turn back the clock as he so often does it augusta. Finished in the top 15 the past 4 years running, quite an unbelievable feat. Good luck though if you put a stake on it.

  13. Kev 7 years ago

    Oosty always there or thereabouts Kyle?! Came 2nd once and missed cut the other 4 times he’s played Augusta

  14. Malkster 7 years ago

    Mcbookie big on some guys to win a major this year..ive did kuchar dufner and bradley..12s 12s n 10s.too big

  15. Forshie 7 years ago

    Ive had an e/way poke on Mickleson at 14/1 with Paddy Power. Ps. Theyre paying upto 6 places boys :-)

  16. Daryl Cruickshank 7 years ago

    US Masters

    Matt Kuchar
    Ian Poulter
    Phil Mickelson
    Trevor Immelman
    KJ Choi
    Brandt Snedeker
    Charl Schwartzel

  17. Duncan Poundcake 7 years ago

    All of last years 4 major winners finished in the top 4 in a major the previous year –
    Masters winner Adam Scott finished 2nd in The Open in 2012
    US Open winner Justin Rose finished 3rd in the US PGA in 2012
    Open winner Phil Mickleson finished 3rd in The Masters in 2012
    US PGA winner Jason Dufner finished 4th in The US Open in 2012.
    So let’s see who finished in the top 4 of the 2013 majors (including ties)
    Masters – Adam Scott, Angel Cabrera, Jason Day, Marc Leishman & Tiger Woods
    US Open – Justin Rose, Jason Day, Phil Mickleson, Jason Dufner, Ernie Els, Billy Horschel & Hunter Mahan
    The Open – Phil Mickleson, Henrik Stenson, Ian Poulter, Adam Scott & Lee Westwood
    US Pga – Jason Dufner, Jim Furyk, Henrik Stenson & Jonas Blixt

    This gives us 16 players – Adam Scott, Angel Cabrera, Jason Day, Marc Leishman, Tiger Woods, Justin Rose, Phil Mickleson, Jason Dufner, Ernie Els, Billy Horschel, Hunter Mahan, Henrik Stenson, Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood, Jim Furyk & Jonas Blixt
    knock out those who dont have a top 10 finish this year
    (not pairs, teams etc)
    we have
    A Scott – 11/1 @ Totesport (first 5)
    J Day – 16/1 @ PaddyPower (first 6)
    H Stenson – 25/1 @ many (first 5)
    J Rose – 30/1 @ Boylesports (first 5)
    J Dufner – 55/1 @ BetVictor (first 5)
    J Furyk – 80/1 @ many (first 5)
    M Leishman – 100/1 @ many (first 5)
    B Horschel – 150/1 @ many (first 5)
    I will leave it up to you as i am looking at the favourite and thats a bit boring

  18. Eddie gabbott 7 years ago

    Billy the bookie basher reckons Day and Duffner. He should stick to football bets. That’s where his expertise is. The bet of the first day is Jimenez to be round 1 leader each way 125/1. Get on !!! Best advice keep your powder dry till after the cut toe heads

  19. DougieC 7 years ago

    Ill have a couple of pounds on Stephen Gallagher 25/1 and Hideki Matsuyama 80/1.Can but dream

  20. charlie 7 years ago

    Its tough to call,but main bet will be JASON DAY @16/1
    I can’t leave HENRIK STENSON @33/1 out.
    I also see LEE WESTWOOD @50/1 tipped here alot ,mainly because he has a great record ,might not win ,but give you run for your money.
    ANGEL CABRERA @66/1 ,just for obvious reasons
    BRANDT SNEDEKAR’40/1 ,looks like he could win the MASTERS ,and this could be his year.
    I will add a few outsiders ,TIM CLARK@300/1
    STEWART CINK’300/1
    ERNIE ELS @150/1.

  21. Ian Conway 7 years ago

    US Masters

    M.KUCHAR 22/1
    Z.JOHNSON 35/1
    E.ELS 125/1

    Mexico Championships

    C.PERCY 50/1

    Agree about J.FURYK,but J.DAY is too short a price for me.

  22. Ian P 7 years ago

    Cameron Tringale placed last week at 100/1 and got me a profit, but I can’t see an outsider winning this week.
    2 pts win on McIlroy 12/1
    1 e/w on Garcia 20/1, Kuchar 25/1, Dufner 40/1 and Cabrera 70/1.
    Good luck guys

  23. craig k 7 years ago

    Like the look of matt kuchar and more so brandt snedeker. Just watch the highlights of last years masters and he had 3 great rounds before having a mare around the turn, he’s a determined character and former fed ex cup champ, think this could be his first major

  24. Finchy 7 years ago

    Gone for big stakes on Justin Day, Matt Kuchar and Hunter Mahan to Win and E/W.

    Gone for smaller stakes on Bill Haas to finish in the top 20, and smaller stakes on Miguel Jiminez to be the top senior player!

    Good luck to everyone.

  25. lee cunliffe 7 years ago

    first rd leader Jason Day 20/1 cant see him winning as he has slight thumb injury but is always good for a round or 2. To win its got to be Rory Mcilroy at 14/1 @ william hill or it was on the offer yesterday, things seem more settled in his life this year compared to last and is coming off the back of a superb 65 in round 4 last week

  26. Paul 7 years ago

    Gary woodland
    Bubba Watson
    Hideki matsayuma

    All we

    Fink first round leader

  27. Paul 7 years ago

    Sorry s cink

  28. Ritchie 7 years ago

    Don`t know much about golf,my two bob shall be on A.Scott top 10 finish 11/8 @ StanJames. G`luck to all!

  29. Lossie jim 7 years ago

    Z Johnson

    All e/w

  30. trev 7 years ago

    3 for the masters

    dustin johnson

  31. craig k 7 years ago

    Just heard an interesting fact, since tiger woods started professionally he has missed 5 majors due to injuries and personal problems, everytime he has missed a major tournament an Irishman has won that particular tournament!

  32. Neo 7 years ago

    As always, the Masters represents a superb betting opportunity with bookies actively looking to take bets on a well formed market, offering us favourable offers and place terms. Ally that with the fact the field is just 97 deep, and realistically less than half can even contend, and we should be licking our lips at the value available. This year’s edition is really interesting as there are so many question marks surrounding those at the head of the market. The favourites have struggled with form and injuries and there is no Tiger Woods to worry about. I have gone through the card eliminating players and have been left with a final group of 25 whom I feel the likely winner will come from. I have written a line on each of those left out to advise why and a longer write up on our actual selections.

    Firstly, I drew a line straight through all the amateurs, over 46 year olds and first timers. This might seem simplistic but there is a weight of historical data over a significant sample size which suggests that these players just won’t win. In the past 10 years, only four times would a first timer have provided an e/w return, from a pool of approximately 150. Whilst this year’s ‘Masters rookie’ class is strong, with players like Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed, Jimmy Walker and Harris English reasonably prominent in the betting, I am happy to swerve them and let them have a spin around the course before committing my hard-earned to back them.

    I also drew a line through any player who missed the cut in last year’s tournament, and all those who haven’t recorded a top 10 in their last five strokeplay events. No player has won the Masters having missed the cut the previous year since the early 1990s and it stands to reason that those with no recent form will find it very difficult to go close when surrounded by the rest of the world’s best players. After striking a line through these and the above, I was left with just 25 names.

    I eliminated John Senden on the strength of his previous Masters record which reads three missed cuts from four; Torbjorn Olesen on the basis he’s coming off the back of three straight missed cuts and Marc Leishman as he’s finished no higher than tied 31st in his last four starts. Next, I removed Rickie Fowler who is still going through swing changes. Whilst his performance in the Shell Houston Open is encouraging, I’d look for more consistency before getting involved. Jim Furyk was struck off on the basis that he’s played Augusta 17 times and would only have provided an each way return twice and he’d have been much higher in the world rankings for the majority of those years. Bill Haas also got the boot after drilling down into his Masters record. In 16 rounds he’s never gone lower than 70 at Augusta and it’s difficult to win tournaments if you don’t go low. Hideki Matsuyama was discarded on the basis that he’s yet to win a tournament on the PGA Tour. It’s incredibly rare to win a Major prior to winning on the European Tour or PGAtour, and though he’s got a fine record in Asia, he might not be major ready yet.

    Both Ryan Moore and Jason Dufner are lively outsiders with decent Master’s records. However, Moore’s form has dropped off in the past couple of months and Augusta is a tough place to re-find your game, whilst Dufner is difficult to support given his issues with the flat stick. If he putts above average he could go very close but that is a big if.

    Having whittled the numbers down to 16, I then considered whether the remaining were value at the prices and could make arguments against backing most at the top of the market. Whilst I am a McIlroy fan, I couldn’t back him at 9s to win this week. His form since leading after the 3rd round of the Honda Classic has been average and, although he did shoot a decent final round last week, he has contrived to throw away winning positions too regularly for me to get involved at single figures. No top 10s in his 5 trips to August to date is another concern. Adam Scott is available at 11s in places which is probably just about fair but it’s incredibly difficult to go back to back in a major championship these days and there are still question marks over his ability to close tournaments after throwing away back nine leads at the 2012 Open, the Aussie Open this year and the recent Arnold Palmer Invitational. Phil Mickelson always seems to play well at Augusta but has had recent injury concerns and his form has been very patchy this year. I have a feeling his main priority this season is winning the US Open at Pinehurst to complete the career grand slam so at 12/1 he’s not for me. Jason Day is another with obvious claims but at 16/1 I can’t have him given he hasn’t teed it up for 6 weeks due to an injured thumb. Yes he’s been on cracking form and has a very good Masters record but I’d be concerned about him shaking off the rust. Matt Kuchar is clearly in very good nick, but his spectacular collapse in the Shell Houston Open surely won’t help his nerves should he been in contention down the stretch. In fact, he’s now been over par in his last four final rounds on Tour and he’s only ever recorded one top five finish at a major. He’s now 20/1, we backed him at 40s last year and not much has changed in between so there is plenty of reason to oppose. Henrik Stenson hasn’t quite recovered the form he had from the middle to end of last season. At this time, 22/1 seems a price based on last year’s form and his Masters record isn’t that stellar.

    The final five names scratched out included two big hitters with very similar profiles – Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson. Both men are frequent winners who bomb the ball off the tee, and both have improved their short games in recent years. Both have been on decent form this year but both withdrew from their most recent starts after finishing stone last after round 1. At 25/1 the pair, I can’t split them but I also can’t trust them given their propensity to blow up so they were left out of the staking plan. Keegan Bradley looked like he’d go on and become the next great American superstar after his US PGA and Ryder Cup exploits but his form has fallen away and he’s now nearly two years without a victory. He’s a consistent sort who racks up top 20s but he’s not closed out enough wins for me to get excited about 40/1. Finally, we’re leaving out Justin Rose and Luke Donald. Rose’s odds are tempting but he’s battled injuries all season and missed the cut on his comeback last week whilst Donald doesn’t appear to be the same force he was when he was winning tournaments for fun a couple of years back. However, I might try and keep him on side if he pops up in any match bets with Westwood or Poulter.

    So, for those of you still with me. My bets are on the following:

    Sergio Garcia, Zach Johnson, Brandt Snedeker, Charl Schwartzel, Gary Woodland.

    Garcia lead this tournament after the first round last year and finished a creditable 8th on his return from a wrist injury. This season he has kicked on, winning the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters and comes in to the week on great form after a very solid top 10 showing at the Shell Houston Open. He has really tightened up his short game in recent years and his putting no longer worries his backers. He’s improved his finishing position at Augusta in each of the last four years and at 25/1 I fancy he’ll be right in the mix. 10 points e/w. This price is available with a few bookmakers and most pay first 5 places. Stan James are 25/1 and they pay SIX PLACES

    Zach Johnson has been one of the world’s hottest players over the past 12 months, recording no fewer than three victories and a further 10 top 10s. He has always been a superb putter and he might be the best course manager on Tour. We know he can play Augusta well as his victory in 2007 shows, and i’m happy to have him on side at 33/1. 6 points e/w. You can actually get 35/1 top five with Skybet

    Brandt Snedeker led this event after the 3rd round 12 months ago but threw in a disappointing round to finish tied 6th. He also went very close in 2008 when another poor final round saw him finish tied 3rd. Despite this, I am keen to include him this week as his game fits all the requirements of an Augusta winner. His short game is superb despite a jerky putting technique and he hits a lot of fairways and greens. He struggled after getting injured before Christmas but his most recent performance at the Arnold Palmer Invitational resulted in the tie for 8th and was full of promise. At 40/1 i’m definitely on board. 6 points e/w. This is available with Ladbrokes and Betfair Fixed Odds

    Charl Schwartzel produced one of the finest final rounds I have ever witnessed when he won this tournament in 2011 and he generally has an excellent record at Augusta, having never missed the cut. He looked in fine form during the recent Shell Houston Open and has a game that is tailor made for the course – long and straight with a tidy short game. He has notched up a couple of recent top 10s and looks primed to contend this week. 35/1 looks good. 8 points e/w with William Hill

    Gary Woodland looked like the prototype modern golfer when he burst onto the scene a few years ago. He smashed the ball miles, putted well and won tournaments straight away. However at the 2012 Masters he injured his wrist and had to take the best part of a year off. He then struggled to regain his form. However, in the mid part of last year he started work with a sports psychologist and he’s been playing superbly well ever since. He currently leads the Tour in total driving and ranks in the top 10 in Greens in Regulation so he gives himself plenty of chances to score and he’s talked about unfinished business with Augusta after it was the scene of his injury. I think he’s well overpriced at 100/1 and reckon he could be bang in the mix come Sunday. 5 points ew. Betfred and VCBet are both 100/1

    • Mr Fixit 7 years ago

      Neo, good read. Garcia was my tip in the Daily Record Masters pullout so I hope you’re right. Have also backed Woodland each way but haven’t checked the scores yet.

  33. Sparkster 7 years ago

    Just a thought on a slightly different bet,

    No hole in one – 10/11 on Bet365

    Reasoning is that in 77 Masters tournaments there have been 24 hole-in-ones. The maths would suggest this is statistically not quite right. I guess the danger is that these guys hit the ball further in modern tournaments.

    I’d suggest a small/medium stake bet as this is by no means guaranteed, I just feel that it is worth a punt

    • Mr Fixit 7 years ago

      Sparkster to me it’s always a heads or tails shout but there were at least two in the par-three tournament yesterday.

  34. Kyleh 7 years ago

    See if I have placed Scott Mcilroy and Mickelson to win their groups and Scott won his but Mcilroy was -1 speith was -1 and reed was +1 do I win my bet if Mickelson wins because Mcilroy has still won his group but just has a joint score with the winner also

  35. Duncan Poundcake 7 years ago

    Some of you may remember Mcbookie were offering 14/1 for a hole in one at all four majors anyone who took this can now back no hole in one at evens .If there is a hole in one move on to the next major etc for gaurenteed profit

  36. allan jones 7 years ago

    Do bookies pay out all ties equal to the places they state ??

    • Mr Fixit 7 years ago

      allan, dead heat rules apply so if a bookie is paying 5 places and there are several players joint fifth odds are reduced.

  37. Jw 7 years ago

    Going into the final round

    Spieth J. (Usa)-5 9/2
    Watson B. (Usa)-5 3/1
    Blixt J. (Swe)-4 11/1
    Kuchar M. (Usa)-4 4/1
    Fowler R. (Usa)-3 12/1
    Jimenez M. A. (Esp)-3 20/1
    Bjorn T. (Den)-2 28/1
    Furyk J. (Usa)-2 25/1
    Westwood L. (Eng)-2 12/1

    All odds taken from bet365

    With it being a tight score card there looks to be a lot of value available
    My picks are
    Fowler 2pt win
    Jimenez 1.5 pt win
    Bjorn 1.5 pt win

    What’s does everyone else think?

  38. johnb 7 years ago

    My Nap for the Masters is looking okay with one round left
    Lee Westwood top 20 @ 15/8
    and he is only 3 shots off the lead for my e/w tip at 50/1
    Would be happy with just the Nap though :)

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