Breaking Down the 2019 Masters
It is the only golf major that is played at the same host venue each year, and so it’s no surprise to learn that there are plenty of trends and stats for handicappers to work with.
The first edition at the irrepressible Augusta National Golf Club took place in 1934, so lots of lessons have been learned in the last 80 years or so of the tournament in Georgia.
But can these long-term trends help us with our bets as to who will slip into the Green Jacket on April 14? Well, only time will tell on that front, but it’s certainly worth pouring over the history books for more information.
In Form with No Cobwebs
It won’t come as a shock to learn that the 2019 Masters champion will likely be a player in form.
Of the last ten winners at Augusta, five had won an event earlier in that calendar year: Sergio Garcia, Danny Willett, Jordan Spieth, Bubba Watson and Charl Schwartzel.
And all Green Jacket wearers from 2011 onwards had at least finished T3 or better in the year of their triumph, so don’t be tempted to take a punt on a player who has been in the doldrums.
As important, ten of the last eleven winners had played in six or more events in the calendar year, and so there’s no room for rust either.
Only three men in history have ever successfully defended the Master title, and the last of those was the great Tiger Woods in 2002.
Sir Nick Faldo is the only other player of the modern generation to retain, performing the feat in 1990, and prior to that it’s only the legendary Jack Nicklaus who got to keep the Green Jacket for another year.
All of which is bad news for Patrick Reed, the defending champion…
Simply (Not) the Best
Here’s a trend that appears slightly bizarre on the surface: Phil Mickelson was the last winner of the Masters to be ranked in the top three in the world, and it’s been nine years since Lefty entered the winner’s circle.
There have been a few surprise champions in recent times, with Willett, Zach Johnson and Angel Cabrera all triumphing despite relatively lowly world rankings.
Does this trend mean that Dustin Johnson, winner of the recent WGC-Mexico Championship, and Justin Rose, world ranked one and two respectively, can be swerved?
A Young Man’s Game
There hasn’t been a Masters champion aged 40 or over in the past two decades.
Golf, as we know, is often a young man’s game, with distance hitting such a key weapon in the modern era, and so we should be looking to the younger generation to thrive at Augusta.
Mickelson and Cabrera are the oldest recent champions at 39, while three of the last four winners – Willett, Spieth and Reed – were under the age of 28 when they beat the rest.
The Masters Betting Angle
How does that impact upon the betting market? Well, we’re looking for a young player who is in form, has been busy out on the course lately and who isn’t ranked inside the top two or three in the world. At least that narrows the field slightly!
We can discount Johnson (the 11/1 favourite) and Rose (14/1) based on their world rankings, and Tiger Woods (14/1) courtesy of his advancing years.
At the time of writing, Jon Rahm (18/1) is yet to record a T3 finish in 2019, while Jordan Spieth - despite his fine record at Augusta - is also completely out of form.
With sports betting becoming more prevalent in the US, and each way wagering becoming more popular, bettors can expect many sportsbooks to offer eight, nine or even ten places in their betting offers for the Masters.
The likes of McIlroy, Thomas, Koepka, Fowler and DeChambeau all tick the boxes listed above, and all will offer outstanding each way returns for bettors.