The greatest show on grass. The Masters is back, and it genuinely feels like 5 years since we had a Major. In this, The Masters 2022 Betting preview, I will review some changes to Augusta National.
. We will then dive into player form and history, before analysing the other stats and data I considered. If you want to see the data I collated the link is below. The article will finish with my picks and the reasons behind them
AUGUSTA NATIONAL, THE COURSE & RECENT CHANGES
We all know the course well, although if you don’t, check out a piece on Amen Corner by NelsonsGolfTips, There are 2 key changes which I think will have an impact. Particularly on Thursday & Friday when the course will potentially be soft like 2019.
Overall, such is the Bryson DeChambeau effect, the course has been lengthened, The overall distance of the course was 7,475 yards to a record 7,510 yards.
The first change is the exceptionally long par 4 11th is now 520 yards from 505 yards and continues to be longer than the par 5 13.
The second change is that the 15th has been lengthened by 20 yards This will catch some players out as the tee box has moved and the contours of the fairway have changed.
Themasters.com website states, “In today’s world, it is referred to frequently as risk/reward. But given the distances elite players are hitting it in 2022, the sentiment is that there is more reward with less risk.”
I read this and I think they are trying to stop someone from doing what Bryson did to the US Open and just muscling their way to victory. This is because, on both holes, where the benefit is to favour the right-hand side, the fairways have been re-contoured to give players a challenging stance into the green.
I have never seen such a top-heavy field. There are 12 players when I last checked on Sky that were under 20/1. I honestly can’t remember seeing that so close. Traditionally the better players and cream do rise to the top, with most winners ranking inside the World Top 29. The last time someone won outside of this was Angel Cabrera.
With all this talent between 9/1 & 25/1, it is difficult to find value. Perhaps the way to profit this week is to consider the EW markets & Top 40 markets. However, we are here for winners and I will try to build a case for my picks.
Something I have noticed is that Viktor Hovland who was widely backed ante-post is starting to slip as punters back the inform Scottie Scheffler and Cameron Smith. Both of them have wins to their names already this year. Scheffler recently won the WGC Matchplay.
THE MASTERS 2022 BOOKIES & OFFERS
From my research, you have 2 options, without going to the exchange. Finding value with the places or finding the best odds.
The best places I have found are Boyle Sports & Sky Bet. Both of which are giving you odds of 11 places. It appears from first glance that Boyle Sports have slightly better prices than you do down the field.
Alternatively, the best prices are found at Bet 365 (87% of golfers in 2022 so far have had the best odds-on Bet 365) or Will Hill. Both are paying out EW for 8 or 9 places respectively.
Best EW Places (11)
WHO I AM RULING OUT
To begin with I am ruling our former winners of The Masters who traditionally do not fair well. That rules out Matsuyama, who also WD last week at the Valero Texas Open following a neck injury. I am also ruling out former winners Patrick Reed, Danny Willett, Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson & sorry, Tiger Woods.
FORM & HISTORY
You can see my data sheets here, (which are free for you to use and draw your own conclusions) that form isn’t easy to come by. This isn’t uncommon heading into The Masters because we have only just gotten started. For me TPC Sawgrass, won by Cameron Smith signifies the beginning of the golfing season. Albeit the show does go on 24/7, 365.
TOP OF THE FIELD FORM
|Form Heading into Augusta|
GOLF DATA & STATS I CONSIDERED
Form & history is not something that always lends itself to a Masters victory. I analysed the stats of the winners over recent years, which produce the following
|PAR 3||PAR 4||PAR 5||Front 9||Back 9|
The data here taught me that there are many ways to skin this great cat of course. I think of DJ bruising his way from tee to green in 2020, right back to ZJ (Zach Johnson) winning by plotting his way around the course, (he did not go for a single par 5 in 2 all weekend).
So where does that leave us….
Some tipsters will look purely at ball-strikers, however my selections this year are built upon the short game. The reason for that is 3-fold.
- Augusta will leave you with testing 6 – 8ft putts all week, due to the speed and contours of the green.
- The weather will go from soft and to the firm over the week, players will need to adjust. I am predicting this will lower the greens in regulation and allow someone to come from behind. Similar to Tiger Woods in 2019.
- The vast runoff around the green means a slight miss on the green can leave a challenging up and down. Otten from 20, 30, or 50 yards away
I, therefore, analysed the following stats from the 2022 season so far;
- SG putting
- Putts made between 5-10ft
- SG Scrambling from the rough
- SG Scrambling 20-30 yards
I selected the SG scrambling from 20-30 yards due to the contours of the greens and run-off areas at Augusta. You can’t always see it from TV but the course has great elevation changes throughout and this lends itself to more challenging up and downs.
SG SCRAMBLING FROM THE ROUGH
|SG Putting, 2022|
|RANK||PLAYER NAME||ROUNDS||AVERAGE||TOTAL SG:PUTTING||MEASURED ROUNDS|
Below are the players I will be betting this week. You can view my datasheets here and draw your own conclusion
Jon Rahm 11/1
I think you would be foolish to ignore the top of the field completely due to value. When everyone is on their game, Rhambo competes. He isn’t in his best form, and I worry about his putting. However, his record at Augusta National in recent years is fantastic. Bar Smith & Scheffler, no player inside that huddle at the top of the betting is in any better form than Jon. If he can put well, he can win, simple.
Tyrell Hatton 50/1
Putting out of his mind this year, reminds me of Spieth when he was dominating golf. It’s very rare for a debutant to do well at Augusta and Tyrrell is slowly becoming more and more experience. He has 4 / 7 Top 10s so far this year.
I found within the data some strange correlation between the Dubai Desert Classic and the Masters. In the last 3 years; Rose (5th 2021), Casey (1st 2021) & Dechambeau(4th 2019) have shot leading 1st rounds at The Masters, alongside T5 finishes at the nearest DDC. Danny Willet also won the Dubai Desert Classic in 2016 and went on a few months later to put on a green jacket. Tyrrell was inside the Top 5 of the Dubai Desert Classic this year.
I also like Tyrrell from his win at PGA Championship Wentworth. There certainly is course correlation in terms, of course, set up and the aesthetics of the course being a tree- lined.
Tyrrells form in 2021 took him as high as 5th in the official world golf rankings.
- Matthew Fitzpatrick 50/1
When I crunched my short game data, Matt Fitzpatrick’s name kept coming up. He is inside the Top 20 for 3 of my 4 short game criteria and I am really excited to see him out at 50/1. As the course gets firmer over the weekend, players will miss more greens and you will need players that can save par. Fitzpatrick is one the of best on tour as you can see from the table.
Matt is in good form, finding the top 10 4 times out of 6 already this year. He has a game that suits Augusta and will have not entered a Masters with such confidence. He also has never missed a cut here and flirted with the top page of the leaderboard at times over the week.
With Augusta you typically see players mature into their performances here, and like Tyrrell, Fitzpatrick is maturing nicely and becoming a complete player on the tour. If you are looking for value in the 40 – 70/1 bracket, you will be hard beat to find it outside of Fitzpatrick.
Again, I watched a younger Fitzpatrick storm to a European Tour victory at Woburn Golf Club which like Wentworth has similar aesthetics to Augusta. By this I mean, it’s tree-lined and a thinkers golf course.
- Daniel Berger 35/1
Like Fitzpatrick, Daniel meets my short game and putting criteria. He is the best at getting up and down on the PGA Tour. This of course builds concern for the long game, particularly thinking of the aforementioned lengthening of the course. However
Daniel was incredibly unlucky following a “dropping” altercation with Joel Dahman and Viktor Holvand. A little fire in the belly and some near misses at the Honda Classic and tournament of champions. I feel Daniel is due a win, and this would be a week to do it. You are effectively getting 7/1 for Daniel to finish inside the Top 11 and I think there is value to have there.
Fitzpatrick, Berger & Tyrrell are the steely players I am looking to hang around the Top 5 come Sunday afternoon. I am not expecting a crazy low number to blow them out of the water, (-13 / -16) I suspect is in with a chance. This is in the ball park for all 3.
I also will be putting 0.25u on Si Woo Kim & Min Woo Lee. A final mention to Abraham Ancer, I have 1 pt E/W on him at 66/1 following his WD from Valero Texas Open. If he plays and is fit, he could certainly contend.
SOME FINAL OTHER INTERESTING FINDINGS IN MY RESEARCH
|(5) & (4)||Justin Rose & Jordan Spieth appear the most inside the Top 10 in the last 8 years after the 1st round|
|57%||Slight trend that the winner of The Masters is found inside the Top 10 of round 1 the year before 57% of the time. I am also counting Spieth during Willet’s win in 2015 (57%)|
|0||No winner of the Arnold Palmer has gone onto be inside the T10 of The Masters after Round 1 – Scottie Scheffler (last 6 years)|
|0||No winners of the Gensis Invitational that has gone onto be inside the T10 of Masters after Round 1 – Joaquin Niemann (last 6 years)|
|0||No winners of the Players Championship that has gone onto be inside the T10 of Masters after Round 1 – Cameron Smith (last 6 years)|
|3||The Dubai Desert Classic may have some correlation? In the last 3 years; round 1 leaders, Justin Rose (5th 2021), Paul Casey (1st 2021) & Bryson Dechambeau(4th 2019) have shot leading 1st rounds at The Masters, alongside Top 5 finishes at the nearest Dubai Desert Classic. Casey’s came 2 months later due to COVID|
|1||Round 1 leaders have come from as early as 08:00 and 14:00 throughout the years, with no correlation|
|1||Tyrell Hatton meets the DDC trend. He finished 4th in the Dubai Desert Classic and came inside the T10 at the end of round 1 in 2021|