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Patrick Reed -15
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Patrick Reed 5/4
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April is a special time for golfers and the build up to The Masters always tugs at the heartstrings especially if you haven’t picked a golf club up since you put them in the cupboard last September. The bright green fairways of the Augusta National golf club with its azaleas in full bloom and that old white colonial clubhouse signal not only that spring is here but also the first major championship is upon us once again.
The Dr Alister MacKenzie designed course never cesses to inspire golfers of every generation and come Sunday afternoon it will throw up a worthy champion to don the green jacket, no doubt after some major twist and turns across the four days, with Amen Corner playing a major part in those proceedings.
When Jack Nicklaus was asked about The Masters being the easiest of the four majors to win he replied "Easiest major to win? I suppose it probably is." With its restrictive field and past champions getting a lifetime invite to tee it up every April, I feel it is. So with that in mind here are my picks for this year tournament.
My tips to Win:
Having just missed out in a play-off last year Justin Rose 14/1 – with SportingBet – will be more determined than ever to be wearing that Green Jacket come Sunday. Last year was Justin’s second runner-up finish in three years taking his tally of Top 5 finishes here to three and with three Top 8 finishes from his four starts on the PGA Tour so far I feel he may just go one step further this year.
It looks like Bubba Watson 18/1 – with Bet365 – is back to his best with two wins from his last four starts and with a weeks rest and some extra practice time at Augusta he will be raring to go come Thursday morning. Who can forget that duck hook wedge out of the trees on the 10th in the play-off to win his first of two Green Jackets.
Another spectacular shot on his way to winning his third green jacket was Phil Mickelson’s 20/1 – with BetFred – shot off the pine straws and over Rae's Creek at the 13th on the final day in 2010. Phil has been playing some great golf this year, winning in Mexico culminated a run of four events where he wasn’t outside the Top 6 and he had a runner-up finish in that run as well and I expect him to be right in the thick of it again come Sunday.
My each-way tip:
Alex Noren 50/1 – with SportingBet – teed it up at The Masters for the first time last year and missed the cut, but I feel it's a different player turning up this year. Alex has played full time on the PGA Tour this year and has only been outside the Top 25 once in seven starts and has a runner-up and two third places finishes and I think these are great odds for the Swede.
When it comes to Augusta knowhow Matt Kuchar 66/1 – with Ladbrokes – has been in the thick of this event on several occasions, but he has not quite got it over the line. While I am writing this guide Matt is competing in the Houston Open and sits inside the Top 10 and 3-shots off the lead going into the final round and he is playing some steady golf. If Kucher is challenging going into the back nine on Sunday at Augusta, the chant’s of Kooooch may well be heard echoing around Georgia when it comes to that time to don the Green Jacket in the Butler cabin.
My outside tip:
I feel like Branden Grace 100/1 – with PaddyPower – has been treading water waiting to get to this event, he has had one Top 10 finish so far this year from his five starts on the PGA Tour. Branden has had several Top 6 finishes in majors over the last couple of years and I think that experience may just tell this week and I think these are great odds for the South African.
With some bookies paying out the Top 10 places try Webb Simpson 150/1 – with BetVictor
As always good luck
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Its Masters week and we have our world-renowned guide to the first major of the year.
Featuring Tenerife, which is quickly becoming Europe’s latest golf destination with some wonderfully designed courses that you can play in under 4-hours!
For the non-golfers, there are hotels and spa reviews and a feature on Panama where Jane Finn finds out there is more to this beautiful country than a canal and hiding your money.
For those who are looking to buy new equipment and apparel for the new season we bring you the latest offerings from Cleveland, Mizuno, Macgregor, Greg Norman Collection, Oscar Jacobson and Stuburt
And finally the “Play, Stay & Spa” section features the Foxhills Resort in Surrey, England that has two great golf courses set amongst the pines, spa, sports facilities, cycling trails, wonderful food and great accommodation for the perfect getaway.
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