Who will win the US Masters 2013?

The US Masters 2012 was won by Bubba Watson after an exciting play-off with South African Louis Oosthuizen following both golfers having an exceptional round on the final day and finsihing on -10.  The 33-year-old left-hander won at the second extra hole to claim his first major title. Peter Hanson, Matt Kuchar and Phil Mickelson finished in a three-way tie for third finishing on -8.  England’s Ian Poulter (69) finished seventh on -5, while Australian Adam Scott, last year’s runner-up, carded a 66 that included a hole in one on the 16th to finish -4.

England’s Justin Rose and Ireland’s Padraig Harrington finished in eighth with Adam Scott.

Pre-tournament favourites Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy ended a disappointing tournament tied on five over last year.  But that has no bearing on this year’s golf betting ahead of the US Masters 2013 where Tiger Woods is closing in on Rory McIlroy at the top of the official golf world ranking list; and after winning this year’s WGC Championship title for the seventh time, is now only one average point behind Rory McIlroy.  A victory at the US Masters would see Tiger Woods regaining the #1 world ranking he held for so long before injury and personal problems caused a meltdown in 2009.

The US Masters 2013
starts the week commencing Monday 8th April with the actual golf tournament beginning on Thursday 11th – Sunday 14th April at the famous Augusta Golf Course.

Is anyone prepared to bet against Tiger Woods (1997, 2001, 2002, 2005) winning his fifth US Masters Tournament next month?

I am expecting Tiger Woods to win but hope to enjoy a battle between Woods and Rory McIlroy all the way to the final pin. If both players have a good tournament and play to their potential, the US Masters could offer one of the most exciting final rounds in recent history.  But don’t forget three-time winner Phil Mickelson (2004, 2006, 2010) has his own private love affair with the tournament and US golf fans.

At the time of writing this article, bwin golf betting has Tiger Woods favourite at 5/1 from Rory McIlroy at 9/1 and Phil Mickelson at 11/1.  The big three are followed by Brandt SnedekerCharl Schwartzel & the highest place Englishmen Luke Donald at 21/1.

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Europe Win the Ryder Cup 2012

Starting the third & final day 10-6 down, the odds were stacked against Europe to even make a reasonable score, let alone retain the Ryder Cup by winning a majority of the 12 singles matches.  But with Luke Donald, Rory McIlroy, Ian Poulter, Justin Rose & Paul Lawrie winning the first five matches, the final day was an amazing show of awesome, nail-biting golf.

Ian Poulter didn’t lead in his match against Webb Simpson until the 17th hole and Justin Rose needed 18 holes to beat Phil Mickelson finishing with two sublime birdies.

While Rory McIlroy beat the young charismatic Keegan Bradley after only arriving at the Medinah Country Club ten minutes before his tee time in a police car with the excuse he had confused Eastern with Central Time!

Luke Donald & Bubba Watson was the first match of the day & the first to finish with Donald winning 2&1. But apart from Paul Lawrie thrashing US rookie Brandt Snedeker 5&3 every match was a tight one, with many switching from red to blue and back again.

It went right down to the wire, the last two matches between Steve Stricker & Martin Kaymer and Tiger Woods vs Francesco Molinari.  With three holes to play both matches were all square with Europe needing just one point to retain the Ryder Cup. And it went down to the 18th when Steve Stricker made his putt and left Martin Kaymer a shot to win or lose the Ryder Cup for Europe. With just one match remaining, Kaymer won the Ryder Cup for Europe in the most amazing comeback of all-time.

In a post-match interview José María Olazábal attempted to dedicate the win to his great friend Seve Ballesteros before breaking down with emotion.

Sunday’s Singles:
Bubba Watson lost to Luke Donald 2&1
Webb Simpson lost to Ian Poulter 2 up
Keegan Bradley lost to Rory McIlroy 2&1
Phil Mickelson lost to Justin Rose 1 up
Brandt Snedeker lost to Paul Lawrie 5&3
Dustin Johnson beat Nicolas Colsaerts 3&2
Zach Johnson beat Graeme McDowell 2&1
Jim Furyk lost to Sergio Garcia 1 up
Jason Dufner beat Peter Hanson 2 up
Matt Kuchar lost to Lee Westwood 3&2
Steve Stricker lost to Martin Kaymer 1 up
Tiger Woods v Francesco Molinari A/S

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British Golfers lead the world rankings ahead of the Open

It is the first time since the official golf world rankings began in 1986 that the top 3 positions have been taken by British golfers.

Three British golfers head up the official world rankings as Germany’s former no.1, Martin Kaymer drops to fourth after failing to finish in the top eight in the BMW International Open in Munich yesterday.

Following his U.S Open victory Rory McIlroy moves up to a career best third place behind Luke Donald (first) and Lee Westwood.

This is great news ahead of the 140th British Open Championship which this year is being held at the Royal St. George’s Golf Course in Sandwich in Kent, the Garden of England on the south-east coast, in two weeks time.

Rory McIlroy will go into the British Open as one of the favourites, and it will be good to see how he copes with the pressure post that fantastic display of golf at The U.S Open when he led from round 1 and never once showed a loss of concentrate or bottle as he had on the final round of the U.S Masters in April at Augusta.

The U.S Open was Rory McIlroy’s first major win after several near misses and five years of dealing with the heavy burden of expectancy and praise from many of his contemporaries and commentators alike.  Unfortunately, I think if anything the pressure is going to be greater as everyone looks to see if Rory McIlroy can begin to pull away from the rest of the field and dominate the next few years of golf in the same way as Tiger Woods had before him.

If anymore incentive was required, it has been announced that the winner’s cheque for the British Open is now £900,000 as prize-fund money increases to £5m.

Some high profile PGA players will be missing the AT&T National in the U.S to play The Scottish Open at Castle Stuart Golf Links in Inverness as a warming up for the Open Championship.  Those PGA players making the trip across the pond include Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar and Brandt Snedeker, who join English golfers Luke Donald, Graeme McDowell and Justin Rose.

The Barclays Scottish Open starts on Thursday 7th July with Round 1 of The Open commencing on Thursday on 14th July.

I am really looking forward to this year’s British Open and hope the heat wave continues so the top golfers in the world can do battle with each other, rather than the conditions.

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Trevor Immelman wins US Masters Open

Trevor Immelman, the 28-year-old South African eventually beat Tiger Woods by three shots to win his first major victory, just four months after having a benign tumour removed from his foot. The majority of masters betting favoured Tiger Woods, but the South African pulled through.

I was glued to the BBC coverage of the 2008 US Masters Open from Augusta this weekend. It was good to see Justin Rose at the top of the leaderboard after the first round (again) with joint leader Trevor Immelman on Thursday evening. And what about Ian Poulter’s sensational hole in one at the 16th?

And did anyone see the other great shot of the weekend? Brandt Snedeker chipping the ball into the holewhile on the green?

Unlike Justin Rose, Trevor Immelman had a good second round on Friday. Once again Rose was unable to sustain his good start.

As well as Trevor Immelman, I was also taken by the charm and brilliant play of the young American Brandt Snedeker. While Immelman seemed to take longer and longer deliberating over each shot, on the contrary, Brandt Snedeker took a look, took a shot, smiled and nodded as he appreciated the applause.

Tiger Woods had a shocker on Thursday and Friday and appeared to be too far behind as far as I was concerned. Tiger should never be written off but if the leaders are playing with the confidence of Immelman and Snedeker then I couldn’t see a way back for the world number 1.

By Sunday evening I was on the edge of my seat. Tiger was on the move, but Immelman looked unfazed by the pressure of being at the top of the leaderboard since Thursday. As Round 4 unravelled Tiger uncharacteristically missed several short putts which would have put him level with Trevor Immelman.

So, to the last two holes, and Immelman is ahead by eight shots and can simply coast home. That is until he finds the water and sand!

Tiger eventually only lost by three shots. That in itself is amazing. But for me, it was good to see Immelman and Snedeker as i was unfamiliar with them before this weekend. I look forward to the next major golf event.