Top 5 US Masters long shots

As the 2015 season gets under way, the golfing world’s focus is already looking forward to the first major of the year at the Masters in April.

While the likes of Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods and defending champion Bubba Watson will be the focus of much of the betting public’s interest in the build-up to the event at Augusta, there will be a lot of players being overlooked that have more than enough talent to win the tournament.

These long shots might not always come off, but the Masters has shown in recent years that players can come from nowhere to win the famous green jacket.

Mike Weir’s victory in 2003 surprised a lot of fans, but not as much as Trevor Immelman’s 2008 success.

It has been a few years since a shock winner took the Masters title, but there are some real contenders in 2015 that could start the tournament with some very long odds.

Martin Kaymer

With odds of around 50/1 with some bookmakers, including betfair online, Martin Kaymer could well be one of the most overpriced players at Augusta in April. While the Masters is by far the German’s least successful of the four majors, it wouldn’t be a massive shock if Kaymer was in contention come the final round this year. The two-time major winner has a best finish of 31st at Augusta but victory in last year’s US Open showed he has the ability to succeed in a tournament he has previously struggled in.

Luke Donald

Donald’s current betting odds are a reflection of a dismal 2014 but the Englishman will know he has the tools to prove a lot of people wrong this year. The former world number one might not have been at his best over the past couple of seasons but the 37-year-old still has plenty of time to turn things around. After missing the cut at the Masters and US Open in 2014, Donald failed to impress in the remaining two majors of the season. Recent form aside, Donald is still a name that many feel will one day win a major, and the Masters looks as likely as any.

Webb Simpson

While his memorable 2012 US Open victory stands out like a glorious sore thumb on Webb Simpson’s C.V. the American has shown on more than a few occasions that he can play some incredible golf on his day. Not many of those days have come at Augusta but Simpson still looks overpriced by a lot of online bookies heading into this year’s Masters. Two missed cuts in his past two appearances at Augusta might not give Simpson huge confidence as he prepares for the first major of the year, but the 29-year-old is still young enough to get it right when it comes to the testing conditions at the Masters.

Padraig Harrington

Not many players have experienced the slump that Padraig Harrington has over the past few years but the Irishman could still have one last hurrah in him. The three-time major winner ended 2014 with a welcome win on the Asian Tour and the 43-year-old will be hoping that is a sign of things to come this season. With four top-ten finishes to his name, Harrington has shown that he has the game to handle Augusta and there will be some betting fans jumping on the chance to back the Irishman should he make it into the first major of the year.

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.


Grand Slam of Golf – What You Need To Know

With the megabucks FedEx Cup and the dramatic Ryder Cup consigned to golfing history, discounting the European Tour’s lucrative Race To Dubai, there’s very little left of note in the 2012 golfing calendar. However, one event which is growing in stature is set to take place in a week’s time, and it features all four of this year’s major champions. The PGA Grand Slam of Golf has taken place since 1979, and this year’s event promises to be a lot of fun for the golf fan suffering from withdrawal symptoms after the Ryder Cup’s end.

Every event features the four major winners over the past year, and this tournament is no different. The four participants this year are big-hitting Masters champion Bubba Watson, US Open holder Webb Simpson, South African veteran Ernie Els, who won the Open in dramatic style and World No. 1 Rory McIlroy, who holds the USPGA Championship. All of them big names for some reason, this year’s event, which takes place at the Bermuda and Port Royal Golf Course from the 22nd-24th October, should generate a lot of interest.

Played over three days, like most golf tournaments, each participant will play 18 holes, with the winner the player who posts the lowest score. However, as there’s only a field of four players, the possibility of one player running away with the title is more likely, especially when it comes to form. The 2004 event was proof that it could happen, as eventual winner Phil Mickelson shot a round of 59 en route to lifting the title.

As far as prize money is concerned, from the $1.3m prize fund, the winner picks up a useful $600,000 cheque as well as the trophy. Although it’s not the most lucrative prize in golf, it’s still a lot of money compared to the prizes on offer in some PGA and European Tour events. It’s unlikely that any of the year’s foursome are to pull out, so it will make for compelling viewing.

This post was provided by Ladbrokes Sport.


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


Who will win the 112th US Open?

The golfing calendar is now brimming with professional golf tournaments every weekend of the year, it seems.  Though the four tournaments that matter above all else in men’s golf are the Majors; and it is every pro golfers dream to win one of the four most prestigious championships in the world.

The first of the Major Championships in 2012 was a classic, settled by a two-hole play-off when Bubba Watson beat South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen after an amazing approach shot found the green after a disastrous tee shot left him deep in the trees.

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy were the favourites going into the US Masters though I had a sneaky feeling the long fairways were going to be perfect for Lee Westwood to win his first Major Championship. Neither Tiger or Rory were contenders, and Lee Westwood left himself short with some poor putting throughout the whole tournament.

The next of the four Majors will be the 112th US Open Championship in June, followed by The British Open (known simply as ‘The Open’) in July and lastly, the PGA Championship in the United States.

While Luke Donald, Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer continue to jostle to be ranked number 1 in the world, all eyes will be focussing on the US Open which this year will be held at The Olympic Club, Lake Course on 14-17 June.

Rory McIlroy and Tiger woods are once again favourites ahead of the US Open, with McIlroy looking to defend his title and Tiger Woods (2000, 2002, 2008) looking for a fourth victory to equal the current record held by Scotsman Willie Anderson (1901, 1903, 1904, 1905) and American legends Bobby Jones (1923, 1926, 1929, 1930), Ben Hogan (1948, 1950, 1951, 1953) and Jack Nicklaus (1962, 1967, 1972, 1980).

Current golf betting has Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods at 8/1 followed by Phil Mickelson 12/1, Lee Westwood 14/1 and Luke Donald 16/1 with Hunter Mahan, Martin Kaymer, Adam Scott, Matt Kuchar, Dustin Johnson, Louis Oosthuizen and Bubba Watson at 33/1.

I can’t help thinking, if only Lee Westwood could be step up with his short game, it would only be a matter of time before he wins his first Major.  But equally, you never know when the Tiger is going to return; and I am confident it is when and not if.