Can Tiger Woods Win the Masters? Plus Other Masters Predictions
Tiger Woods Expectations
Tiger Woods’ return to the PGA is bringing back millions of viewers and lots of betting action. As he is one of the most famous athletes of all-time, he rightly deserves some of the spotlight, although he may not deserve to enter as one of the favourite to win on Sunday. Either way, who is not going to follow Tigers’ progress throughout the tournament?
Woods is playing well, but there is a glaring hole in his game entering the Masters on Thursday. Woods has struggled to hit the greens off the tee in his six tournaments this season. While he has recovered well with his irons, the difficulty of Augusta’s roughs makes hitting the greens a critical aspect of a winning performance at Augusta.
Woods has made the cut at five of his six tournaments since returning to the Tour a few months. With how well he knows Augusta, he should easily finish the first two rounds below the cut line and live to play on Saturday and Sunday.
Tiger Woods winning the tournament is a bit of a stretch. While the bookmakers clearly believe Woods is a favourite to win, the general consensus around the golf world is Woods does not have the complete game anymore to win at Augusta (as mentioned early, he struggles with accuracy). Many expect him to play well, but not good enough to beat out the best golfers in the World.
In the five tournaments, Tiger Woods made the cut since his coming back from injury, Woods has five top-25 finishes and three finishes in the top-ten. A top ten finish is plausible (as Woods has 11 top-ten finishes at Augusta in 20 tournaments).
Outright Winner Prediction
As always, the competition at the Masters is fierce. The only highly ranked player not participating in this year’s tournament is Brooks Koepka (number ten in the world). While all the best players are there, the field of 87 players is the smallest since 1997 (when Tiger Woods won by 12 strokes). Of the favourites (anyone with +4000 odds or better) the best wager to win is Dustin Johnson.
Dustin Johnson finished fourth and sixth at the Masters in 2015 and 2016 (he did not partake in 2017 due to injury). Since his 2016 fourth place finish, Johnson has won eight championships, including his first Major (2016 US Open).
Johnson has played in four tournaments since the start of 2018. Johnson has one win and two-top ten finishes. Johnson’s style of golf plays well at Augusta. With his excellent power and accuracy off the tee, Johnson has the distance needed to set up playable second shots and the accuracy to avoid the tricky roughs at Augusta that plague even the best golfers.
Other Wagers To Place On The 2018 Masters
With Tiger and DJ drawing much of the attention building up to the Masters, it is easy to forget about the 85 other players in the tournament. There are plenty of wagers to place on other players, many not needing them to win to net a profit. Here are some the best from Sports Interaction.
Each Way Win Or Place Top Eight
Outside of Woods and Johnson, some greater golfers could very well win the tournament. Betting on each of them to win outright is not the best strategy. However, with Each Way wagers available, paying out at 1/5 for a top-eight finish, there is definitely some more bets to make on the Masters.
Bubba Watson Place Top Eight
Bubba Watson enters the Masters as one of the best golfers of 2018. Watson won the Genesis Open and followed it up with a top-ten finish the following week. The two time Masters winner knows Augusta well. At times the course had bested Watson, including last year when he finished 62nd. However, with how his play has looked leading up to the tournament, especially off the tee, Watson should have his best day at the Masters in the last four years.
Phil Mickelson Place Top Eight
Outside of Tiger Woods, no golfer in the tournament has as much success at Augusta as Phil Mickelson. Mickelson has won the event three times (2004, 2006 & 2010) and finished in the top five on seven other occasions (most recently a second place finish in 2015).
Mickelson, like Tiger, has spent parts of the last few years dealing with injuries, surgeries and external issues. However, like Tiger Woods, Mickelson enters the Master’s looking the best he has in years. Mickelson recently ended a winless-drought (that stretched back to 2013), when he beat Justin Thomas at the WGC-Mexico Championship in early March.
With how good he looked in his victory, there are reasons to be confident Mickelson (who plays Augusta better than almost everyone) will play meaningful golf on Sunday.
Canadians To Wager And Follow
Only two Canadians will participate in the 2018 Masters, Adam Hadwin and Mike Weir. Mike Weir is all but gone from the PGA Tour, playing in a few tournaments and of course the Masters (as a former winner he is guaranteed a spot in the tournament every year). Hadwin is younger and much more successful over the last few years. Hadwin finished tied for 36th at last year’s Masters. Weir has missed the cut at six of his last seven Masters. Expect Hadwin to outshine Weir at Augusta.
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