The Masters gets underway in just a few hours. I like watching the tournament, but it’s been a long time since I have been that interested in betting on a major straight up. There is no point at all in betting on Tiger at the ridiculous prices he faces, but I can’t get too excited about looking for other guys to back instead when Tiger is as good as he is. I’m going to work through the apathy today, though, and look for other guys who are interesting at their price, even though I think Tiger will make a statement. I know how dull it is to think Tiger will win, but I look at it this way – should I look for other guys to come out on top when I really don’t believe it will happen? If I really wanted to put you to sleep I could double up and add Mickelson, too.
As an aside, I was doing some research for another article this week, and I found something interesting – it turns out that Tiger is pretty lousy at the first round at Augusta. He’s never broken 70 in the first round, and he’s often been well above that. He obviously rebounds pretty well, but don’t read too much into things if he doesn’t jump out of the gate here.
Paul Casey (22/1) – He won the week before the Masters. So has Mickelson. He’s been hot this season, including a runner-up finish in the Match Play. He has finished in the top 11 three different times at Augusta. Makes sense – especially given this price.
Padraig Harrington (16/1) – I emphatically write Harrington off before the last two majors, and he won them both. On the off chance that he pulls a three-peat I don’t want to be on the outside looking in this time. That being said, I don’t think this price justifies the risk.
Geoff Ogilvy (16/1) – The guy has two big wins this year, so he is in top form. He doesn’t seem to be afraid of the big guns, either. He’s definitely a contender. If I was going to bet on him, though, I would sacrifice a bit of price for a better offering. Bodog has a prop offering 11/1 that the winner will be Australasian. That includes Ogilvy and some pretty good guys – Adam Scott, Vijay Singh, Michael Campbell, the Asian contingent – all in one price. Seems almost like a bargain to me.
Rory McIlroy (33/1) – I’ll quit being a chalk eating baby and go out on a limb a bit for the last couple. McIlroy is young and making his debut, but he’s cocky enough that he won’t shrink under the enormity of the challenge. He has the game to win one (and likely more) at some point, so why not now.
Danny Lee (100/1) – He’s an amateur, but the 18 year old has already won on the European Tour. He’s the latest ‘next big thing’, so why not shoot for the moon and pick him to win it all here. Mostly I just like thinking about an amateur winning and then having to give all of the prize money back. Man, that would hurt.
Fred Couples (66/1) – I will cheer for Freddy for as long as he keeps playing. He looked pretty good last week, and he has won here before. The final nine would truly be something to watch if Couples was in contention.