2016 US Masters Preview

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The 2016 US Masters kicks off on Thursday at the Augusta National Golf Club with Jason Day, Rory McIlroy Jordan Spieth the top three favourites.

Augusta is renowned for its lightning-quick putting surfaces and cruel slopes to fend of approaches that don’t hit the right areas of the greens. Mental toughness is key because leads can dissipate very quickly on Sunday.

2016 US Masters Weather Forecast

At the time of writing the forecast is for cloudy on Thursday followed by gernally sunny weather for the rest of the tournament:

Thu: 23, rather cloudy
Friday: 20, partly sunny
Saturday: 17, mostly sunny and cool
Sunday: 21, sunny, pleasant and warm

View the latest August weather forecast.

Recent History

Last year Jordan Spieth led from day one to day four of the tournament, winning the Green Jacket with a record-tying score of 18-under. Phil Mickelson and Justin Rose finished tied for second four strokes back followed by Rory McIlroy at 12-under.

The last five results are (source: Wikipedia):

2015 – Jordan Spieth won with Phil Mickelson and Justin Rose the runners-up
2014 – Bubba Watson won with Jordan Spieth and Jonas Blixt the runners-up
2013 – Adam Scott won after a playoff with Ángel Cabrera
2012 – Bubba Watson won after a playoff with Louis Oosthuizen
2011 – Charl Schwartzel won with Jason Day and Adam Scott the runners-up

2016 PGA Tour Event Results

Below are the results for the PGA Tour Events so far in 2016 (source: Wikipedia):

Jan 10 – Hyundai Tournament of Champions – Jordan Spieth
Jan 17 – Sony Open in Hawaii – Fabián Gómez
Jan 24 – CareerBuilder Challenge California – Jason Dufner
Feb 1 – Farmers Insurance Open – Brandt Snedeker
Feb 7 – Waste Management Phoenix Open – Hideki Matsuyama
Feb 14 – AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am – Vaughn Taylor
Feb 21 – Northern Trust Open – Bubba Watson
Feb 28 – The Honda Classic – Adam Scott
Mar 6 – WGC-Cadillac Championship – Adam Scott
Mar 13 – Valspar Championship – Charl Schwartzel
Mar 20 – Arnold Palmer Invitational – Jason Day
Mar 27 – WGC-Dell Match Play – Jason Day
Mar 27 – Puerto Rico Open – Tony Finau
Apr 3 – Shell Houston Open – Jim Herman

2016 US Masters Main Contenders’ Majors Records

The great thing with the US Masters is it’s always played at the same course, which makes prior history more relevant than the other three majors.

Jason Day

Jason Day finished in the top ten for three of the four major championships in 2015. His worst result was the US Masters, where he finished 28th.

At the Masters his results are 2nd in 2011, withdrawn in 2012, 3rd in 2013, 20th in 2014 and 28th in 2015.

Day can be streaky with hot form and he brings excellent form into this tournament. He has won his last 2 starts and 6 of his last 13 (source: PGA).

The latest news is that Jason Day’s US Masters preparations have been disrupted by the flu. He also struggled with back spasms thanks to a disc problem during his run to victory at the World Golf Championships Match Play (source: SMH).

Rory McIlroy

In 2015 Rory McIlroy finished 4th in the US Masters, 9th in the U.S. Open and 17th in the PGA Championship. He did not play in the Open Championship.

At the US Masters his results are 20th in 2009, cut in 2010, 15th in 2011, 40th in 2012, 25th in 2013, 8th in 2014 and 4th in 2015, so in the last three years he has finished higher than he did the season before.

Rory arrives with less fanfare at this year’s tournament, however he did make news after making a hole-in-one at 16th in the Masters practice round.

Jordan Spieth

Jordan Spieth dominated 2015, winning the Masters Tournament and the U.S. Open. He also finished 4th in The Open Championship and 2nd in the PGA Championship.

Spieth has only played in the Masters twice, finishing 2nd in 2014 and 1st in 2015, so he certainly loves the course. History is actually against previous winners, however. No player has won back to back at Augusta since Tiger Woods in 2002.

The general consensus is that Spieth brings inconsistent form into this year’s Masters, with his hot & cold performance at the Shell Houston Open being a microcosm of his form in recent months (source: CBS).

Bubba Watson

Since winning the US Masters for the second time in 2014 Bubba Watson has been quiet in the majors championships, missing the cut in four of the following seven majors and finishing no higher than 21st.

His last five Masters results are 38th in 2011, 1st in 2012, 50th in 2013, 1st in 2014 and 38th in 2015.

Bubba seems to be either anonymous or right in the mix in the majors. Since his first appearance in 2004 he has managed to win two majors despite only making the top ten 4 times out of 32 appearances. Those four finishes were 5th, 2nd, 1st and 1st.

Watson appears to be at his best when he enters the tournament under the radar, which he largely has done this year. It’s worth noting that according to the PGA, “While it’s never a shock that he’s near the top on the PGA Tour in driving distance (fourth, at 311.1 yards per clout), Watson leads in greens in regulation (.751), is first in strokes gained, tee-to-green (picking up an average of 2.3 shots per round on the field), is 10th in scoring (70.029), 11th in final-round scoring (68.2) and is among the top 15 in scoring average on par-3 holes (2.98), par-4 holes (3.97) and par-5 holes (4.46).”

Adam Scott

Adam Scott has a fantastic record of making the top ten in major championships. Since 2011 he has finished in the top ten 11 times out of 20 appearances. Scott has only missed the cut once in his last 18 major championships and has made the top ten in at least two of the four majors for the last five years.

In 2015 Scott finished 38th in the US Masters, 4th in the U.S. Open and 10th in the Open Championship. He missed the cut at the PGA Championship.

In the last five years at the US Masters Adam Scott has finished 2nd in 2011, 8th in 2012, 1st in 2013, 14th in 2014 and 38th in 2015.

Adam Scott failed to replicate his 2013/2014 form in 2015 but he has bounced back this year, winning back to back PGA Tour Events in late February / early March.

Betting Activity

Sports Insights has reported that, having won his last 2 starts, Jason Day has firmed as the favourite after Jordan Spieth was the shortest odds selection earlier in the year.

In the United States local favourite Jordan Spieth is the most backed player, getting 11% of the total dollars wagered with the William Hill sportsbook in Nevada. The next three most backed players are Bubba Watson, Ricky Fowler and Dustin Johnson, so the Americans are certainly patriotic with their betting!

2016 US Masters Odds Comparison

You can compare bookmaker odds for the following markets using the links below.

As is typically the case for futures markets, Betfair offers the best 2016 US Masters odds for the most players, particularly the longer odds selections, while at the time of writing Pinnacle Sports was offering the best value on the tournament favourites. Matchbook is also highly competitive for the tournament winner market.

2016 US Masters Betting Suggestions

The consensus seems to be that with the depth of quality players in the tournament, the winner could come from a large number of participants this year, so its worth looking further afield for players to back. I would consider everyone from Jason Day (8.00 with bet365) to Hideki Matsuyama (42.59 with Pinnacle Sports).

My recommendation is to select a golfer with a consistent major championships record because if they start well you can use a betting exchange such as Betfair and Matchbook to hedge your position during the tournament.


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