It’s Christmas for golf fans around the world as the 2022 Masters will be held from Thursday-Sunday this week. The PGA Tour has been full of exciting moments so far this season and the best players in the world will now descend on Augusta, Georgia to compete for the coveted Green Jacket.
Check out our full preview and betting tips for the The Masters below.
Augusta National, Georgia, Thursday 7th-Sunday 10th April
As you’d probably, expect, all of the best golfers in the world will be lining up this week to compete for the first major tournament of the year. Of course, the one player on everyone’s radar heading into the tournament is 2019 champion Tiger Woods. Tiger has been playing practice rounds at Augusta for the last few weeks but has stated himself that he will be a ‘game time decision’ for the tournament as he continues to recover from injuries sustained in a car crash just months ago.
One notable absentee from the tournament will be defending PGA Champion Phil Mickelson. The veteran made has made headlines recently with his public support of the controversial Saudi Arabia golf league. While it’s not clear if Mickelson’s absence is due to a suspension from the governing bodies, many people believe that is in fact the case.
Outside of those couple of big stories, it’s status quo in terms of the field for The Masters. All of the big names will be in attendance including the likes of Jon Rahm, Colin Morikawa, Rory McElroy, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas, Xander Schauffele, Jordan Spieth, Cam Smith and the new No.1 ranked player in the world Scottie Schauffele.
Augusta National Golf Course
Par 72, 7,510 Yards
Designer: Alister McKenzie/Bobby Jones
What more can be said about Augusta National that hasn’t already been said? It is arguably the most famous golf course in the world and also without doubt, the most exclusive. Augusta National is stuff of legend, and many professional players describe it as the perfect golf course.
A few changes have been made to the iconic layout ahead of the 2022 edition, mostly to combat players constantly evolving to hit their drives further and further. The Par-4 11th has been from 505 to 520 yards while the Par-5 15th is 20 yards longer, going from 530 to 550 yards.
It will no doubt be interesting to see what effect, if any, these changes have on overall scoring. Hideki Matsuyama’s winning score of 10 under par last year was already the worst winning score since all the way back in 2017.
With field sizes of around 150, there’s always plenty of value to be found in golf tournaments. The hard thing is picking the right players to perform in any given week. I’m going to do things a little different this week and rank my three ‘best bets’ followed by ranking my three ‘best value plays’.
Best Bet Rankings
1. Cameron Smith
Scottie Scheffler might be the new No.1 player in the world but I believe the Australian Cam Smith is the most in form golfer in the world at the moment. He hasn’t played a tournament since he lifted The Players trophy a few weeks ago, but the Aussie has already racked up two wins as well as a further three top 15 finishes in just seven total tournaments this season. He has brilliant pedigree at Augusta National, having never missed the cut and finished in the top 10 three times in five total visits.
2. Will Zalatoris
Youngster Will Zalatoris has been playing pretty of golf this season, having already competed in 11 tournaments. He seems to be coming into form at the right time to compete in the majors, having made seven cuts in a row including four top 10 finishes across those seven tournaments. Finished 2nd last season in his first trip to Augusta.
3. Jordan Spieth
If Tiger Woods is the king of Augusta in this field, then Jordan Spieth is no doubt the prince. Regardless of the form that Spieth brings to Augusta every year, his chances must be respected. Since 2014, his finishes at The Masters have read 2nd, 1st, 2nd, 11th, 3rd, 21st, 46th and he returned to Masters form in 2021 with another 3rd place. Best putter in the world.
Best Value Rankings
1. Justin Rose
The Englishman hasn’t been in his best form of late, missing the cut at The Players, however, he has made 7/9 cuts this season including a T6 at the Farmers Insurance and a T9 at the Hero World Challenge. It’s the form at Augusta that I’m more concerned with here. He finished 7th last season and has racked up a further five top finishes.
2. Webb Simpson
Simpson has had some strong finishes in 2022, namely a 17th at the Hero World Challenge, a T8 at the RSM and a T14 at the CJ Cup. Like Rose, he has a great record at Augusta, finishing in the top 20 for the past four years in a row including a 12th place finish last year.
3. Cameron Champ
Champ has made just two trips to Augusta in the past, finishing T19 in 2020 and T26 in 2021. He has missed his last two cuts this season but something about his length off the tee makes me think Augusta is extremely gettable for the 26-year-old.
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