US Masters Golf Preview, Betting Tips, Offers and Odds, 5-8 April 2018
The US Masters is undoubtedly one of the highlights of the golf year and our Masters preview has got everything you need to enjoy the first major of the season. We’ve got the best offers, odds and betting tips so if you want to bet on the Masters read on for the lowdown.
We’ve also got a little US Masters history and trivia at the bottom of the page for those who want more than just the perfect Masters betting toolbox but what this post is really all about is helping you profit from this year’s event.
US Masters Betting Offers 2018
The US Masters is for many THE major and the best golf betting sites will release a raft of enhanced odds promotions, free bets, enhanced each way deals and money back specials, all of which we’ll be listing right here!
- Coral – Paying Enhanced Each Way Bets to 10 Places (1/5 odds) – 18+. UK+IRE only. Applies to bets placed on the outright market of The US Masters from 8AM Sunday 25/03/18. Each-way bets paid to 10 Places at 1/5 place odds. T&Cs Apply.
- Betfair – Paying Each Way Bets to 8 places (1/5 odds) – Also, new customers to Betfair can claim up to £100 in free bets – New customer offer. Place 5 x €10 or more bets to receive €20 in free bets. Repeat up to 5 times to receive maximum €100 bonus. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Exchange bets excluded. T&Cs apply.
Alternatively new customers to Betfair can opt for one of the following enhanced odds offers instead of the standard £100 in free bets offer:
- 25/1 Tiger Woods to make the cut – £1 – New Customers can get Tiger Woods at an enhanced 25/1 to make the Cut. Max Stake £1. Winnings paid in free bets, valid for 7 days, only deposits with cards/Paypal count. Exchange and multiple bets excluded. T&C’s Apply. 18+|Gamble Aware.
- 80/1 Rory McIlroy to win the Masters – £1 – New Customers can Rory McIlroy at an enhanced 80/1 to win the US Masters. Max Stake £1. Winnings paid in free bets, valid for 7 days, only deposits with cards/Paypal count. Exchange and multiple bets excluded. T&C’s Apply. 18+|Gamble Aware.
- 80/1 Tiger Woods to win the Masters – £1 – New Customers can Tiger Woods at an enhanced 80/1 to win the US Masters. Max Stake £1. Winnings paid in free bets, valid for 7 days, only deposits with cards/Paypal count. Exchange and multiple bets excluded. T&C’s Apply. 18+|Gamble Aware.
2018 US Masters Betting Tips
- Bubba Watson to win at 16/1 with Coral
- Alex Noren each way at 50/1 with Betfred
Augusta always represents an interesting challenge, with some players simply taking to it and other top stars being left bamboozled. It’s not an event for newcomers, while it can often punish the slightest of errors. Winning here is a tall order, but just who is up to the challenge?
Professional golf is in rude health. At one end we have greats of the game like Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods returning to something approaching their best and at the other we have a whole host of exciting young players capable of mixing it at the highest level. We’ve had skirmishes between the best in the world already this season but it’s only at this week’s Masters where they will all meet at once. With the action unfolding at the incredible Augusta National we are in line for the best four days of golf for a very long time.
A Unique Challenge?
There is some debate as to exactly what it takes to win the Masters. There is no debate, however, that the questions posed at Augusta National are very different now compared to the Masters’ formative years. The par 72 layout has been lengthened considerably to a maximum 7,435 yards while at the same time a series of redesigns have tried to narrow the course down to try and stop players from overpowering their way to success.
A certain amount of power is still necessary as is an ability to handle the lightning fast greens. However, it’s ball striking that is the most important element of Masters success. Even the best putters will only be able to mask poor approach shots for a limited time at Augusta. It’s vital for players to leave themselves underneath the hole wherever possible as downhill putts are notoriously tough even from short distances.
Bubba Watson’s two green jackets are testament to the fact that you don’t actually have to be a putter of the very top order to win at Augusta National. What Watson did during both of his wins was utilise his creativity and incredible shot shaping skills to hit the right portion of the greens. On the putting surfaces he was able to hold his nerve while his impressive short game bailed him out of trouble when necessary.
It’s only in the last few months that Watson’s game has reached the levels he hit en route to success in 2012 and 2014. ‘Bubba golf’ is viewed as a joke by some in the game but his style seems to fit Augusta like a glove and Watson could just end on top of this mind bogglingly strong field at generous odds of 16/1 with Coral.
Each Way Value with In-Form Noren
Alex Noren’s only previous appearance in the Masters ended in a missed cut last year. Even though he was 34 at the time, Noren was still learning how to take his form from the European Tour over to America. In the 12 months since, Noren has played a lot more golf on the PGA Tour and is now well known by American golfing crowds.
The Swede lost in a playoff at the Farmers Insurance Open, finished third at the Honda Classic and made the semi finals of the WGC Match Play. The experience of playing well on American courses will help Noren no end and he could be a major player at 50/1 with Betfred.
US Masters Trivia and History
Let’s start with 10 fun Masters facts before we move on to the longer, more serious and, maybe, slightly more boring, US Masters history.
- Oldest and Youngest – the best two golfers ever hold the record for oldest and youngest US Masters winners, with Jack Nicklaus having won at the age of 46 and Tiger Woods at just 21 years, three months and 14 days
- Green Jacket – Sam Snead won the first ever green jacket in 1949, although they were then awarded to all previous winners. The jacket of Horton Smith, who won the first ever Masters, was sold in 2013 for almost $700,000! For the record, the “green” jacket is officially Pantone 342
- Turkey and Beef – there was no Masters in 1943, 1944 or 1945 due to the war, with Augusta instead being turned over to raising turkeys and cows for the war effort!
- Pine Time – all those beautiful green trees the players try and avoid at the Masters? Mainly pines, with a range of varieties including Eastern Whites, Slash and the delectably named Loblolly Pine
- The Pressure of The Masters – the first time at Augusta can be tough for anyone but Chi Chi Rodriguez had a novel approach to handling the nerves, saying “The first time I played the Masters, I was so nervous I drank a bottle of rum before I teed off. I shot the happiest 83 of my life”
- More Pressure – not quite such an amusing fact but the pressure of the US Masters can get to anyone and among the more memorable collapses have been Greg Norman’s in 1996, when a final round 78 turned a six-shot lead into a five-shot deficit.
- Jordan Spieth – Jordan Spieth, US Masters champion in 2015, broke numerous records on his way to victory including: best 36, 54 and tied best 72 hole totals; most birdies at a Masters; first man to reach -19. He also set a range of other historical landmarks, for example becoming just the second man aged 21 or under to go wire to wire at a major (the other was Walter Hagen in 1914)
- A Rose by any Other Name – the tournament was initially called the Augusta National Invitational from its inauguration in 1934 until 1938 before taking on the name of The Masters. Not everyone approved, with legend Bobby Jones calling it “the so-called Masters.” as recently as 1963
- 19th Hole – Augusta originally planned to have a 19th hole – a real hole, not the bar – that would allow losing players a “double or quits” bet. It was to be a 90-yard uphill hole but plans were dropped for aesthetic and financial reasons
- Beautiful Augusta – part of the appeal of The Masters is the beauty of Augusta but such perfection takes work. The water hazards are dyed blue, water cups used by the crowd are green in and out so they don’t show on TV, flowers and plants are brought in especially for The Masters, being packed in ice or subject to heat lamps so they flower perfectly for those four all-important days of the US Masters!
- World War II – the tournament was not played from 1943 to 1945, due to World War II. In order to provide assistance to the war effort, livestock was raised on the grounds at Augusta!
- Jack Nicklaus – widely regarded as the greatest professional golfer of all time, Nicklaus won The Masters 6 times in his career. He also holds the record for the most top five finishes (15), most top 10 finishes (22), the most career birdies (506) and the most career eagles (24). How long that last record will last remains to be seen, with Dustin Johnson managing three in one round in 2015! In 1986 Nicklaus also became the oldest winner of the Masters at the age of 46!
- Dwight Eisenhower – the former US President had a great affinity with Augusta. The famous Eisenhower tree on the 17th hole of the course was only removed in February 2014. This tree was named after Eisenhower demanded that the tree be cut down due to its interference with his golf game!
- Defending Champions – only three men have managed to defend their titles the year after; Jack Nicklaus (1965, 1966), Nick Faldo (1989, 1990), and Tiger Woods (2001, 2002)
- Female Members – 2012 was the year that females were first allowed to become members of Augusta. The first two female members were Former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and banker Darla Moore!
- Membership – individuals cannot become members without being invited to become one. In 1934, the initiation fee was $350 with annual fees of $60. This equates to only around $5,000 of today’s money although today it is estimated that the annual fees are around $10,000
- Amen Corner – The most notorious part of the course is Amen Corner and this is the part of the course that comprises of the 11th, 12th and 13th holes. However, the statistically hardest hole on the course throughout its history is the 10th hole, a lengthy par four called Camellia
US Masters History
Ok, that’s the fun stuff out of the way, now let’s take a look at how the most beautiful major of them all came about. As alluded to above, the tournament started life as the Augusta National Invitational and was first held in 1934.
Clifford Roberts and Bobby Jones created the tournament on the newly built Augusta National course that was only completed in 1933, sadly after architect Alister MacKenzie had died. The first ever tournament, won by Horton Smith (who also won two years later), was played with the two nines reversed, ie 10-18 played first, followed by the holes we now know as one to nine.
From 1935 the holes were played in the order we now know whilst the name of The Masters was taken in 1939, with the tournament often referred to as The US Masters in Europe. Perhaps the most famous shot in Masters history, if not all of golf, was played in just the second ever Masters, with Gene Sarazen’s “shot heard ’round the world” enough to earn Sarazen his own bridge at the course, not to mention a play-off spot that he would go on to win. Sarazen’s albatross at 15 was some shot and the fact that the longer hitters now often hit little more than a seven iron in does nothing to diminish it.
The Masters has been punctuated by almost all of the golfing greats and the period in the 1960s and 1970s when the likes of Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player regularly competed for the green jacket is perhaps the most memorable in the tournament’s history.
In 1961 South African Player became the first overseas player to win The Masters, winning again in 1974 and then completing his hat-trick in 1978 at the age of 42. Palmer won four Masters, the last in 1964, whilst the Golden Bear holds a record six Masters titles, his final one and final major coming in 1986.
Here Come the Europeans
American dominance further waned in the 1980s and 1990s, with non-US players winning 11 out of 20 Masters in this period. Seve – he needs but one name – became the first European to taste glory at Augusta in 1980, adding a second title in 1983 whilst his compatriot Jose Maria Olazabal also won twice, in 1999 and 1994. German Bernhard Langer was another double European winner, slipping on the green jacket in 1985 and 1993, whilst Nick Faldo is the most successful European in Masters history having won at Augusta in 1989 and 1990, followed by a third win in 1996.
In more recent times much talk at The Masters has been about combatting the prodigious length of players such as Woods. Augusta’s par fives are now where the longest players really seek to make hay with all offering up great birdie and even eagle opportunities. In 2015 Dustin Johnson was seven under for the par fives alone … on one single day! The huge-hitting American made three eagles and a birdie on the Friday, a Masters record.
America Bites Back
Woods, who has made more than his fair share of Masters eagles, was the dominant force in the 21st century, winning The Masters in 1997, 2001, 2002 and 2005, whilst his best friend (!) Phil Mickleson also claimed three titles.
In the last 10 years or so players such as Trevor Immelman, Angel Cabrera, Charl Schwartzel and Adam Scott have added more of an international flavour to the roll of honour but Bubba Watson’s brace of wins in 2012 and 2014 and Spieth’s procession in 2015 mean Augusta is very much the US, Masters right now.
However, with Sergio’s fine win in 2017 and the huge number of European and world stars in the top 50, could things be about to change once again?