Time To Tee Off: Masters Tournament Preview

Tiger Woods FistPumping

Back to normality? Tiger Woods looks like he will be fist pumping alot more after his return to the top of the Official World Golf Ranking.

The Masters Tournament, also known as The Masters or the US Masters, is the first of golf’s four major championships on the calendar and, arguably, the most prestigious of the lot.

Unlike the three other major events, the Masters Tournament takes place at the same venue every year, with the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia having staged the competition since its establishment in 1934 when Horton Smith won by one stroke, shooting four under par to edge out Craig Wood.

Smith did not receive one of the famous green jackets. That Masters Tournament tradition did not start until 1949 when the legendary Sam Snead won the first of his three titles.

The king of the Augusta National Golf Club is Jack Nicklaus, with the Golden Bear having won an incredible half a dozen Masters Tournaments between 1963 and 1986. Tiger Woods is closing in on Nicklaus, though. Woods has four Masters Tournament titles to his credit but he has not worn his green jacket since edging out Chris DiMarco in 2005.

Impossible To Ignore Credentials Of Woods

With Woods returning to the top of the Official World Golf Ranking ahead for the 2013 Masters Tournament, bookmakers have had a very easy decision as to which golfer in the limited field merits the tag of championship favourite.

Woods has not won the Masters Tournament since 2005 but most golfers would kill for his Augusta National Golf Club record over the last seven years, which includes no fewer than six top-six finishes. Woods is trading at odds of around 9-2 to break his major championship barren run – he has not won a big one since taking out the 2008 US Open – and anyone who does not consider him a serious contender is an idiot.

After all, Woods has won both of his last two starts and his game is suited perfectly to the Augusta National Golf Club course. Woods is one of the longest drivers in professional golf and he tops this year’s PGA Tour eagles and strokes gained putting charts. Woods will be there or thereabouts when the 2013 Masters Tournament enters its final stages.

Day Could Go One Better Than Two Years Ago

The cream rises to the top at the Augusta National Golf Club – one can count the number of recent shock winners on the fingers of one hand – so it makes sense to concentrate on big-time golfers who can hit the ball a long way, birdie or eagle par fives on a regular basis and get up and down in two strokes when they run into trouble around the greens.

No Australian has won the Masters Tournament but Jason Day could make history in 2013. Day finished in a tie for second place on his first appearance at the Augusta National Golf Club two years ago and one can ignore his 2012 performance when he withdrew not even halfway through his second round.

Bookmakers are quoting Day at odds of around 66-1, odds at which he makes very strong each-way appeal. Day has started this year by making seven cuts in a row and posting three top-10 finishes, while his 2013 PGA Tour driving distance ranking of 13th and par five birdie or better ranking of 12th mark out him as having skills suited to the event.

Bradley And Hanson Other Strong Contenders

Keegan Bradley made his Masters Tournament debut last year when he finished joint 27th. Bradley has the game to be a major force at the Augusta National Golf Club, with the American being in the top five rankings for both driving distance and par five birdie or better on the 2013 PGA Tour. Also, Bradley has demonstrated that he can hold it together when the acid is on, winning the 2011 PGA Championship and going close to winning back-to-back editions of that event.

Bookmakers are offering Bradley at win odds of around 28-1 and, like Day, he makes each-way appeal, particularly if one can get those odds with a firm paying six places. Another golfer worth a look is Peter Hanson because he is generously priced at odds of around 80-1 based on his statistics and his tie for third position in the 2012 Masters Tournament.

Offer Makes BetVictor The Place To Back Roughies

Many bookmakers are offering 2013 Masters Tournament special offers. The pick of them is BetVictor’s deal that means it will refund all losing pre-event winner bets, up to maximum of 50 British pounds or 50 euro, if either Rory McIlroy or Woods visits the Butler Cabin to put on a green jacket.

BetVictor is betting not much bigger than 9-4 that either McIlroy or Woods triumphs in the 2013 Masters Tournament and, while that price incorporates a healthy theoretical profit margin, the true probability of its offer being activated is still around the 20 per cent mark.

Obviously, it is not worth backing Woods with BetVictor – one is better off shopping around and picking out another 2013 Masters Tournament special offer – but if one is going to oppose the warm favourite then it is the place to do it.

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