How to pick a Masters champion

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With several of the top contenders in fine form, this year’s Masters looks wide open
Posted on
March 30, 2021
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Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Pick a Masters champion

How to pick a Masters champion

The Masters is back in its rightful spot as the first major of the golf season after being moved to November in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Five months on from Dustin Johnson’s triumph, the best players in the world will return to Augusta to compete for the Green Jacket.

Pick a Masters champion

With several of the top contenders in fine form heading into the event – including the reigning champion – this year’s Masters looks wide open.

A look at the last 25 years of champions at Augusta reveals which players in the golf betting have the best chance of coming out on top this year.

How to pick a Masters champion

Pick a Masters champion

Youth and athleticism are increasingly becoming huge advantages, but experience still counts for something at the Masters.

In the past 25 years, only two players under the age of 25 have triumphed at Augusta: Tiger Woods in 1997 and Jordan Spieth in 2015, both of whom were 21 at the time.

Many young golfers are turning in great performances on the PGA Tour, but history suggests that the winner at Augusta will likely be 25 or above.

Pick a Masters champion

Too much experience is not necessarily a good thing though, and it’s telling that just two players over the age of 40 have won the event in the past 25 years: Mark O’Meara in 1998 and Woods in his latest triumph in 2019.

So, while an experienced player like Lee Westwood will fancy his chances as he arrives at Augusta in great form, it’s worth avoiding the 47-year-old and instead backing a player under the age of 40.

Since 1996, Americans have dominated the Masters, winning fifteen out of 25. During that period, no other nation has won more than two.

How to pick a Masters champion

Pick a Masters champion

Between 2008 and 2017, only four players from the USA won the Green Jacket, but Americans have since taken back control of golf’s first major, winning each of the last three.

The majority of contenders at the top of the betting markets this year are American, and the trends suggest that they are again the most likely winners.

There is also a great chance that the 2021 champion will be inside the top 30 of the world rankings.

There have been a few surprise winners, Zach Johnson (2007) and Angel Cabrera (2009) for example, but they are very much the exceptions to the rule.

Of the last 25 Masters champions, 21 were inside the top 30 in the world rankings at the time of their victory, including each of the last eleven.

It’s also worth noting that 21 of the last 25 champions had also already recorded a top-five finish in the season of their triumph.

This year, then, we’re looking exclusively for players who are at the top of their game and have already had some success in 2021.

It’s also important that they’re coming off a decent showing when they head to Augusta, as 19 of the last 25 champions had made the cut in their last start before the Masters.

How to pick a Masters champion

Pick a Masters champion

The Masters is the only major played at the same venue every year, so some course trends can also help identify which players have the best chance.

Eighteen of the last 25 Masters champions, for example, had previously made at least four appearances at Augusta. The course is a unique test, and players usually need a few attempts to get used to it before winning their first Green Jacket.

It’s not enough to have just played at Augusta in the past, though. You need to have played well.

Of the last 25 champions, sixteen had already posted a top-five finish before winning.

Finally, a player’s chances are also increased if they performed well at the previous year’s Masters.

Since 1996, nineteen of the 25 champions had made the cut at Augusta the year before their victory. It’s not imperative that they were in contention – just six were coming off a top-five finish – but they do need to have made it through to the weekend.

How to pick a Masters champion

Pick a Masters champion

Taking all the above criteria into consideration, it’s possible to create an ideal profile of a Masters champion.

Five players fit the mould ahead of this year’s tournament.

Dustin Johnson  8.50  is the reigning champion and has a huge chance of defending his title in 2021. The American is 36 years old, has already won once this year and is ranked No. 1 in the world. With 10 Masters starts to his name – including last year’s victory – he has the course form we’re looking for, too.

Justin Thomas  12.00  looks another strong contender, having won the Players Championship already this year. At 27 years of age, the American fits the profile of a winner and is currently the No. 2 player in the world.

Thomas finished fourth at Augusta last year and has made five Masters starts to date.

Brooks Koepka  17.00  finished second at the Masters in 2019 and seventh last year, and has now made five career appearances at Augusta.

The 30-year-old American is currently 12th in the world rankings and has two top-five finishes to his name this year, including a win at the Waste Management Phoenix Open in February.

Patrick Reed  26.00 , like Johnson, is a former Masters champion, having slipped on the Green Jacket in 2018. He’s 30 years old, American and ranked seventh in the world, and he won the Farmers Insurance Open in January.

Finally, Webb Simpson  34.00  looks a strong contender to win his first major since 2012. He finished 10th at the Masters last year and fifth in 2019, and has made nine career starts at Augusta.

The former US Open champion fits the age bracket at 35, and recorded a top-five finish earlier this season at the Sony Open in Hawaii.

Keep an eye on all four players in their final starts ahead of Augusta, as those posting good results will perfectly fit the profile of a winner.

For all your Masters odds please visit Betway

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