iBet: Three against the field at Augusta
The US Masters, Augusta, starts tonight
Back (each way) Keegan Bradley at 22/1, Dustin Johnson at 33/1 and Peter Hanson at 80/1
The bookies must love golf tournaments but regular readers will know that we tipped up last year’s Masters Champion Bubba Watson at 60/1 and we will do our best to point you in the direction of players who could do well this time. Dealing with Tiger Woods first, he’s clearly in form but 9/2 is too short for me. If he puts like he did when winning at Doral he has a great chance, but this is a course that favours a draw and that’s no longer part of his repertoire; and in all three of his wins this year his stinger fade with a three wood has been key, whereas on this long course he is going to have to pull out the driver and he is just not reliable enough with it. Mickelson has a fantastic record at Augusta (better than Tigers over the last 12 years). At 11/1 he’s not a bad bet but I’m passing him over, and although McIlroy has the game for the course, it was a weak field he did well against in coming second in Texas and his final round of 66 was only his fourth sub-70 round of the year. Defending champion Bubba Watson will surely have too many media commitments and my three against the field are Keegan Bradley, a long driver who has the most PGA top 10 finishes this season; Dustin Johnson, an even longer driver who is sixth in the FedExCup points table; and Peter Hanson, 24th in the PGA driving stats and a man who came third here last year.
I think all three English teams are too short in the Europa Cup tonight. Spurs (2/1 to lay with Betfair) were outplayed at home against Basle; Newcastle (2/1 to lay) are playing a Benfica team who held Barcelona to a 0-0 draw at the Camp Nou, and have not lost a single game away from home in their league this season; and Chelsea (1.9/1 to lay) play a Rubin Kazan team who are very mean and out played Inter Milan 3-0 at home. The Londoners can lose and still go through and Benitez may have more than one eye on their weekend FA Cup semi final against Manchester City.
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