Augusta

#moxeystips meets The Masters: everyone’s favourite tipster makes his return to everyone’s favourite golf tournament. Whilst a successful Ryder Cup led to an unprecedented rush of followers, the added pressure this brought led me to take some time off during what was a bizarre winter season. But #moxeystips never switches off.

It all began with Hideki Matsuyama racking up SEVEN top 2’s in nine starts without even being the guy in form. That mantle was set aside for Justin Thomas, who cruised to two huge victories in January. Whilst neither have pressed on, one does come into this week with #moxeystips’ sought after blessing.

What’s happened since then? Well, Jon Rahm for starters. A previous world #1 in the amateur ranks, the 22 year old Spaniard became the new face of European golf when he won his first PGA Tour event two months ago. After a runner up finish in the WGC in March, he drives down Magnolia lane just four places outside the world’s top 10.

Elsewhere, DJ cruised to golf’s top ranking, the Greatest of All Time remains sidelined, and one-week-a-year-wonder Angel Cabrera returned to what can vaguely be described as form with a 34th place in Houston last week. He couldn’t do it again, could he?

200/1 Argentinians aside, below are five players and a few outsiders that I think will contend this week. I’ve plumped for value for money over anything else – hence why Spieth doesn’t make the list.

DUSTIN JOHNSON – 13/2

DJ has notched up three wins in his last three events. Sitting comfortably at World Number One, he’s added a lethal short game to what is golf’s best long game. Will Augusta prove the immovable object to this unstoppable force? A 4th place showing here last year suggests Johnson has finally got to grips with the place. 13/2 seems a bit short to me but DJ is still the guy to beat. moxeystips rating: 8/10.

HIDEKI MATSUYAMA – 20/1

Matsuyam 2017Anyone who’s someone on the tipping scene – and #moxeytips is someone – knows Augusta suits the man who hits it right to left. Matsuyama hits to left to right, and I think this has contributed to his price drifting out a little bit further than it should be. The Japanese 25 year old is arguably the only man in the world who could beat an “on-his-day” McIlroy, something which might come in useful if the rain keeps pouring (see below).

Whilst a few poor finishes followed his season’s sensational start, he does have a decent record here finishing T7 last year and 5th in 2015. Given his putting has improved leaps and bounds since then, a win could be just around the corner. #moxeystips rating: 7/10.

JUSTIN ROSE – 25/1

J Rozay has gone under the radar this year. In his last seven starts he’s only been outside the top-15 twice. One of those was in the Matchplay, which is basically a knockout from day 1. A major winner, Rose knows what it takes to get over the line in an event of this size and has racked up three top 10’s in his previous five Augusta appearances. Can he go one better than his T2 in 2015? #moxeystips thinks so. #moxeystips rating: 8/10.

PAUL CASEY – 50/1

Another Englishman with a great chance this week. Casey’s season so far has roughly been as impressive as his form in the run up to both the 2016 and 2015 versions of this event but his finishes those years? T4 and T6 respectively. The world number 16 showed enough form with a 10th place at the WGC a couple of weeks ago to make me think 50/1 is a real treat – a great EW pick. #moxeystips rating: 9/10.

MARC LEISHMAN – 66/1

My final pick is Aussie Leishman. The golf geeks among you will remember his 4th place finish on the Georgian track back in 2013 but times have been tougher since then. After missing the cut in 2014, he missed the 2015 event to be with his wife, who was suffering from an illness which almost claimed her life. Two years on, the 33 year old has racked up seven top-25s this year, a run which included a win at the Arnold Palmer in March. With his family around him, don’t be surprised to see the man from down under creeping around the top 10 on Sunday evening. #moxeystips rating: 7/10

ONES TO WATCH

RORY MCILROY – 8/1: With the heavens opening and the organisers on tornado alert across Monday and Tuesday, the Augusta Azalea’s have been bearing the brunt of some uncharacteristic Spring storms. This all suits McIlroy down to the tee: no one is better at tearing apart a soft golf course. #moxeystips rating: 8/10, but keep a weather eye on the forecast.

JON RAHM – 28/1: Even as a rookie and 28/1 being a little short, I couldn’t leave Rahm off of this list. I’m hoping he can emulate Spieth’s first showing and notch an EW finish. #moxeystips rating: 8/10

LONG SHOTS

ALEX NOREN – 90/1: First timer but his status at world #10 says it all. #moxeystips rating: 7/10.

MARTIN KAYMER – 150/1: Surprisingly long odds for icy cool Kaymer no doubt stem from his abysmal past showings here (a 31st in 2014 is his best effort in nine attempts) but, given a steady start to the year, 150/1 looks high. #moxeystips rating: 8/10.

HUDSON SWAFFORD – 200/1: The man with the best name in golf!!! #moxeystips rating: 7/10.

OTHER SUGGESTIONS

Casey, Leishman, Rose, Fowler, Garcia to make the cut and Willett, Knox, Wood and Els to miss the cut: 67/1

Top Japanese: Matsuyama (1/3)

Top Canadian: Hadwin (1/4)

Top German: Kaymer (8/15)

Top Former Winner: Spieth (11/10)

Danny Willett to miss the cut (6/4)

Chris Wood to miss the cut (11/10)

Gary Woodland to miss the cut (15/8) – this is, sadly, a head over heart call.

Selected bets – £10

£3 EW: Casey

£1 EW: Rose

£0.75 EW: Rahm

50p on the above accumulator

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