…And we’re off! We have a wealth of content planned for ‘patrons’ this week, and to ease us all into Thursday’s action, we produced a thorough Roundtable discussion with our friends at Gate City Sports to get the blood flowing. For the Full Roundtable, visit Gate City Sports. Here’s strong an excerpt:
Three darkhorses (50/1 odds and beyond) who will surprise?
Soly: Somehow Angel Cabrera is still 50/1. The guy’s track record here is insane. Three top 7’s the past five years, including his win in 2009. He’s the definition of a horse for course.
Graeme McDowell is 66/1, which doesn’t make sense to me. He has the necessary right to left ball flight, and while his run at Augusta is a mix of average and slightly above average finishes, he has the brass balls to hit big time shots in pressure packed situations. He’s not an ideal fit, but the odds don’t match for me.
I hate myself for saying it, but Trevor Immelman at 150/1 at least has my attention. The guy has made the cut 8 years in a row here, and despite our best effort to pretend it didn’t happen, he won it in 2008. A tiny wager on him may dull the pain of him actually winning it.
Evan Harmeling (Canadian Tour Member): I have King Louis Oosthuizen at 60/1. That 4-iron he holed out on the second hole two years ago was one of my favorite shots at Augusta. He’s won a major already and he wants to best his runner-up finish two years ago
Hard to say Jimmy Walker (50/1) is a dark horse after 3 wins this year (Frys, Sony and AT&T), but he has the length and game for Augusta and has been a staple on the leaderboard this year.
Russell Henley is a Georgia boy and feels at home at Augusta. That’s reason enough to take a gamble on a 150/1 long shot. He won on a difficult course at the Honda earlier this year, with a very strong field including McIlroy, who he beat in a playoff. Henley hasn’t gotten a ton of recognition, but he’s a bigtime up-and-coming player.
Jake Espenlaub (Gate City Contributor): Ian Poulter is 50/1 on various sites, which I think is a strong play. He’s got two top-10’s here the last four years, and most importantly knows how to putt when it matters. I’ve gotta go El Pato as well. He loves Augusta and he’s a big game hunter.
Couples at 100/1 is strong too. His back could go at any second, but he’s finished in the top-15 the last four years at The National. Augusta fits his eye, and if he’s healthy, he will be around on the weekend.
Fil: Give me guys with a penchant for attacking pins and that possess the cojones not to shy from the moment. Spieth (50/1), Reed (66/1), and Cabrera (66/1) seemingly fit that bill.
Ricky Dimon (Gate City Contributor): Immelman? LOL. Couples? Get all over him at 8/1 to finish in the Top 10. But he obviously isn’t going to win the tournament. I agree, of course, on Cabrera. That is the best value pick of the entire field. Steve Stricker at 75/1 and Jim Furyk at 80/1 are odds worth exploring.
For the full Roundtable, visit Gate City Sports, and if you wish to opine, leave a note in the comments section. Stay tuned tomorrow for No Laying Up’s Master’s Live Chat!