2011 Masters Odds for Golf Futures Betting
by Trevor Whenham - 3/30/2011
Time is ticking away like I can’t believe -- we are already just one week away from the opening of the Masters. Augusta’s finest offering always feels like it falls in the heart of the spring -- practically summer -- and it just doesn’t seem like we are there yet. Regardless, though, it’s almost time to tee off, and that means that it’s time to look at the futures odds to see what’s interesting and what’s ridiculous. (all Masters odds are from Bodog):
Tiger Woods (6/1) - It has been a long, long time since the odds for Woods have made any sense in a major, but this may be the worst yet. Just pretend that this isn’t Woods that we are talking about, but just some random golfer. He hasn’t won a major since 2008, and hasn’t won a tournament of any kind since 2009. Since then he’s gone through a knee injury, a stint in a rehab facility, very public, brutal humiliation, and the firing of one swing coach and the hiring of a new one that is implementing a swing overhaul that is far from complete at this point. He’s currently 92nd on the money list, and hasn’t shown any of his trademark fire and killer instinct lately in tournaments. In short, if it weren’t for the fact that his name is Tiger Woods he would bear absolutely no resemblance to Tiger Woods in his prime. If he is truly a fitting favorite -- never mind a pretty solid one -- then this must be a truly terrible field. It really isn’t, so betting on him at this price would be a horrifically bad idea.
Phil Mickelson (8/1) - I don’t love these Masters odds, either, but they make a whole lot more sense than Tiger’s do. Phil has won this tournament three times, and he’s the defending champion, so he can obviously win here. The problem, though, is that he hasn’t won since the Masters last year, his last two majors last year weren’t pretty, and though his form has been decent this year he hasn’t been as sharp as would be ideal coming into this position. Unlike Woods I can’t emphatically rule a bet on him out, but I certainly can’t recommend it, either. There will be better value elsewhere.
Lee Westwood (14/1) - Westwood was ranked No. 1 in the world as recently as the end of February, so he can obviously play. He hasn’t won since June of last year, though. Outside of a second-place finish last year and a sixth in 1999 his time in Augusta has been consistently underwhelming. Combine the fact that he isn’t as sharp as he could be with a course that doesn’t complement him and I’m not impressed.
Martin Kaymer (14/1) - He’s the top man – No. 1 in the world. There’s a lot more to like about him than golfers that have come before him, too. He has a win this year, and he was second in the Match Play. He was the winner the last time a major was played, and he was the top money earner in Europe last year, so he obviously can handle pressure, and he has to be confident. This price is certainly fair. If you want to bet a front-runner then I’m not sure you could do better. The one big concern, though, is that he has played in this tournament three times, and has yet to make the cut. Still, the last time he played in Augusta he had one Top 10 finish in a major. Now he has four, so he’s in a different stratosphere in terms of confidence this time.
Anthony Kim (50/1) - Betting on Kim right now isn’t a great idea, but in the search for longshots I can’t resist. Kim has not done well recently, but it was only a couple of years ago that he seemed like he was poised to be the next big thing. He clearly has the talent, and he seems to be working harder than he was, so a breakthrough could come. He has just one Top-10 this year, but he was third last year in the Masters, so the tournament fits him well. At a price lower than this Kim would be a terrible idea. At this price, though, there are worse bets to be made.
Ryo Ishikawa (125/1) - If Ishikawa is half as good as the hype then you might as well jump on a price like this now, because you aren’t going to be able to get it for long. Ishikawa is just 19, yet he already has nine wins in Japan. He has missed the cut in both tries in the Masters, but he had strong showings in the U.S. and British Opens last year so he’s capable of shining. The kid has already shot a 58 in competition -- in Japan last May -- so he can obviously go low. He’s going to win a major at some point, so he makes sense as a serious longshot here.
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