No galleries obviously but that unique Masters atmosphere will not be undiminished given the players will be grateful for the chance to carve their name in history by taking the green jacket. We cannot expect the bright colours that adorn the April version but those famous stories from the back nine will have another chapter this week.
Australian, Jason Day to confirm my long-held belief that he would one day win the Masters.
The Australian, Jason Day is a player I have been convinced would be a future Masters champion going back to his debut at Augusta National in 2011 when he was runner up. That result sprung the young Aussie to prominence and slowly but surely improvement followed on the PGA Tour resulting in Day winning his first major championship in the August of 2015 at the PGA Championship. This was followed by a period of dominance in the sport as he reached world number one for 47 weeks. Since his career has been blighted by injury issues primarily from a troublesome
back but 2020 has seen Day starting to regain a foothold at the top of the sport with five top 7 finishes in eighteen events. After his debut runner up Masters of 2011, he has gone on to prove an affinity with Augusta National with 3rd in 2013 and 5th last year. In the interim years at Augusta, he has been a model of consistency with eight of his nine appearances resulting in 28th place or better finishes again illustrating a strong liking for the course. Day winning would be a notable career comeback, nothing like Tiger Woods but still, that hint of romance is never far away at the Masters and it's an angle to be respected at Augusta National. Last week at the Houston Open he contended and that could turn out to be perfect preparation as he brushed the cobwebs away in perfect time.
With Adam Scott, Jason Day and Mark Leishman regularly in contention for the green jacket, it would be easy to forget the strong credentials that Cameron Smith brings to Augusta National this year. Interestingly, Smith often appears to save his best golf for the later months of the year illustrated by back to back tournament wins in the Australian PGA Championship in the Decembers' of 2017 and 2018.
At the end of 2019, he didn’t win the same tournament that bookends his year but still managed a 10th place finish when attempting a hat trick of titles. Instead, he took his very best form into the opening event of 2020 on the PGA Tour when he won the Sony Open for his maiden PGA Tour title. Many pundits were surprised it took him so long to break through at the highest level having produced a couple of eye catching major championship performances early in the American part of his career.
A 4th place finish at the 2015 US Open announced Smith on the biggest stage and this was followed by an impressive 5th three years later at the 2018 Masters. Given his inherent ability to handle fast greens that was no surprise and I'm led to believe that this year despite the Masters being in November, we can still expect the ultra-fast greens that Augusta National is well known for. The deciding factor in making
Smith a strong bet in this year's Masters and particularly the place markets is Smith's recent form which has been superb while trending in the right direction. The CJ Cup saw Smith finish 11th on his penultimate start followed by an impressive 4th at the Zoso Championship giving Smith a strong look as this week's Banker Golf Pick at Augusta with William Hill at 3.40.
Masters Golf Banker
Lastly, but certainly not least we need to respect the chances of Adam Scott, the 2013 champion, this week. Scott has played a very light schedule this year and thus arrives in Augusta fresher than 90% of the field.
Before the Covid-19-hiatus Scott won the Genesis Invitational in Los Angeles on his first start after ending 2019 with a victory at the PGA Championship, the start before and like with Smith there is a small correlation in form probably due to the greens.
Past champions can always be relied on to perform well at Augusta and with a pleasant tune up at the Houston Open we can expect Scott to have sharpened tools perfectly to for a chance of a second Masters title.
Masters Golf Betting Pick