For every golf fan, the US Masters in early April is without doubt a highlight of the golfing calendar. But it?s also a fantastic betting opportunity for the astute golf bettor who can pinpoint where the value lies. But just what are the crucial golf stats for the Masters? Well, a close study of previous US Masters winners reveals some interesting trends which should prove extremely useful in finding this years winner...
1 -- Since 1990, more than 80 of US Masters winners have won or finished 2nd atleast once already that year.
In that time, just Jose Maria Olazabal in 1999, Ben Crenshaw in 1995 and Nick Faldo in 1990 had failed to finish first or second on either the US PGA or European tour in the year they won the tournament.
Interestingly all three golfers had already won the Masters in a previous year however -- in 1994, 1984 and 1989 respectively.
2 -- This year, more than ever, Augusta will favour the big hitters. That's because the course has been extended a further 155 yards to 7445 yards with alterations to six holes. Augusta has now been lengthened over 400 yards in the last 5 years.
The course plays long so unless there is a lot or rain to negate the big hitters advantage, favour those golfers who rank well for driving distance.
3 -- The other extremely important stat is the Greens-In-Regulation (GIR) percentage. GIR simply measures how often a golfer reaches the green in the regulation number of strokes (or less). For example, on a par 4 hole, Regulation would be to make the green in two strokes. On a par 5, three strokes.
To illustrate just how vital this statistic is, only once in the last six years has the Masters winner NOT ranked in the first two for GIR percentage at the tournament?s conclusion.
4 -- The Masters is a tournament for proven winners. Big name golfers such as Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and Vijay Singh have tremendous records in this event. For example Mickelson has finished no worse than 12th in the last 8 years!
Unlike the British Open, surprise long odds winners are extremely rare. No golfer playing the Masters for the first time has won the tournament since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979, so previous Masters form is a must.
Armed then with the above pointers, it should be possible to eliminate a large percentage of the 2006 US Masters field as possible winners. The winning golfer is likely to have good previous Masters form, have won or finished second in a tournament atleast once already that year, and rank highly in the driving distance and GIR stats for his respective tour.
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Article copyright of Graham Cox. For more golf stats on over 1400 European and US PGA tour golfers visit GolfBettingGuide.com or subscribe to his Golf Betting Tips newsletter.