While Sunday’s back nine is always a tense and exhilarating affair, it is an experience than can be further enhanced by the prospect of collecting some cool, hard cash. The 2012 Masters is perhaps the most eagerly anticipated golf tournament of all time, and bookmakers are bracing themselves for a steady influx in the lead up to the event.
Many punters will be tempted to look towards the front of field where the world’s top players are all in scintillating form, but the top heavy market has left a lot of value slightly further down the line.
With the likes of Zach Johnson, Trevor Immelman, Angel Cabrera and our reigning champion Charl Schwartzel well down many people’s lists before their respective wins, the Masters is a tournament with a proclivity of providing long priced winners.
Here are four outsiders who might make it a very profitable weekend.
The 6'4" Indiana swinger is coming into this tournament under the radar, having taken a hiatus since the Tavistock Cup.
He finished that tournament in second place, extending a great run of form that saw him take four top tens from five starts. He has gained more strokes with his putter than any other tour player this year, leading the birdie average as well as ranking sixth in the driving stats.
While perhaps not seen as a natural winner, his price is more than acceptable and he represents a serious each way threat this weekend.
A quiet start to 2012 has allowed the Korean to slip out in markedly the betting, and it’s a price that should be snapped up.
Always a steady operator, Choi has contended here in the last couple of renewals and last year’s Players Championship victory indicates he has the mental fortitude to finish the job this time around.
His caddy reckons if he’s ever going to win a Major, then it will be at Augusta and this course aptitude allied to his 2010 and 2011 performances make him a stand out bet for 2012.
The revelation of 2011, the devout North Carolinian has established himself as a true world class performer.
While his start to 2012 has been slightly less auspicious, he has still played solid golf, making every cut on the way to three top ten finishes in seven starts.
A proven winner capable of such consistency should be arguably be a shorter price, and Simpson is likely to have significant market support before Thursday's tee off.
Haas rounded off a spectacular 2011 season with the shot of the year, miraculously saving par from the water’s edge in his Fed Ex Cup play off with Hunter Mahan before going onto claim the biggest financial windfall in golf.
He again outlined the composure inherent in Major champions at this year’s Northern Trust Open, claiming the spoils in a play off with Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley.
Haas has made every cut this season, and only once has he played four rounds in worse than five under par. Such lofty prices deserve serious consideration.