Monday, 8 April 2013

2013 Masters Tips/Analysis

It's the first major of the season and probably the most anticipated one, given its position in the calendar and the mystique of Augusta. Because of that, I have decided to post my own analysis of the Golf Predictor statistics for the 2013 Masters on-line. I've grouped the combatants into several sections with a short rationale for picking each player.

Those most expected to win will usually be available at a prohibitively short price, given the number of top golfers in the field. No prizes for guessing that Tiger Woods with his three wins from six starts this season is top of this list and a hot favourite with the bookies. All of his wins this season have come on courses he has won multiple times on before and Augusta certainly fits that bill. However, some say his latest swing results in a shot shape that doesn't suit Augusta. In addition, his desperation to finally edge nearer to Jack's magic total of eighteen majors force him to try too hard. At about 4/1, he's way too short a price to back, even without those concerns. Recently disposed world number one Rory McIlroy showed a welcome return to form last weekend in San Antonio, so it's no surprise he's also expected to do well. If he can stay well clear of the log cabins, he may get to completely exorcise the ghost of his 2011 Masters meltdown. However, at about 8/1, it's not worth taking a punt on him. On the other hand, Justin Rose has some great statistics and is available at about 20/1.

Currently In-Form Golfers
They say golf is a game of confidence and that is certainly true of the professionals. Once they start to string a few good performances together, they tend to keep it going for a few months at least. However, as this is the first major of the year, recent form might not necessarily be as important as in a regular tour event. Nerves will be jangling and some may not handle the pressure cooker of The Masters too well. The golfers with the best form in their last five events this season are Justin Rose, Sergio Garcia and Keegan Bradley (in that order). Of course, Tiger has won his last two events and three of his last five, but poor (for him!) results in the other two means he hasn't been as consistent as the three golfers just mentioned.

Similar Tournaments Form Golfers
Since majors are the most prestigious and desired (and hence most pressurised) golf tournaments, this metric is particularly important for these four events. The golfers with the best form in their last twelve majors are Lee Westwood, Steve Stricker and Adam Scott (in that order). Stricker is the only one of those three to make the cut in all these events and Westwood did miss the cut in the last major. Also, Scott may not have gotten over choking at The Open last year. I know I haven't, as I backed/tipped him!

Same Course Form Golfers
Golfers tend to perform better on courses they like or courses they believe suit their game. Many do up their playing schedule based largely on this. Course form is very important at Augusta with its undulating fairways and famously treacherous greens, not to mention the history and tradition associated with it. The golfers with the best form on the hallowed turf in the last five years are Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods and Lee Westwood (in that order).

Similar Weather Form Golfers
It's promised windy for the first two days and there is also a good chance of rain on Thursday. In normal conditions (dry, warm and calm), weather isn't much of a factor. However, in  the wind, previous form in such conditions is important. The golfers with the best form in similar weather to that promised in the last five years (minimum five tournaments) are Luke Donald, Steve Stricker and Lee Westwood (in that order). Note however that the actual weather might be different from the promised weather! If it stays dry and the course firms up over the weekend, the extra run in the fairways would give the shorter hitters more of a chance.

Value Bets
Taking all the statistics to account, Steve Stricker (great putter, good in the wind), Sergio Garcia (very consistent this season), Ian Poulter (two top tens here in the last 3 years) are considerably undervalued. However, none have won a major yet (both Europeans were denied by Harrington, with poor Sergio suffering twice!) and Stricker is part-time this season and didn't play particularly well in his last tournament in Houston. Lee Westwood (despite featuring in this post several times!) and Matt Kuchar (3rd here last year) are also a little undervalued.

Overall 2013 Masters Tips
The golfers with the best balance of statistics and bookie odds are Justin Rose (20/1 with Paddy Power & others) and Lee Westwood (28/1 with Paddy Power & others). Longer shots worth a punt are Garcia (45/1 Stan James & others) and Stricker (66/1 with Bet365 & others). 

Well, that's my analysis of the 2013 Masters and my final list of tips. Of course you are free (and encouraged!) to log in to Golf Predictor to conduct your own analysis, using the myriad of statistics, charts, tables and comparison tools. However, note that you will have to subscribe to access all the features!


Golf Predictor Guru! said...

All tips should be backed each way. This is true of most golf tournaments, given the usual field size. Although the Masters field is smaller (93, with a few no hopers!) than a regular tournament, you should still give yourself a better chance of a return.

Golf Predictor Guru! said...

Added an extra comment about Scott choking at The Open last year.

Golf Predictor Guru! said...

Did some minor editing and added an extra comment about short hitters having more of a chance if the course gets fast over the weekend.