US Masters: Fast starters…

The iconic US Masters starts on Thursday, and we’ve already outlined our thinking as far as the overall winner and the top Englishman as concerned.

However, we also like to try and get our tournament off to a cracking start by betting on the first round leader.

This year’s tournament is taking place in November, instead of the usual April, because of the disruption to the global sporting scene from the coronavirus pandemic. Because of the shorter days this time of the year, the Masters will employ a two-tee start – half of the field starting from the 1st and the other half from the 10th.

Although the first hole has a tricky drive, the 10th and the 11th are two of the most dangerous tee shots on the course, forming part of the famed Amen Corner. We wouldn’t want to start our round there (although we would pay anything to play 18 at Augusta!), and thus we’re going to favour players teeing up initially at the traditional opening hole.

There is rain predicted during the week, and we’re not sure when this will occur and how this will affect the course. So, we’re going to take one player from the early tee-offs and one from the later rounds.

Xander Schauffele tees off at 07:44 local time, and has good memories to lean on from last year. Playing in just his second Masters, Schauffele actually led at one point during the final round before finishing in a three-way tie for second, one shot behind Woods. We worry about his relative lack of experience over the 72 holes, but over one round we’ll take a punt.

Justin Thomas hits his first ball at 11:49 local time, and is due a good opening round. His best opening score after playing four tournaments is a 73, but this Kentucky player is trending in the right direction. His Masters record is 39-22-17-12, and his greens-in-regulation stats are always impressive. If the flat stick works then look out!

Recommendations:

Schauffele to lead after round one, 1 pt, at 22/1, bet365

Thomas to lead after round one, 1 pt, at 22/1, Unibet

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