Previews and pre-event analysis from Golf Betting System's PGA Tour and European Tour coverage
To read Steve Bamford's US Masters Tips for 2014 click here. Follow Steve on twitter: @bamfordgolf
The 2014 US Masters needs no introduction. Traditionally the first Major Championship of the golfing calendar, The Masters is the hardest Major to qualify for and is the only Major Championship which is always played on the same course, Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia. A select field of circa 90 players gather in Augusta from all corners of the globe to fight for the coveted Green Jacket and the title of Masters Champion. Following hot on the heels of the PGA Tour's Florida Swing and a couple of warm up tournaments in Texas, Augusta National is the ultimate manicured golf course, which at over 7,400 yards packs a real punch. The course features contours that test the world's best players ball striking to the maximum, with green surfaces which are often the fastest putting surfaces on the planet. To win the US Masters is always the greatest challenge in golf.
US Masters - Augusta Course Details
Augusta National, Augusta, Georgia.
Designer: Alister Mackenzie 1933 with Tom Fazio Re Design 2001 Course Type: Classical Par: 72 Length: 7,435 yards Water Hazards: 6 Bunkers: 44 Fairways: Perennial Rye Rough: Perennial Rye 1.38" Greens: 6,486 sq.ft average featuring Bentgrass Stimpmeter: 14ft Scoring Avg 2012: 73.5 Ranked 8 of 49 courses for difficulty on the 2012 PGA Tour 2013: 73.4 Ranked 4 of 43 courses in 2013 for difficulty.
Previous Champions: 2013: Adam Scott; 2012: Bubba Watson; 2011: Charl Schwartzel; 2010: Phil Mickelson; 2009: Angel Cabrera; 2008: Trevor Immelman; 2007: Zach Johnson; 2006: Phil Mickelson; 2005: Tiger Woods; 2004: Phil Mickelson; 2003: Mike Weir; 2002: Tiger Woods; 2001: Tiger Woods; 2000: Vijay Singh.
Winners Scores - Post 2007 Course Configuration: 2013: -9/279; 2012: -10/278; 2011: -14/274; 2010: -16/272; 2009: -12/276; 2008: -8/280.
Winners Prices: 2013: Scott - 28/1 2012: Watson - 55/1 2011: Schwartzel - 90/1 2010: Mickelson - 10/1 2009: Cabrera - 100/1
Winners Form Pre-Masters
2013, Adam Scott: Major Top 10s = 8 Best Masters Result: 2nd 2011 Form In: 4 tournaments - Copperhead: 30th, Doral: 3rd, World Matchplay: Round 1, Riviera: 10th.
2012, Bubba Watson: Major Top 10s = 2 Best Masters Result: 20th 2008 Form In: 7 tournaments - Bay Hill: 4th, Doral: 2nd, World Matchplay: Round 2, Riviera: 13th, TPC Scottsdale: 5th, Torrey Pines: 13th, Kapalua: 18th.
2011, Charl Schwartzel: Major Top 10s = 0 Best Masters Result: 30th 2010 Form In: 8 tournaments - Redstone: 30th, Bay Hill: 47th, Doral: 24th, PGA National: 14th, World Matchplay: Round 2, Abu Dhabi: 8th, Joburg: 1st, Africa Open: 4th.
2010, Phil Mickelson: Major Top 10s = 29 Best Masters Result: 1st 2004, 2006 Form In: 7 tournaments - Redstone: 35th, Bay Hill: 30th, Doral: 14th, TPC Scottsdale: 24th, Pebble Beach: 8th, Riviera: 45th, Torrey Pines: 19th.
Pre-Tournament Key Summary
The US Masters and the Open Championship are clearly the biggest tournaments in golf. An obvious statement, but with size comes media interest, which as you'd expect always focuses on the very biggest names. Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson. One of those three must win The Masters this year........... you know the pack drill.
However when you look at recent results, the US Masters hasn't quite gone to form or followed the pre event media line. Tiger (2013), Phil (2012) and Rory (2011) have all seriously contended in recent renewals, but eventually all have been beaten by players who the spotlight hasn't been on pre-tournament. Adam Scott, Bubba Watson and Charl Schwartzel. None of these 3 had won on the PGA Tour in the year prior to capturing the Green Jacket and none of them had ever won a Major! The moral of the tale here, is look deeper into the field for players who are in good form, whose games will fit the stern Bentgrass green test that is Augusta.
Augusta is always evolving and of late the club members seem to like a winning score of around double digits. Fact is the course design alters pretty much every year with slight changes to tee positions and green complexes and it's true that every aspect of the course can be managed especially the speed of the Bent grass greens via sub-air systems under every undulating green surface. The longer hitters have a massive advantage over this +7,400 yard test, where the roll on the fairways is minimised. Course experience is essential and debutants simply can't win.
Below we track the results of Golf Betting System PGA Tour tipster Steve Bamford who has been producing weekly tips since 2009. You can also follow him on Twitter @bamfordgolf. Bamford's Historical US Masters Selections: