Two-ball picks for the final round at Augusta



Yesterday’s quintet of picks produced three winners. Enough to bag a treble but still a two unit loss from the multiple bet. Frustrating, given that backing five singles would have yielded a profit, but I’m sticking with the logic behind the plan.

Namely, that weekend two-balls at this particular course are generally well matched and trickier than usual. Rather than staking bigger on singles, as over the first two days, a low risk/high reward multiple bet is preferred. Trebles, fourfolds plus an acca.

Unlike most courses, so much of the scoring at Augusta is done on so few holes – the par-fives and to a lesser extent, the short par-four third. Identifying a significant edge in match-ups therefore becomes much harder. Nevertheless, we shall try!

Woodland to struggle again

To start, let’s take on Gary Woodland again. Save a good opening round, the former US Open champion hasn’t done anything to dispel doubts about his liking for the short game challenge around Augusta.

He’s up against the player leading the PGA Tour’s strokes gained: around the green stats. Bezuidenhout started very well and it has been a surprise to see him fall back. Nevertheless, I think the South African has a big future on this course.

Casey to save best for last again

Billy Horschel is another yet to show his best around Augusta, which is slightly surprising given the usual quality of his iron play. Without a good finish, he’ll still have only one top-30 in seven tries.

Today’s opponent looks very tough on paper. Forget last November’s renewal and Paul Casey has a phenomenal final round record here. His previous six were all under-par.

Cink to have Stenson’s measure

Henrik Stenson’s decent tournament, currently in the top-20, is a big surprise for which there was no recent form indication. I’d have made Stewart Cink a clear favourite against him beforehand yet now he the Alabaman is the outsider.

Cink is another with an excellent final round record in this major. His last seven were par or better and he’s only once hit worse than 74 in 12. Stenson’s isn’t bad either to be fair but his efforts came at times when his game was in another universe, whereas Cink arrived in better form than most years.

MacIntyre to show yet more Augusta promise

The success of Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson and Mike Weir has long suggested left-handers are ideally suited to Augusta so let’s finish the plan with a pair of lefties, both of whom are clear outsiders against elite opposition.

Positioned in the top-ten, Robert MacIntyre is enjoying a wonderful debut and has gone into my notebook as a future Masters champion. He came with a late rattle to finish sixth on his Open debut in 2019 so don’t be surprised if he gets among them tonight. Tony Finau is a very tough opponent but still worth taking on at these odds.

Reliable Harman value against Spieth

I’m always interested in 18-hole scenarios where the clear the outsider is more solid and dependable, even if inferior overall. That precisely fits Brian Harman against Jordan Spieth.

Yes, the latter is a genius and might shoot a very low par to play a hand in the finish yet. He also might spray it around chasing from the start and fall away.

Harman is playing really well at the moment and likely to set a decent standard. This is only his third trip to Augusta and on his sole weekend appearance, the left-hander saved his best round of 69 for last.

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