The US Masters is just around the corner, with the four-day event attracting fans from all over the world. This will be the 83rd edition of the Masters, providing golfers with a chance to prove themselves at the highest level.
So, what is the Masters all about? Who is worth backing? Who are the long-shot punts of the tournament, and who is leading the market?
US Masters: History
The first-ever Masters began on 22 March 1934, and it has always been played in Augusta, Georgia, at the Augusta National Golf Club. It is the only one of the four major golf tournaments that doesn't change between venues.
The Masters was started by an amateur champion called Bobby Jones and investment banker Clifford Roberts.
There are a number of traditions within the Masters. Since 1949, a green jacket is awarded to the champion, although it has to be returned to the clubhouse the following year. The champion from the year before also does the presentation, putting the jacket on the new winner.
The Champions Dinner is also another tradition, which first began in 1952. It is held the Tuesday before the tournament every year.
Before the tournament gets underway, legendary golfers, often past winners, hit an honorary tee shot on the morning of the first round to commence play.
Patrick Reed is the current champion; the US golfer finished 15 under, winning by one stroke last year.
US Masters: Famous Wins
In 2013, Adam Scott defeated 2009 champion Angel Cabrera with a winning putt on the second hole of a playoff.
Nine months prior, Adam Scott practically handed the Open to Ernie Els after closing with four bogeys at Royal Lytham & St Annes, but Scott was able to right his wrongs and claim the prestigious prize.
In 2016, Danny Willett became the first Englishman since Faldo to win the US Masters, closing out with a bogey-free round of 67 to steal it away from Jordan Spieth.
The American closed out the front nine on the final day with four birdies, but the back nine was nothing short of a disaster for him. He hit two bogeys in a row, followed by two water shots.
Sheffield’s very own Willett sensed his opportunity, going on to hit three birdies on his last six holes, becoming the first Englishman to win the green jacket in 20 years.
In 2017, it was finally Sergio Garcia’s long-overdue time to win a major. He showed some nerves when bogeying the tenth and 11th hole, but a birdie at 14 and an exceptional eagle at 15 saw him back in touch of Justin Rose.
A birdie in the play-off saw the world of golf rejoice that Garcia was finally able to break his duck and be crowned the champion of Augusta.
US Masters 2019: Who To Follow
Jordan Spieth had a pretty disappointing 2018 campaign. However, despite having not won since the Open Championship in 2017, he always performs admirably at Augusta.
In three out of the last four years, Spieth has finished in front at the end of the first round. Last year, if it wasn’t for a poor performance on the Saturday, he would have been right in the mix at the end.
An incredible Sunday performance saw him finish third, only two shots behind eventual winner, Patrick Reed. On three different occasions at Augusta, Spieth has traded at odds-on, and if he can hold his nerve this time around, he looks the man to side with.
His course form figures read 2-1-2-11-3, so a return to Augusta could spark him back to form.
Brooks Koepka is a great in-form golfer that is well worth following at this year’s Augusta. In 2016, he finished 21st, improving to 11th in 2017.
Koepka has won three major championships, two of which were last year, and as a result, his power play can certainly put him in contention for the green jacket this time around.
Jon Rahm is a amongst our golf betting tips for the Masters, as he is a golfer who came on leaps and bounds from his 2017 position, finishing in fourth place last year.
His form over the last three months has been one of the best heading into the Masters, and his aggressive play on a course that suits that exact style could well see him finish in the top three this time around.
A win would see him become the fourth Spaniard to wear the prestigious green jacket.
US Masters 2019: Outside Chances
An outside bet that could be worth following is Billy Horschel. His form heading to Augusta is nothing to shout about, but he ranks very highly for GIR and Par 5 Performance.
He finished 17th in 2016, but will hope to utilise his experience to potentially break into a place spot.
Matt Kuchar has done everything apart from win a major, which might explain why he is 40/1. Despite being in his early forties, he is one of the most consistent golfers around.
It is also worth noting that Kuchar has finished in the top eight on four occasions, making him a great each-way bet at such huge odds.
This season, the American has won the Sony Open and Mayakoba Classic titles as well as challenging until the final holes when fourth at the Phoenix. His main strength appears to be in a head-to-head format rather than converting at the end of stroke-play tournaments.
A powerful, aggressive approach can often be key to success in the Masters, and Thomas Pieters certainly fits that description.
He was top scorer at the 2016 Ryder Cup as well as finishing second on his debut Riviera. That particular course form correlates with Augusta, and at odds of 100/1, he looks great value to place at the very least.
US Masters 2019: Market Leaders
Currently, it is Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy who lead the market, both priced at 10/1 in the golf betting. Behind them, Justin Rose and Tiger Woods share 12/1, and beyond that, Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas complete the top seven at 14/1.
Last year's winner, Patrick Reed, is 40/1 in the Masters golf betting to make it back-to-back wins at Augusta, and previous winner Sergio Garcia is also an outside punt at 50/1 to wear the green jacket once again.
The US Masters can often conjure up an upset, and it is often a spectacle not to be missed. This year should be no different, and with plenty of golfers arriving in form, it is set to be one of the most anticipated Masters in recent years.
*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*