The US Masters takes place in the second week of April and Bet Enthusiast followers are in a strong trading position ahead of the first major championship of the golf season. The Bet Enthusiast service has some decent ante post wagers published for the Cheltenham Festival, though we did fall foul of the dangers of ante post betting when our tip for the Grand National, Tidal Bay, was withdrawn due to a minor injury.
Bet Enthusiast covers several mainstream and more obscure sports. Our Cheltenham Festival portfolio looks strong and our early bets for the US Masters also puts us in good shape well ahead of the when the tournament takes place. We have tipped Phil Mickelson and Russell Henley to win the Green Jacket and both players are now trading at a lower price than when they were advised.
Mickelson has won four major championships which is a modest total for a player of his ability and record in conventional tournaments. However, alongside Ernie Els he is the only current leading player to have won that many majors, other than Tiger Woods of course. Mickelson would clearly like to win each of the majors at least once but the US Open is now probably at the top of his wish list.
Lefty has had plenty of opportunities to win his national Open but now turned 40 the chances of him winning now are receding specially in light of the mental and physical demands associated with competing in the second major of the season.
Big Phil has won the US Masters three times in his career and but for one poor hole at the start of the final round in 2012 that tally would be four. His most recent win at Augusta was in 2010 when his score of 18 under was the lowest for 13 years.
Henley emerged as a potential major champion in the early weeks of the 2013 season. He won his first event as a full member of the PGA Tour, claiming the Sony Open in January. That win qualified him for the US Masters and even at this stage of his career Henley looks a potential contender.
Our big priced tip won two tournaments on the Web.com Tour at the end of 2012 and finished third in two other events. At the Sony Open he completed 20 successive rounds of competitive golf under par in which excellent putting was key to his low scoring.
By winning the Sony Open Henley has earned full exempt status until the end of the 2015 season. His world ranking should get him into the majors and World Golf Championship events. He could become the first debutant to win the US Masters since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979.
Augusta is characterised by wide fairways but lightening fast greens. Generally players must be above average for driving distance to set up plenty of birdie and eagle opportunities, especially on the four par 5s.
The Masters is often decided over the back nine on Sunday. There are two reachable par 5s coming home but these are classic risk/reward holes. Henley appears to have the temperament to play his natural game when in contention.
Back next Friday.