With 24 first timers in the field, the Top Debutant market is bigger than usual at Augusta this year but that hasn't stopped our man digging out his idea of a decent wager. Will Jimmy Walker outwit his younger, less -experienced opponents? Steve thinks he will...
"It’s not just the fact that Jimmy Walker has won three times recently that appeals, it’s also his age and his style of play."
One of the most regularly rolled out stats regarding the US Masters (previewed here) is that, other than the first two winners of the event, Fuzzy Zoeller, in 1979, is the only debutant to don a Green Jacket, but with as many as 24 in the line-up this time around, the 35-year-old hoodoo might just be broken...
With three of the first four in the FedEx Cup standings, Jimmy Walker, Patrick Reed and Harris English as well as Jordon Spieth, all trading in double-figures and the big-hitting Canadian, Graham DeLaet, at just 100.099/1 in the outright market, the odds of a first-time winner is no more than around 9.08/1 this year, but I don't want to back any of them. It's such a tough course for a debutant and Justin Rose's comments are interesting here, where he states making the cut should be the aim of a first-timer.
I might not want to bet any of the debutants in the outright market but I fancy there's a nice bet to be had with Jimmy Walker in this one though.
The 35-year-old Texas resident must have been starting to think he'd never get to Augusta but his career has reached stratospheric heights in the last six months. After breaking his duck at the Frys.com Open in October, he won the Sony Open in January and the AT & T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am a month later and he currently leads the FedEx Cup standings.
It's not just the fact that he's won three times recently that appeals, it's also his age and his style of play. As you'd expect, at 35, he has far more experience than the vast majority in this market and on such a mentally demanding course, those extra years of competitive play will stand Walker in good stead.
Walker isn't the greatest of scramblers and that's a negative but given he averages a shade over 300 yards off the tee, is the hottest putter on Tour at present, if you go by the putting averages stats over the last three months, and that he ranks inside the top-12 for par 5 performance, his game looks very well suited to Augusta and at an industry-wide best price on the Sportsbook of 9.08/1, he looks worth a wager.
Jimmy Walker @ 9.08/1
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