Masters Top English Player Betting: Poulter's Medinah putter ready for another miracle

Ian Poulter
Ian Poulter is 9.0 to be the top English player in Augusta
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Ralph Ellis is backing a revitalised Ian Poulter to continue his amazing resurgence when he tees off at Augusta...

"Where Poulter could be huge value is in the market for the top English player, because despite his dramatic victory in Texas he’s fourth in the betting at [9.0]."

When you think about it, the only mystery about Ian Poulter's Medinah putter is why he ever stopped playing with it in the first place.

You'd understand if he'd auctioned it for charity - how much might that have raised for some worthy cause? You'd even understand if he'd had the Odyssey 7 which so famously reeled off five birdies in a row put in a glass case and displayed in pride of place at his home.

But no. Apparently it was left in the bag that contained the rest of his 2012 Ryder Cup clubs in his office - until he picked it up a few weeks ago and the transformation has been astonishing.

The 20 foot putt he rolled in on the last hole of the Houston Open on Sunday night was one of those great moments that only sport can bring. A 42-year-old who dropped outside the world's top 200 a year ago is now heading for the Masters as number 29 and rising.

Dramatic victory

Can he win in Augusta? Well that really would be the comeback story to end them all in a year full of comeback stories. He's [80.0] in the market now and that probably is a fair reflection of the chances.

But where he could be huge value is in the market for the top English player, because despite his dramatic victory in Texas he's fourth in the betting at [9.0].

The competition is huge, obviously. Justin Rose [2.8] arrives in Augusta determined to go one better than last year's agonising play-off defeat to Sergio Garcia and with the form to believe he's capable of it.

Runner-up twice in the last three years, as Dave Tindall points out in his excellent analysis he's improved his scrambling stats significantly this year which is vital on Augusta's glass like greens.

Then there's Paul Casey [4.1] who hasn't finished outside the top six in the last three Masters and built his confidence hugely with that wonderful win at the Valspar.

Matchplay passion

Tommy Fleetwood [6.0] showed he can play the course a year ago with the way he recovered from a disastrous first day 78, even if he did ultimately miss the cut. He'll learn from that and arrives with the confidence of being European number one.

And as I've said before I like the confidence and aggression of Tyrrell Hatton [11.0] who won't be daunted by Augusta's history and traditions.

But for all that you have to think that Poulter, revitalised and full of self belief, will use Houston to give himself lift-off as he aims to complete his remarkable return to form by finally winning a Major.

He's proved he can negotiate the course, finishing sixth in 2015 and seventh in 2012 and only once missing the cut in a dozen appearances. And if he has finally learned to bring the passion and flair he's always shown in Matchplay to a Strokeplay competition then any Englishman who finishes ahead of him will have had to be at their absolute best.

Of the last five Masters winners, the putter was the key club in every case bar Bubba Watson's driver. Poulter can rebrand his favourite flat stick as the one that produced the miracle of Medinah to the one that created the miracle of the Masters.

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