US Masters Betting: Back Donald to land Top UK & Ireland honours

Luke Donald can land Top UK & Ireland honours this week
Luke Donald can land Top UK & Ireland honours this week

Mike Norman previews the Top UK & Ireland market ahead of this week's US Masters and he believes that either Luke Donald or Lee Westwood can take advantage if Rory McIlroy falters...

"I'm not overly confident about Westwood challenging for the Green Jacket but like Donald I can see him recording another high finish as his course experience comes to the fore. Hopefully one of the two Englishmen can land the odds in this market.

Recommended Bets
2pts back Luke Donald @ 6.05/1
1pt back Lee Westwood @ 7.513/2

Just 14 men are in with a shout of finishing this week's US Masters as the leading UK and Ireland player, but realistically, only a handful can be considered.

Red hot favourite at 2.757/4 on the Sportsbook is the man at the head of the tournament Winner market, Rory McIlroy. He's an understandable price and has an excellent chance of donning his first Green Jacket, but my own view is that he'll either win his third Major this week or finish down the field if his hopes of glory look dashed.

If that turns out to be the case then this market looks to be at the mercy of either Luke Donald - available to back at 6.05/1 - or Lee Westwood (7.513/2). Backing both is advised.

As Steve 'The Punter' Rawlings points out in his stunning in-depth preview of this year's first Major, Donald's putting stats suggest he is back to the level he was at a few seasons ago in that department of his game, and that is extremely encouraging for this week and the year ahead.

The Englishman has three times finished in the top 10 at Augusta so he has no negatives in terms of course form, which is so crucial here, and again, as Steve rightly mentions, Donald is a terrific scrambler which is another key attribute at this venue. In fact, I still don't think there's a better player in the world at getting up and down from sand than Donald.

The worry I have for him is that he always seems to throw in one bad round in a Major that usually puts him out of contention. Fingers crossed that doesn't happen this week because if it doesn't then Donald should definitely contend.

If I'd have submitted this preview seven days ago I'd have given Westwood very little chance of doing well at the Masters this week, but an eye-catching performance in Texas has changed my mind somewhat.

True, he still hasn't recorded a top 10 finish this year but there were some encouraging signs last week and his record round Augusta is second only to Phil Mickelson of those players with a realistic chance of winning come Sunday afternoon.

And the last time I looked Mickelson was third favourite for this week's tournament despite, like Westwood, not recording a top-10 finish on the PGA Tour this season.

I'm not overly confident about Westwood challenging for the Green Jacket but like Donald I can see him recording another high finish as his course experience comes to the fore. Hopefully one of the two Englishmen can land the odds in this market.

Justin Rose (6.511/2), Graeme McDowell (8.07/1) and Ian Poulter (12.011/1) will have their supporters I'm sure, but with Rose returning from injury, G-Mac having a relatively poor Augusta record, and Poulter showing little signs of his best golf of late, then I'm quietly confident about ruling all three out.


Recommended Bets
2pts back Luke Donald @ 6.05/1
1pt back Lee Westwood @ 7.513/2


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