US Masters

Masters Long Shots: Sunjae heads up our Find Me A 100 Winner special

Golfer Sungjae Im
Sunjae Im - looking to contend again at Augusta

It's now 15 years since we witnessed the last big outsider win the US Masters so are we due another? Steve's picked out two to back and lay on the Betfair Exchange ahead of Thursday's start here...

We need to go all the way back to 2009 for the last time an outsider won the US Masters - 150.0149/1 chance Angel Cabrera - but it's been an incredible year for longshots on the PGA Tour so far, so could 2024 be the year that the long run of fancied winners finally comes to an end?

It's quite odd that we've gone so long without a longshot donning the famous Green Jacket because Cabrera was the third winner in-a-row to go off at a three-figure price, following Zach Johnson in 2007 and Trever Immelman in '08 and there was a similar run of results a decade earlier between 1998 and 2000, when Mark O'Meara, Jose Maria Olazabal and Vijay Singh all won at juicy odds.

As detailed in the preview, strong current form has been key at Augusta of late and the last two winners had both won three times earlier in the year so if we're to witness a longshot finally winning here, that's one trend that probably needs to be broken. And that certainly appears to be the case if the last two outsiders to win here are anything to go by...

Looking back 15 years to Cabrera's victory, he had Augusta course form figures reading MC-10-9-15-MC-MC-8-37-25 but 2009 form numbers that read 9-MC-13-33-32-MC-MC.

The Argentine went off at such a big price because he wasn't playing well but he did have the course form in the bag, and it was a similar story 12 months earlier.

Trevor Immelman had poor current form, with 2008 numbers reading MC-MC-17-MC-65-48-40-MC, and he didn't have a wealth of Augusta form either, with course form figures reading 56-MC-5-MC-55 but his fifth-place finish in 2005 stuck out like a sore thumb.

Zach the anomaly

The cool and blustery weather made for a strange renewal in 2007 so it's a result that's very easy to dismiss but for the record, the first of those three longshots in-a-row, Zach Johnson, had slightly different course and current form to Immelman and Cabrera and he's arguably the most bizarre winner this century.

He came into the event with 2007 form figures reading 45-W-33-33-14-42-9 so he wasn't in spectacular form but his ninth in the CA Championship in his final start around Doral (now Trump Doral, and used last week on the LIV Tour) was an eye-catching performance.

In two previous visits to Augusta, he'd missed the cut on debut in 2005 and he'd finished 32nd in 2006.

His final round of 70 12 months earlier could have been considered a pointer of sorts but he's played Augusta 16 times since, finishing inside the top-30 just twice. He really is the oddest winner this century and his victory is very hard to explain, even with the benefit of hindsight.

If those last two big-priced winners are any sort of gauge, if we're to get another longshot winner, it's likely to be someone out of form but with some Augusta form in the bag and the most likely candidate is most definitely Korea's Sungjae Im.

Sungjae Im @ 180.0179/1

Im finished 2023 off nicely with form figures reading 14-6-7-21-2-12 and he began 2024 by setting the record for the most birdies made in a 72-hole PGA TOUR event, making 34 across four rounds at the Plantation Course at Kapalua in The Sentry, where he eventually finished fifth, but he's lost his way since then.

With 2024 form figures reading 5-25-MC-66-66-44-MC-18-31-MC it's impossible to make a case for the 26-year-old on current form but he was a 42.041/1 chance to win this week when the market first opened and if something clicks when he drives down Magnolia Lane this week, he's a huge price at 180.0179/1.

Im finished runner-up on his first visit to Augusta in 2020 and although he missed the cut in 2021, he's finished eighth and 16th in each of the last two years.

Last year's finish wasn't spectacular but it's well worth noting that he sat tied for 49th at halfway and that he was one of only three men to break 70 in the poor conditions in round three. And he did so in style, with a five-under-par 67!

Im clearly loves Augusta and if we're to finally get an outsider winning, he could be the one.

Back Sungjae Im (2us) @ 180.0179/1

Bet Here

Place order to lay 8u @ 10.09/1 & 12u @ 2.01/1

Adam Hadwin @ 400.0399/1

Adam Hadwin is a very different selection to Im, in that he's played some nice golf of late, but he doesn't have a wealth of course form.

Adam Hadwin at the Valspar.jpg

The experienced Canadian has 2024 form figures reading 2-14-MC-6-39-MC-4-52-MC-5, so although his form's been a bit in-and-out, he's played very nicely at times and four top-six finishes is a decent return.

He finished only 36th on hus Augusta debut way back in 2017 and he was 24th 12 months later but he'd sat fourth after a 69 in round one. He missed the cut on his only other visit back in 2020 so he's certainly not a pick on course form but as Dave Tindall highlights in his each-way column, it certainly sounds like he likes the course, and his top-seven finish in the US Open two years ago suggests he can compete in a major.

Back Adam Hadwin (1u) @ 400.0399/1

Bet Here

Place order to lay 8u @ 10.09/1 & 12u @ 2.01/1

Profits can be made from Exchange trading

It may have been a while since we had a huge-priced winner at Augusta but with the Betfair Exchange, profits can be made with players that don't win anyway, provided we back them high and lay them low and if you're new to the column, that's exactly the purpose of it.

Last week's selection in Texas, Brendon Todd, who was backed before the off at 110.0109/1 was matched in-running at a low of 5.24/1 and we've had a degree of success at Augusta of late.

Profits were also made at the 2020 edition, when the runner-up, Cameron Smith, a selection for the column at 140.0139/1, traded at a low of 5.59/2 and the following year, all three selections - Corey Conners, Brian Harman and Kevin Na - all finished inside the top-12. Conners hit a low of 12.011/1 and Harman touched 14.013/1.

It's always nice to back a winner at a huge price but getting them across the line isn't essential so for more on trading and specifically laying, please see this useful link and please do bear in mind, that the lay targets I set for the column are for record keeping purposes. They're not set in stone by any means, and you can set your own lay back targets.

Now read my US Masters preview

*You can follow me on Twitter @SteveThePunter

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Staked: 67 Us Returned: 24 Us P/L: -43 Us


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