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US Masters Tips: A quartet of three-ball picks for the final round at Augusta

Golfer Rickie Fowler
Rickie Fowler often thrives in the final round of majors

Paul Krishnamurty earned 11 units from the opening day three-balls and reinvests nine on these four picks for the final round...

"Bryson Dechambeau's plans to tame Augusta with brute force haven't worked out. I'm very happy to take him on here at paltry odds of 1.684/6."

Back Charl Schwartzel 2u @ 4.1 (v Dechambeau, Langer) (Starts 13.01)

Normally for the final round of a major, my two-ball plan involves a couple of core strategies. That plan is a little trickier to employ in three-balls but the themes remain.

First, look to take on short favourites. Unlike the first round, where players are grouped together regardless of their liking for conditions, now they've achieved the same or near enough over three days.

Second, try to weigh up attitudes and mindset. Does this final round mean more to one of the players?

Take on Bryson at odds-on

Back Charl Schwartzel 2u @ 4.1 (v Dechambeau, Langer) (Starts 13.01)

The second point may apply to Bryson DeChambeau. It has not been a happy week for the pre-tournament favourite, whose plans to tame Augusta with brute force haven't worked out. I'm very happy to take him on here at paltry odds of 1.684/6.

Granted, one of the opponents is Bernhard Langer, for whom a fourth round may prove too gruelling. (That said, he managed 72 in the final round here only two years ago). Schwartzel is preferred, having improved with each day so far. The last time he made a Masters weekend in 2017, the South African finished strongly with 68/68.

Youth could hold the edge here

Back Andy Ogletree 2u @ 3.8514/5 (v Poulter, Weir) (Starts 13.23)

The point with Langer, rather than just age, is that Champions Tour players are used to playing only 54 holes, so this might prove a round too far. Mike Weir is another for whom this concern might apply. Likewise, Ian Poulter has been carrying an injury.

I'm sure they are all well-motivated but equally doubt the older guys are quite as up for this as the former US Amateur champion. Ogletree started slowly but has done brilliantly to fight back. I see no reason why this obviously talented 22 year-old won't enjoy another good day.

Fowler to fly late again?

Back Rickie Fowler 3u @ 2.26/5 (v Kang, Reavie) (Starts 13.45)

Next a player who has form for producing great golf when all is lost. Three of Rickie Fowler's last four final rounds at Augusta were sub-70, and he's done similar at the US Open and PGA.

He isn't in the toughest group either. Both Sung Kang and Chez Reavie are inferior and shorter off the tee compared to Fowler. I doubt either will set a particularly high bar.

RCB is superior in final rounds

Back Rafa Cabrera Bello 2u @ 3.711/4 (v Mickelson, Spieth) (Starts 14.18)

On what we've seen this week, or in general from them of late, there's little to expect anything special from this group either. Of course either Mickelson or Spieth are perfectly capable of suddenly finding a magical round but I'm happy to take both on.

The clinching stat for me here is Par Four Scoring Average. During the 2020 season, Cabrera Bello ranked 25th, compared to 143rd and 147th for these illustrious rivals. A promising differential for the outsider of three.



Follow Paul on Twitter @paulmotty

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