The Masters Tips: Day 1, Thursday 12th

golf Rory McIlroy
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Rahm v Mcilroy - McIlroy to win odds

With both of these players seeming to find some form in their last event at the ZOZO Championship two weeks ago. Rahm finished T2 and Mcilroy finished T17, Rory also took home the Birdies for Love prize, awarded to the player for making the most birdies during the week, making 29.

This is all shaping up to be a battle between these European giants. Both of these players are at very different stages in their career, with Rahm having 5 PGA tour victories already but yet to break through and win his first major, despite coming so close.

McIlroy, on the other hand, the Masters Trophy is the final piece of the puzzle he needs to complete a career grand slam, that only 5 men before him have achieved.

This year's tournament will be Rahm’s fourth appearance at The Masters, and he has already recorded two top 10’s in his first three tries, with his best finish being T4 in 2018. McIlroy also has a very impressive record at The Masters and has had five top 10’s in his last six appearances, and famously held a 4 shot lead going into the final round in 2011, to then have a nightmare final round of 80 (+8), possibly his best chance of winning.

There is no doubt that the way Augusta sets up will suit both Rahm and McIlroy’s eye, but with there being no crowds this week and less outside noise we believe McIlroy wins the tight contest between these two.

McIlroy is 10/11 to beat Rahm in round 1 - click the link to claim this in your bet slip.

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Johnson v Thomas - Johnson to win odds

Two of the most consistent players in the world over the past few years, world no.1 Dustin Johnson and the World no.3 Justin Thomas meet in round 1.

Johnson surprisingly has only won one major in his illustrious career which was the US Open in 2016, but four years without a Major championship victory is something he will be desperate to change, with four top 10’s in his last four appearances at The Masters there is no surprise Johnson is one of the favourites.

Since Thomas won his maiden major trophy at the PGA Championship in 2017 he has won eight times on the PGA tour and had two brief spells at world no.1. At the Masters, Thomas has had solid results but never come close to being presented with the coveted green jacket - that could all change this year.

Two of the longest hitters on the tour may have an advantage over the other competitors this week with the ball not travelling as far in the autumn air as opposed to the tournament typically being played in the spring, expect them both up near the top of the leaderboard, but we have Johnson edging this one - he is priced at 8/11 to beat Thomas.

ICYMI: Read our tips for the top American finish at The Masters, with Johnson priced at 5/1 and Thomas 15/2.

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Schauffele v Cantley - Schauffele to win odds

Patrick Cantley is coming off the back of his third PGA Tour win two weeks ago at The ZOZO Championship, and he has hit his stride at the most perfect time and will be heading into this week full of confidence.

Cantlay first played in The Masters tournament as an amateur in 2012 where he won the Silver Cup, awarded to the best amateur in the tournament and had his best finish at last year's Masters coming T9, he’ll be eager to follow up his PGA Tour win with a major win.

Since bursting onto the scene Zander Schauffele has become one of the most consistent players in the majors. Schauffele has only played in 13 majors in his career but has been inside the top 10 on seven of those occasions - an incredible statistic.

The American's best finish at The Masters came last year when he was runner up (T2); he seemingly thrives under the pressure of a major tournament. With the form these two players have shown over the past couple years, it is only a matter of time before one of them wins a major championship, and when they do, the floodgates will open.

It’s hard not to back Schauffele at the majors, he’s our pick here at 8/11.

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Scott v Oosthuizen - Oosthuizen to win odds

Arguably two of the most aesthetically pleasing golf swings in the business, straight from the textbook. Adam Scott has 19 top 10’s in Majors in his career and 1 win coming at the Masters in 2013, so he knows what it takes to win at Augusta, having only won five times on the PGA Tour since his major win, he will be looking to prove a point.

Last week at the Houston Open Scott played and ranked 7th in the field in driving distance, this gives us a glimpse that he is swinging well and when he does, it makes for an exciting Masters Tournament. Oosthuizen who plays most of his golf on the European Tour has always been there or thereabouts in the Majors, the South African has been runner-up 4 times in major championships and has one win under his belt which came at The Open Championship at St. Andrews in 2010.

More recently he finished in 3rd place at the US Open 2 months ago, so will be coming into this Masters Tournament with lots of confidence from the last major.

Going off recent form, Scott seems to be more in and out despite him being a past champion, we have decided to go with Oosthuizen on this one - he is priced at 10/11 to win.

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Simpson v Morikawa - Simpson to win odds

Webb Simpson has shown to be one of the games most consistent performers in his last 10 major appearances he has come in the top 20 on seven occasions, with his one win coming in 2012 at the US Open.

Simpson over the last year has become one of the best putters on the tour which could well give him an advantage over the field and Morikawa navigating the undulating greens on offer at Augusta, which is where a lot of the players will struggle.

Morikawa took the golfing world by storm by winning his first major on only his third time teeing it up at a major. The 23-year-old shot 64 (-6) in the final round of the PGA Championship only 1 year after turning professional.

This will be Morikawa’s first appearance at The Masters and he is another player that could take advantage of there being no crowds there this week at Augusta and will be able to go about his business with no outside pressures.

Augusta is a golf course that has many quirks and characteristics that don’t bode well with inexperience, and the players that do well at The Masters miss their shots in the right places, so with this matchup, we’re going with experience over youth and tipping Webb Simpson to win at 10/11.

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