Paul Williams

Paul Williams' The Masters Longshots 2021

Get Paul's previews as soon as they're published @golfbetting Follow Now

Picking out some of the best outsiders for The Masters is one of my favourite pieces to write all year. Fact is, with all the focus on the top 5 in the betting, there’s still value to be found if you dig deep enough into the market at Augusta this week.

The last few years at The Masters has generally produced some tasty 3-figure places or better:

  • 2020: Dylan Frittelli finished in a tie for 5th at 250/1; CT Pan was tied 7th at a massive 500/1 which delighted those who’d backed him up to 10 places EW.
  • 2019: Webb Simpson finished tied 5th at 100/1.
  • 2018: Cameron Smith finished tied 5th at 125/1.
  • 2017: Kevin Chappell finished tied 7th at 300/1
  • 2016: Lee Westwood added another Major runner up finish at 200/1, whereas JB Holmes finished in a tie for 4th at 150/1.
  • 2014: Runner-up Jonas Blixt was 300/1 before the start and veteran Miguel Angel Jimenez, who finished 4th, was 200/1.
  • 2013: Play-off loser Angel Cabrera was available at 110/1 before the event started; Marc Leishman, who finished 4th for a full each-way payout, was a massive 400/1 on the Tuesday before The Masters
  • 2012: Winner Bubba Watson was available at 55/1 pre-event despite consecutive top-4 finishes coming into Augusta. Runner up Louis Oosthuizen was 90/1 and 3rd place Peter Hanson was a massive 200/1. Some very tasty prices indeed!
  • Charl Schwartzel (100/1), Jason Day (150/1) and Adam Scott (90/1) filled the top 3 positions in 2011.
  • Angel Cabrera (140/1 – 2009), Trevor Immelman (150/1 – 2008) and Zach Johnson (200/1 – 2007) were also huge-priced Masters winners in recent times.

Now the each-way terms available from some bookmakers this week make for an interesting dilemma – do you stick rigidly to 5 or 6 places each way and grab a top price on an outsider, or do you accept a reduced price in exchange for more favourable each-way terms? Value is in the eye of the beholder in my view and it’s possible to argue both sides here, however my view is that with an extremely strong group of players at the head of the betting, taking the extra places in this instance is my favoured route.

Personally I’ve opted to take a balanced approach with 3 selections at 8 or 9 places each way, 1/5 odds and market-leading prices. Both bet365 and Betfred are offering strong markets and 8 places each-way this week, their new customer offers are below:

✅ Up to £100 In Bet Credits for new customers
✅ For further details read our bet365 sign up offer page
✅ Early odds available each week on the PGA Tour and European Tour
✅ Offered 8 places each-way 1/5 odds at the 2020 PGA Championship & US Open & Masters

bet365 New Customer Offer: Up to £100 in Bet Credits. New Customers only. Up to £100 in Bet Credits. Sign up, deposit £5 or more to your account and bet365 will match your qualifying deposit in Bet Credits when you place qualifying bets to the same value and they are settled. Min odds/bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. T&Cs, time limits & exclusions apply. The bonus code SPORT100 can be used during registration, but does not change the offer amount in any way. #Ad

✅ Bet £10 Get £30 PLUS 60 free spins for new customers using code SPORTS60 and this qualifying link
✅ For further details read our Betfred sign up offer page
✅ Odds compiler takes a different view of many events meaning value can be found
✅ Offered 9 places each-way 1/5 odds at the 2020 PGA Championship

Betfred New Customer Offer: New UK & NI customers only. promo code ‘SPORTS60’. Deposit & place first sports bet of £10+ in one bet transaction, at odds of Evens (2.0) +. settled within 60 days. First bet must be on Sports. £30 in Free Bets credited within 48 hours of bet settlement, 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS validation may be required. Max 60 Free Spins on Justice League Comics. 7-day expiry. Full T&Cs apply. #Ad

Here’s my pick of the bunch at longer prices:

Matt Kuchar 1pt EW 100/1 (8EW, 1/5) with Betfred

With so much emphasis – and rightly so – around a number of key players at the top of the market, there are a few names hovering around the 3-figure mark that are quite capable of getting in the mix. Steve Bamford has backed one of the most prominent players in that bracket, Matt Wallace, who played very nicely last week in Texas; Jason Kokrak and Christiaan Bezuidenhout both hold appeal, however I’ve opted for Matt Kuchar who’s got a quietly impressive record here at Augusta National.

The soft conditions in November and some poor incoming form led to Kooch missing the cut for the first time in 11 attempts at The Masters, however prior to that we can count 4 top-8 finishes and a further 5 top-30 finishes from 10 starts on a track that he understands far more than many, and another entry on that top-8 stat here this week would be ideal for this bet.

Overall firmer conditions to start the event and a wet and breezy Friday push things in the direction of a player like Kuchar who’s not the longest off the tee, and with a further 8 top-10 finishes at Majors over the years, he’s the type who can hang around on elite leaderboards while others crumble under the pressure.

Professional golfers come in different shapes and sizes, plus they have unique MOs when it comes to signalling impending success. Some build form slowly before peaking, whereas others have 1- or 2-week bursts of brilliance; Matt is definitely of the former variety and incoming finishes of 3/12 over the past fortnight at the WGC Dell Match Play and Valero Texas Open are worthy of more than a small note.

The 42 year-old described the state of his game in positive fashion in Austin a week ago, “I’m so much more excited about my game that be than I’ve within earlier this year. This year’s been a struggle, but thankfully things have turned a corner, put in some good work with Chris O’Connell, really starting to feel good about my game…I’m as pleased as I’ve been in a long time. I feel like I kind of can step up and know where the ball’s going again. My misses aren’t near as bad as they were the last few months and when your misses are in play, you got a chance to shoot some decent scores.”

With positivity and momentum flowing through his game, I can see Matt rewarding each-way backers here this week.

✅ Bet £10 Get £30 PLUS 60 free spins for new customers using code SPORTS60 and this qualifying link
✅ For further details read our Betfred sign up offer page
✅ Odds compiler takes a different view of many events meaning value can be found
✅ Offered 9 places each-way 1/5 odds at the 2020 PGA Championship

Betfred New Customer Offer: New UK & NI customers only. promo code ‘SPORTS60’. Deposit & place first sports bet of £10+ in one bet transaction, at odds of Evens (2.0) +. settled within 60 days. First bet must be on Sports. £30 in Free Bets credited within 48 hours of bet settlement, 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS validation may be required. Max 60 Free Spins on Justice League Comics. 7-day expiry. Full T&Cs apply. #Ad

Danny Willett 0.5pt EW 200/1 (8EW, 1/5) with bet365

A mixed bag weather-wise will require some versatility this week should the forecast be correct. One player perhaps better equipped than many others to adapt to the conditions is England’s Danny Willett who will have played in every conceivable type of weather during his formative golfing years in Sheffield.

Firm conditions are expected to prevail at the start of the event, the first time we’ll have seen Augusta without a large element of softness since Danny himself won here back in 2016. Friday looks wet at this stage with winds in the 20-25mph region, which again should favour the more hardy types, before a more benign and scoreable weekend awaits those who can navigate safely to that point.

Fact is, since earning his Green Jacket 5 years ago, the 33 year-old has increasingly focussed on peaking for the bigger events that he plays. Wins at the European Tour’s season-ending DP World Tour Championship in 2018, where he beat 2018 Masters champion Patrick Reed by 2 strokes, was impressive; as was his most recent victory at Wentworth in 2019 where he beat Jon Rahm by 3 strokes at Rolex Series level. A second career 6th-place finish at The Open Championship was sandwiched between those two successes and he arrives here under-the-radar after a low-key missed cut in at TPC San Antonio last week.

Let’s be honest, the Valero Texas Open was never going to be a key focus for Danny, so a couple of days of loosening up ahead of this week’s main event was no bad thing; instead I’m more interested in some of the positive signs from his two outings prior to that.

31st at the Arnold Palmer Invitational was hampered only by a final round 77, yet his SG Tee to Green performance was his best effort since last July. 8th overall at the Corales Championship featured a 5th place ranking for Greens In Regulations – a positive pointer that his iron game is in good shape ahead of this week’s task where more of the same will undoubtedly be required.

✅ Up to £100 In Bet Credits for new customers
✅ For further details read our bet365 sign up offer page
✅ Early odds available each week on the PGA Tour and European Tour
✅ Offered 8 places each-way 1/5 odds at the 2020 PGA Championship & US Open & Masters

bet365 New Customer Offer: Up to £100 in Bet Credits. New Customers only. Up to £100 in Bet Credits. Sign up, deposit £5 or more to your account and bet365 will match your qualifying deposit in Bet Credits when you place qualifying bets to the same value and they are settled. Min odds/bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. T&Cs, time limits & exclusions apply. The bonus code SPORT100 can be used during registration, but does not change the offer amount in any way. #Ad

CT Pan 0.5pt EW 250/1 (9EW, 1/5) with William Hill

From the point of qualification, CT Pan had to wait a record 571 days to finally tee it up at Augusta in November, however it was undoubtedly worth the wait with his tie for 7th marking a massive Major personal best on his Masters debut. Course form/current form students will undoubtedly spot that the 29 year-old bounced back to form on his last start at the Honda Classic a fortnight ago and at the price on offer I’ll happily play him with a speculative stake.

The victory that earned the Taiwan man his start here in November was his first success on the PGA Tour – at the RBC Heritage – and came at a compatible 12-under total, similar to what we may expect most normal years here.

Two further wins on the PGA Tour of Canada and success at the Asian Games in 2014 as an amateur singled Pan out as a star in the making and more wins are quite possible at PGA Tour level or beyond with 5 top-5 finishes at that level to his name already, including his last outing at PGA National where he was upbeat about his performance, “I feel that I’m improving every day, every week. It’s just a matter of time that I put everything together to get it going to shoot four good rounds out there, and definitely this week I think I did that and am very proud of it.

65 on Saturday at PGA National was the best round of the day and 5th for Greens In Regulation overall that week is a useful pointer coming into this week’s task. 9th for SG Putting that week was Pan’s best performance with the flat stick since last October and he’s got to feel comfortable and confident of another strong performance this week given how well he took to Augusta National in the autumn, having never played the course until the Monday that week.

✅ Bet £/€10 Get £/€30 in free bets for new customers using code H30 and this qualifying link
✅ For further details read our William Hill sign up offer page
✅ Earliest bookmaker to publish odds most weeks on the PGA Tour and European Tour
✅ Offered 9 places each-way 1/5 odds at the 2020 Masters

William Hill New Customer Offer: 18+. Play safe. New customers using Promo code H30 only, Min £10/€10 stake, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 2 x £15/€15, free bets credited after settlement of first qualifying bet, free bets will expire 30 days after the qualifying bet is placed, payment method/player/country restrictions apply. #Ad

Odds and bookmaker offers correct at 14:30BST 5.4.21 but naturally subject to fluctuation.