Avoid fancied debutants Bradley and Simpson in Masters odds

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Keegan Bradley may have triumphed in his only previous major appearance in last year’s PGA Championship, but 33/1 seems on the short side that he adds to this success in the Masters.

Although some Augusta debutants have previously performed creditably in the opening major of the year, only three have ever won the Masters.

And Fuzzy Zoeller’s success in 1979 is the only example of this in over 75 years.

There are fairly obvious reasons why golfers tend to struggle on their first Masters appearances, with the most notable being that it takes them a while to get the ‘wow’ factor of Augusta out of their minds.

Then there is the inexperience of not knowing where to miss, especially on the lightning-fast greens that can have some almighty breaks.

However, there are some rookies who have come close to a victory on their Masters debut in recent years.

Only 12 months ago, Jason Day was one of eight golfers to hold the lead at some point in the final round, but the Australian fell short in the end behind Charl Schwartzel.

Meanwhile, Luke Donald took third behind Tiger Woods on his first start back in 2005.

Therefore, punters fancying Bradley to gain a second major victory or one of the 14 other Masters debutants may be best to bet each-way.

There are reasons for Bradley fans to be confident as he has finished inside the top 25 on all of his nine starts in 2012, while he is in fine current form with back-to-back top-ten finishes.

Although never playing in the Masters, Webb Simpson does have prior experience of Augusta and he can be backed at 66/1.

Of the remainder of the debutants, Kyle Stanley slightly appeals at 100/1 given he is one of the biggest hitters on the PGA Tour.

The Masters is expected to favour the longer hitters this year, particularly if the forecast of rain proves correct and slows up the course.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.