Although the elder statesmen of professional golf may be written off as too long in the tooth to trouble the trophy engravers at Major tournaments, you only have to look at Tom Watson’s 2009 Open Championship tilt to dispel the theory.
Fast forward to the brink of the Masters 2015 and the reasons are ample to believe one of a number of seasoned pros, some of them former winners, will be among those featuring high on Sunday’s scoreboard once again.
In Ladbrokes’ market to finish as the top Senior, 1992 champion Fred Couples and cigar-chugging Spaniard Miguel-Angel Jimenez share 2/1 favourites status, while Green Jacket holders of yesteryear, Vijay Singh and Bernard Langer, rate as 3/1 and 7/2 shots respectively.
After that the realistic chances drop off a cliff to Mark O’Meara at 40/1 and beyond.
Couples has always been the picture of a patient, steady golfer and five consecutive top 20 finishes reflect this in Georgia, reading as 6, 15, 12, 13 and 20th last year.
However, two of his competitors bettered the American in 2014, as 1985 and 1993 winner Langer posted his best score since 2004 when finishing eighth.
But even the German was bested by Jimenez whose third-round 66 went a long way to ensuring a career high fourth at Augusta National.
Discouragingly for backers of the evergreen Spaniard however, the last three times he has finished in the top 15 at the Masters he has followed it up by no better than 27th the following year.
Meanwhile, 2000 winner Singh is harder to trust having turned in MC, MC, 27, 38 and 37th in his last five appearances.
The smart money looks to be on a resurgent Langer at the best odds of the leading quartet.
After a succession of Masters appearances which failed to feature weekend golf, two finishes inside the top 25 display a rekindled love affair with the famous course.
The icing on this bet’s cake is that Langer’s excellent recent form on the Champions Tour which saw him claim the 2014 SHWAB Cup – the equivalent to the FedEx Cup – while he’s made a pair of top 10s in four starts this campaign.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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