World Match Play a bigger Masters boost for runner up than Day

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After fighting off a back injury to claim the World Match Play and return to world’s number one golf ranking, Jason Day will be under the betting microscope more than most between now and the start of the Masters.

However, the result is actually a better piece of news for the runner-up in that tournament.

South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen was dismantled 5&4 against the Australian in the final in Austin, Texas. Although that seems like a demoralising defeat, there is certainly no shame in losing to the game’s most in-form player.

In fact, Oosthuizen should be full of confidence about his own form heading to the Masters, where he is a 25/1 shot to go one better than the solo second he achieved back in 2012.

The 33-year-old progressed as winner of a weak group at the World Match Play, winning all three outings.

However, his exploits in the knockout stages were jaw-dropping as he first claimed Jordan Spieth’s scalp in the round of 16, before winning 2&1 against Dustin Johnson in the quarter finals. Both men are in the first five of Ladbrokes’ Masters betting.

His semi-final win over eventual bronze medallist Rafa Cabrera Bello led Oosthuizen to the final and completed a stellar week for the South African.

Add those exploits to the tie for seventh he picked up at the Valspar Championship prior to his appearance in Texas and it’s clear that the 2010 Open champion is finding form at the right time for the season’s opening Major.

Mossel Bay’s finest enjoyed a good year in the Majors last year, registering runners up finishes in both the U.S Open and Open Championship. He will be keen to remain on a similar path at the Masters.

With Ladbrokes paying a quarter of the odds for the first five home at Augusta, it’s certainly worth taking an each-way punt on Oosthuizen now he’s hit peak condition.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.