US Masters: putting stats make Tiger Woods a great bet to win
Tiger Woods is the massive 3/1 favourite to win the Masters this week and, based on his recent form with the putter, it’s hard to see beyond a fifth Green Jacket for the world number one.
Woods’ dip in form over the past few seasons had as much to do with his inability to hole putts as anything else but this season – thanks to a lesson from Steve Stricker – things are back to normal on the short grass.
Having failed to crack the top 50 of the shots gained putting* rankings between 2010 and 2012, this season he’s currently right at the top of that particular table.
Between the years 2004 and 2009 Woods only failed to make the top ten for that stat once and, with Augusta’s slick greens sure to play as much a part as usual, being at the top of the rankings paints a rather pretty picture for Woods and his backers.
The importance of putting at Augusta is illustrated by the fact that nine of the last 11 Masters winners were in the top 20 for putting average in the tournament.
Shots gained putting is definitely the stat to keep an eye on heading into the first major of the year and, while Woods is hard to back against, there are other golfers who are performing well on the greens and are worth some serious consideration.
Graeme McDowell – who has enjoyed a good season so far – is currently ranked 15th in this category and looks worth an each-way punt at what seems a pretty generous 50/1.
Meanwhile, Woods’ putting guru Stricker is currently ranked 11th and, after finishing tied sixth at Augusta last year, also looks worth a cheeky bet at an even longer 66/1.
*Shots gained putting measures the number of putts a golfer takes relative to the PGA Tour average, taking into account the initial putt distance on each green and
<strong>All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.</strong>