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Thursday, 5 April 2012

Who Will Rain Supreme in Testing Augusta Conditions?

Last year, Luke Donald prepared for the Masters by winning the par-3 tournament the day before the main event got underway.  This year, he eschewed the opportunity to defend that title, reasoning that the greens on the shorter course just don’t afford the opportunity to familiarise oneself with the famously undulating and idiosyncratic greens on the championship course.

Padraig Harrington took the warm-up trophy home yesterday, but play was abandoned after a torrential downpour soaked Augusta, GA. The weather forecast tells a story that’s as difficult to read as one of those glass-like putting surfaces:
All of a sudden, the conditions come into play in a significant way.  It’s got me slightly worried about my bets for the 2012 Masters Champion:
Is the coveted Green Jacket waterproof?

Luke Donald 14-1 4pts e/w with Ladbrokes  – win portion of bet refunded if he finishes runner-up to Tiger Woods.  I actually placed this bet in a high-street shop, something I rarely do as the punters normally scare me more than betting with "real" money.  I had a pleasant exchange with the clerk behind the protective glass and had no problem getting my bet on (despite reading about bookies refusing to take certain bets in Tipster Form's recent hall of shame http://tipsterform.com/boylesports-hall-of-shame/ )

Luke Donald 14-1 3pts e/w with Paddy Power – win money back if Tiger triumphs and paying out place money on 1-2-3-4-5-6.
Worth pointing out that those two offers are exceptionally attractive - kudos to the respective firms' marketing departments.

On Betfair:

To win – Tiger Woods at 6.4 3pts; Justin Rose at 36.07 2pts; Fred Couples at 240.88 ½ a point

Top 5 – Tiger Woods at 2.24 1pt; Justin Rose at 8 ½ a point; Fred Couples at 28 ½ a point

I'm hoping the long weekend will give me an opportunity to do a Cheltenham-esque blog diary (despite not being at the event!) and allow me to expand on why I have made the above selections.  I think most of them are pretty self-explanatory and I've been encouraged by Jeremy Chapman in the RP and the William Hill podders Mike Grenham and Dave Kelner, who all seem bullish about Luuuuuuke.  Steve Palmer's choices are all 35-1 and bigger, and he fancies one of last year's T2 Australian contenders in the shape of Jason Day, who will be worth keeping an eye on.


I also layed the draw in the Sri Lanka vs England 2nd test with a 4pt stake at 4.3 on Betfair, giving a liability of £330.  Sri Lanka’s under-par first innings total should be surpassed by England today and hopefully the irregular bounce on this pitch will mean we can take a few wickets and win.  England are currently trading at 1.5 and I will be hoping to lay a decent amount of them at around 1.3 to eliminate some of that exposure....which will free up funds to get stuck into rounds 3 and 4 of the golf!

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