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The Masters 2023 Preview – a punters guide

One of the most exciting golf tournaments of the year is the Masters, held annually at the prestigious Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia. An invitational only event for past winners and the elite professional golfers of the year who will play their heart and souls out for a chance to be crowned with the distinguished “Green Jacket” and become a champion of the famed club.

Amateur champion Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts, who was an Investment Banker, started the Masters. After his grand slam in 1930, Jones acquired the former plant nursery and co-designed the majestic Augusta National with course architect Alister Mackenzie. First played 89 years ago in 1934, being an invitational event. The Masters soon became one of the most esteemed competitions in all of golf.

The first Masters champion in 1934 was the great Horton Smith also known as The “Joplin Ghost” who shot 284 (-4) to beat out Craig Wood by a shot and collect the prize of $1500.

The early Masters fields were generally small, and in the second year of the tournament in 1935, the legendary shot heard around the world played by Masters Champion, Gene Sarazen was struck on the 15th (a par 5) holing the shot from the fairway for a 2, making an albatross. Sarazen finished tied with Craig Wood after Wood birdied the last to get to 6 under. This ensured an exciting Monday finish over a 36 – hole playoff, of which Sarazen claimed victory and winning by five strokes, thus becoming one of the legends in the grand old history of The Masters (Collected $1500 for 1st prize). Interestingly at the time the course measured just 6700 yards.

So how did the green jacket come into play and what was it’s origin? Originally inspired by coats worn by the Royal Liverpool club members to indicate their rank and status; golf champion & co-founder of the Augusta National Golf Club Bobby Jones saw this and brought the idea to co-founder & Chairman Clifford Roberts. The jackets were first purchased by the club in 1937 and worn by its members,The jackets weren’t given to Masters champs until 1949, when Sam Snead won. They were then awarded to all previous winners retroactively.

There are some favored traditions that have been carried on, with the introduction of the Green Jacket which was and still is bestowed upon the champions. Holding onto it for a year then returning their reputable Jacket to the designated cloakroom where it is placed on display with previous champion’s jackets, these jackets still remain the property of the said champion. It is also tradition that the former champion presents and places the winning green jacket on the new winner, in the Butler Cabin (which started in 1965 a year after the cabin was built), but what about back to back winners? Who gives them the jacket? While its rare (Jones suggested Nicklaus handle both Jackets in 66), 1990 Faldo, and 2002 Woods, the Chairman of Augusta National handled the duties.

Other traditions have evolved –

In 1952 Ben Hogan started the next tradition of the honourable Champions Dinner held annually on the Tuesday night before each tournament, with the previous year’s champion designing the menu for all previous champions.

Since 1960 there has been a semi social contest at the par 3 course played on the Wednesday, the day before the start of the tournament (first round), which is now televised allowing the fans even more access to this famed week at Augusta National.

1963 came the honorary tee shot on the morning of the first round to commence play, this is usually done by previous champions or better known as legendary golfers. Come Thursday, Player will join Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson as honorary starters ahead of the 2023 Masters.

Dominating the most Masters wins is Jack Nicklaus with six wins from 1963 – 1986, followed by Tiger Woods who has won five times between 1997 – 2019. Then there’s Jimmy Dermaret, Sam Snead, Gary Player, Nick Faldo and Phil Mickelson who have all won it three times. Player, a fabulous character and golfer from South Africa was the first non-American to win a Masters in 1961, then the second was Golfer Seve Ballesteros from Spain who won in 1980 and 1983.

There is a distinguished list of winners at the masters and another famed tradition is that the Masters winners all receive a locker for life at the club and are entitled to play in the annual event without qualifying, for as long as they so wish to tee it up. The oldest Masters Champion to make a cut? Who else but Bernard Langer who in 2020 created history at 63 years of age, after firing rounds of 68, 73 to qualify 27th.

One of the most historic moments for Australian viewers, who have been waking up in the wee hours of Monday morning (Sunday afternoon at the Masters) to watch many Aussies come ever so close to coveted Green Jacket, finally rode the wings of success with Adam Scott who beat Angel Cabrera in a playoff in 2013.

This year Harrison Crowe heads to Augusta as an Amateur, could he win the honours of being the low Amateur?

In 2022, the Masters Prize Money was set at $15 million, with $2.7 million going to the winner, details of the prize money are closely guarded and usually released a few days prior to the event. In the 30s the course was 6700 yards, this years course measures a whopping 7,510 yards, with a lot rain predicated for the weekend, this could prove a very long, wet, tough test of golf, don’t think we’ll see a scoring record this week.

Scottie Scheffler, the 2022 reigning champion, Scottie who was also bestowed the menu planning for the champions dinner will want to impress fellow champions with his off field talents and we’re sure he won’t disappoint nor let it deter his focus on the goal of retaining the title.

 That looks delicious!

With these memorable traditions coupled with the golf etiquette of players, the fierce competition and the pristine Augusta National Golf Course, should all once again bring another memorable and classic Masters Tournament. Will you be tuning in on Sunday for the back nine, where all the magic seems to happen.


Below is a list of the talented players that have already met the invitational criteria:-

2023 qualifying categories

1: Masters champions (lifetime)
2: U.S. Open champions (five years)
3: Open champions (five years)
4: PGA champion (five years)
5: Players champion (three years)
6: Current Olympic gold medalist (one year)
7: Current U.S. Amateur champion and runner-up (one year)
8: Current British Amateur champion (one year)
9: Current Asia-Pacific Amateur champion (one year)
10: Current U.S. Mid-Amateur champion (one year)
11: Current Latin America Amateur champion (one year)
12: First 12 players, including ties, in the previous year’s Masters
13: First 4 players, including ties, in the previous year’s U.S. Open
14: First 4 players, including ties, in the previous year’s Open Championship
15: First 4 players, including ties, in the previous year’s PGA Championship
16: Winners of PGA Tour regular-season and playoff events that award at least a full allocation of FedEx Cup points
17: Qualifiers from the previous year’s season-ending Tour Championship (top 30 in FedEx Cup)
18: 50 leaders on the final Official World Golf Ranking for the previous calendar year
19: 50 leaders on the Official World Golf Ranking published during the week prior to the current Masters


Abraham Ancer: 18
Sam Bennett (a): 7
Keegan Bradley: 16, 18
Sam Burns: 16, 17, 18
Patrick Cantlay: 16, 17, 18
Ben Carr (a): 7
Cameron Champ: 12
Corey Conners: 12, 16, 17, 18
Fred Couples: 1
Harrison Crowe (a): 9
Jason Day: 19
Bryson DeChambeau: 2
Harris English: 19
Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira (a): 11
Tony Finau: 16, 17, 18
Matt Fitzpatrick: 2, 13, 16, 17, 18
Tommy Fleetwood: 14, 18
Ryan Fox: 18
Sergio Garcia: 1
Talor Gooch: 17, 18
Brian Harman: 17, 18
Tyrrell Hatton: 18
Russell Henley: 16, 18
Kazuki Higa: special invitation
Tom Hoge: 17, 18
Max Homa: 16, 17, 18
Billy Horschel: 16, 17, 18
Viktor Hovland: 14, 17, 18
Mackenzie Hughes: 16, 18
Sungjae Im: 12, 17, 18
Dustin Johnson: 1, 12, 18
Zach Johnson: 1
Si Woo Kim: 16
Tom Kim: 16, 18
Chris Kirk: 16
Kevin Kisner: 18
Kurt Kitayama: 16, 18
Brooks Koepka: 2, 4
Jason Kokrak: 18
Bernhard Langer: 1
K.H. Lee: 16, 17, 18
Min Woo Lee: 19
Shane Lowry: 3, 12, 18
Sandy Lyle: 1
Hideki Matsuyama: 1, 13, 17, 18
Matthew McClean (a): 10
Rory McIlroy: 12, 14, 16, 17, 18
Adrian Meronk: 18
Phil Mickelson: 1, 4
Keith Mitchell: 19
Larry Mize: 1
Francesco Molinari: 3
Taylor Moore: 16
Collin Morikawa: 3, 4, 12, 17, 18
Kevin Na: 18
Joaquin Niemann: 17, 18
Alex Noren: 18
Jose Maria Olazabal: 1
Louis Oosthuizen: 18
Mito Pereira: 15, 18
Thomas Pieters: 18
J.T. Poston: 16, 17
Aldrich Potgieter (a): 8
Seamus Power: 16, 18
Jon Rahm: 2, 16, 17, 18
Patrick Reed: 1, 12, 17, 19
Justin Rose: 16
Gordon Sargent (a): special invitation
Xander Schauffele: 16, 17, 18
Scottie Scheffler: 1, 5, 12, 13, 16, 17
Charl Schwartzel: 1, 12
Adam Scott: 1, 17, 18
Vijay Singh: 1
Cameron Smith: 3, 5, 12, 14, 16, 17, 18
Jordan Spieth: 1, 16, 17, 18
Scott Stallings: 17
Sepp Straka: 17, 18
Adam Svensson: 16
Sahith Theegala: 17, 18
Justin Thomas: 4, 5, 12, 15, 16, 17, 18
Harold Varner III: 18
Bubba Watson: 1
Mike Weir: 1
Danny Willett: 1, 12
Gary Woodland: 2
Tiger Woods: 1
Cameron Young: 14, 15, 17, 18
Will Zalatoris: 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18

Past champions who will not play in 2023:

Tommy Aaron
Jack Burke, Jr.
Angel Cabrera
Charles Coody
Ben Crenshaw
Nick Faldo
Raymond Floyd
Trevor Immelman
Jack Nicklaus
Mark O’Meara
Gary Player
Craig Stadler
Tom Watson
Ian Woosnam
Fuzzy Zoeller


Sunday, April 2: Player arrivals, practice rounds
Monday, April 3: Practice rounds
Tuesday, April 4: Practice rounds, Champions Dinner
Wednesday, April 5: Practice rounds, Par-3 Contest
Thursday, April 6: Honorary starters ceremony, first round of Masters Tournament
Friday, April 7: Second round of tournament
Saturday, April 8: Third round of tournament
Sunday, April 9: Fourth and final round of tournament, Green Jacket ceremony and trophy presentation


At the time of this writing, usually book makers don’t have many markets available, however when you get closer to the tournament (usually the Wednesday) you start to see more markets. This years has equal favorites Scott Scheffler and Rory Mcllroy at +750 (or $8.50). Does anyone remember the last time Rory had a chance to win here, (as he does every year he comes to Augusta with an immense amount of pressure, he’s been coming to Augusta with this tournament being the last of his Majors to complete the grand slam, since 2014, and if you remember correctly he finished 2nd last year.

If you’re looking for a bet, we like to look at the state of the field after round 1, before we make any predictions, we just dont see a lot of value in placing a bet this early in the tournament, and there are some very very good players in the field. On the other hand, if we had to pick a roughie, or even a couple of roughies (which might be some fun) where you might find some value and like we said just for some fun, no serious betting, then here’s our list –

1 Will Zalatoris – +3600 ($37.00) this young man seems to find a way to step it up on the world stage and in the big events, he’s an exciting player to watch.

2  Hideki Matsuyama – +4600 ($47.00) past winner, one of the bombers, and has a great short game, he’ll need to be better than his past few starts, but a Thoroughbred no doubt.

NB – Check the each way odds you can often find 1/5th of the odds for a TOP 6. Not bad!

When the markets do arrive you’ll see alot of options including –

  • Top American Player
  • Top Australian Player
  • Top European Player
  • Top Asian Player
  • Top South American Player

Those are all very difficult to pick and you really dont get very good odds unless you’re going to take a long shot.

You can also take players to make

  • Top 5
  • Top 10
  • Top 20
  • Top 30
  • Top 40

We often find Top 30 interesting if you’re prepared to bet big, or perhaps couple a few together in a multi. Risk v Reward! You probably see odds around $5-$6 for a 4-5 player parlay (multi), but can you find the the right 5?

As this is just a fun guide, we’ll take a 5pick to finish TOP30 – Johnson, Burns, Zalatoris, Schauffele and Spieth – you should find this parlay (multi) around $7.00 (+600).

There are also many other bet outcomes that are just for fun, like to pick which player to have a hole in one, yeah right!! Prices start at $51, might be a $1 bet just in case you snag it! You could also take a Wire to Wire winner. Jordan Spieth did that in 2015, and you’ll get odds for that around $50 for the favorites, and $100 plus for the others, hard to see that happening with this years field, but if it does you might want to try your luck then out first round leader as well, where you can find some decent odds for guys in the middle of the pack, and they only have to lead after one, not go on and lead everyday (exhausted just thinking about how hard that would be!).

You’ll also see Head to Head betting during the event, which we quite like, but not in the 1st Rnd! You’ll also see Group betting where you can take one player to win the group! These are extremely difficult as well, as the gun doesn’t always fire in rounds 1 & 2, but might beat them in 4 rounds.

Whatever you decide to do, have fun with it, its not something we generally bet on, unless something looks like its got some real value, or perhaps down to the final round where it might be a 2 or 3 horse race, but if we see something we like we’ll let you know.

Enjoy the tournament, best advice we can give if you feel like having a wager is wait til after the 1st round, even the 2nd and then see how you go, but like any great golf tournament and especially the Masters it can be a wild ride down the stretch when they reach Amen corner and the back nine on Sunday.