THE Europeans don’t look quite so strong this year, however, one player thriving at present is SERGIO GARCIA who is still searching for his first Major.
The Spaniard has been a measure of consistency over the past few months and he had another excellent third in Houston last week. His frailties with the putter seem a thing of the past, while the mental part of his game has also improved, perhaps due to a happy spell in his personal life.
Garcia has always looked like a Major winner and this could be the week he finally breaks his duck. That said, a safer option might be to back him each-way in the first round leader market at 25/1 with Paddy Power.
He hit a 66 first time out 12 months ago to finish tied first with Marc Leishman and he is undoubtedly hitting the ball better now. I’d always rather be with Garcia at the start of a tournament than the end when the mental demons can potentially resurface.
Selling finishing positions on the spreads can be risky at the Masters, but one I am tempted with is THORBJORN OLESEN who bounced back from a disastrous opening round of 78 last year to finish sixth with three impressive scores of 70, 68 and 68.
His form tailed off slightly after that, but similarly to McIlroy he was getting used to his new Nike clubs, as well as having to deal with giving up cigarettes.
He started this year with excellent results in Qatar (third) and Dubai (fifth), but has since disappointed Stateside with three missed cuts. However, I’m a big believer in horses for courses and if this supremely talented 24-year-old can produce similar performances to the weekend of his Masters debut he has the potential to go very well indeed.
A sell of his finishing position at 48 is probably too risky, so instead buy him at 3 on the Sporting Index Masters Leaderboard. A finish in the top 10 will result in a profit of anything between two and 97 times your stake, while if he doesn’t make the top 10 you will only lose three times your stake.
Sergio Garcia (1st round leader) e/w at 25/1 with Paddy Power
Buy Thorbjorn Olesen at 3 on Sporting Index Masters Leaderboard