- The Masters Tournament tees off Thursday, April 7th
- Jon Rahm is the +1400 favorite to lead after the first round over Justin Thomas
- See the best bets and odds to grab the first-round lead at Augusta National in the article below
The season’s first major is upon us at historic Augusta National for the 86th edition of the Masters. Tiger Woods appears on track to compete for the first time in an official tournament since the 2020 Masters, which has sent the sports world into a frenzy. While he’s not one of the Masters favorites to slip on a recording-tying sixth green jacket, he’s been the most bet on golfer to win the tournament.
Jon Rahm, who won his first major at the 2021 US Open, is the favorite to grab the first round lead over Justin Thomas. Woods’ odds have been set at +4500 to grab the lead after 18 holes. There are plenty of opportunities for Masters sleepers and longshots to make some noise at Augusta National in a field consisting of 91 golfers.
2022 Masters First Round Leader Odds
Odds as of April 5th at DraftKings Sportsbook
The forecast is expected to feature some showers in the morning, improving to mostly sunny for the afternoon. Temperatures will be similar throughout the day, ranging from high 60’s to low 70’s. It will be windy, with gusts ranging from 14 miles per hour early on and reaching as high as 19 as the day rolls on.
A benefit for those teeing it up in the morning is the exact same as it is every week – less bumpy greens with fewer players chewing them up.
Cameron Smith Coming Off Players Championship Victory
In his last start, Cameron Smith outlasted the field to win the Players Championship at Sawgrass. For the week, he was first in strokes gained: putting and first in birdies, to go along with fifth in SG: approach.
On the season, the Aussie is first in scoring average and birdie average, tied for first in first round scoring, and second in total strokes gained.
Smith’s Strokes Gained Stats Last 24 Rounds
|Putting||Short Game||Total||Approach||Around-The-Green||Tee-To-Green||Ball Striking|
Smith loves Augusta National, having already secured three top-10’s in his career, with his best showing a T-2nd in 2020. His other two results were a T-5th in 2018 and T-10th last year.
- Pick: Cameron Smith (+2200)
2022 Masters Odds: Track the Favorites to Win at Augusta
Louis Oosthuizen Accustomed to Fast Starts
Stop if you’ve heard this before – Louis Oosthuizen is leading a major championship. In the last five grand slam events, the 2010 Open Champion has finished inside the top-three on four occasions. In the last two (US Open, Open Championship), Louis was the co-leader at Torrey Pines through 18 holes and had the outright lead after Thursday at Royal St. George’s.
He’s also had a heartbreaking loss at Augusta, having lost a playoff to Bubba Watson in 2012 in dramatic fashion. His near misses haven’t stopped him from contending in the biggest championships.
Most strokes gained approach per round at The Masters since 2015 (min. 10 rounds)
Jordan Spieth, 1.17
Louis Oosthuizen, 0.92
Corey Conners, 0.90
Hideki Matsuyama, 0.89
Paul Casey, 0.88
— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGolf) April 1, 2022
Oosthuizen is ranked 20th in first round scoring for the campaign, shooting 70 or better in all but one of his seven stroke play events. He does draw the circus that is Tiger Woods in his first round grouping, but nothing much rattles the South African so he’s well equipped to not let that affect him.
- Pick: Louis Oosthuizen (+3500)
Brian Harman With Intriguing Odds
An interesting name to consider in terms of longshots is Georgia native Brian Harman, who placed inside the top-20 in three of four majors last year, including a T-12th at the Masters. After one round of the 2021 iteration of this championship, he was tied for second. In the latest major (Open Championship), he also found himself tied for second through 18 holes.
For the year, Harman has been impressive in first rounds also, ranking eleventh. Nine of his twelve opening spins have yielded a score of 68 or better.
2021-22 PGA Tour First Round Scoring Average Leaders
|T-1. Cameron Smith||67.00||+2200|
|T-1. Patrick Cantlay||67.00||+2500|
|3. Russell Henley||67.27||+3000|
|4. Billy Horschel||67.50||+5500|
|5. Daniel Berger||67.60||+3500|
|6. Joaquin Niemann||67.80||+5500|
|8. Jon Rahm||68.38||+1400|
|10. Sam Burns||68.45||+4500|
|T-11. Tommy Fleetwood||68.50||+6000|
|T-11. Brian Harman||68.50||+6500|
In his last stroke play event, he was outstanding, winding up in a tie for fifth at the Valspar Championship. Given his first round prowess at both majors and regular events, Harman is certainly worth a look.
- Pick: Brian Harman (+6500)
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