Some golf tournaments are won by players that go wire-to-wire, leading after round one and still leading after round four, but not as many as you might think. That’s certainly the case at the US Masters where many unheralded players have led after 18 holes only to fade away into the also-rans late on Sunday evening. Indeed, only one of the last first-round leaders at Augusta has gone on to claim the title.
That’s why, if you think a player has the talent to rip Augusta to pieces over 18 holes but doesn’t have the consistency and/or the bottle to maintain it over 72-holes, the US Masters First Round Leader Market could be were to bet on them.
Check out our stats, analysis, and free tips for the US Masters First Round Leader Market.
US Masters First Round Leaders 2009 to 2018
2009 – Chad Campbell (65)
2010 – Fred Couples (66)
2011 – Rory McIlroy & Alvaro Quiros (65)
2012 – Lee Westwood (67)
2013 – Mark Leishman (66)
2014 – Bill Haas (68)
2015 – Jordan Spieth (64)
2016 – Jordan Spieth (66)
2017 – Charley Hoffman (65)
2018 – Jordan Spieth (66)
US Masters First Round Leader Possibilities
Rory is the 2019 US Masters favourite across the board with the bookies after his win in The Players Championship, and he started the 2011 US Masters with a spectacular 65 before capitulating later in the week. His game is as currently as good as it’s ever been, and it wouldn’t be a shock if he shot the lights out in rounds one. However, the consensus amongst the best players is to play a little conservatively on day one, as you can lose the tournament here, but you can’t win it. Still, there will no doubt be plenty of takers at odds of around 12/1.
If you want to back a player that knows how to lead the US Masters after round one you must back Jordan Spieth. He only made his tournament debut in 2014 but led after the first round in 2015, 2016, and 2018.
There’s no doubt he’s been way below his best so far this season, but he will have been working hard to peak for this week and there were definite signs his game is coming together at last week’s Valero Texas Open. He opened with two rounds of 68 there and, though he went backwards over the weekend, expect him to come out all guns blazing here, where loves the fast greens and he can get away with some errant drives.
Fleetwood has already been branded a sure-fire future major winner and, though he’s yet to get competitive at the US Masters, a third-round 66 in 2018 highlighted he has what it takes to go low at Augusta. That’s typical Fleetwood too, as he mixes a very low round with averages ones on a regular basis in tournaments. He’s expected to go low at some point this week and it could easily be in the first round if he gets on a hot streak.
Kuchar has posted four top-eight finishes in his last seven appearances at Augusta and he shot an opening 68 last year on his way to finishing 28th. He’s often crumbled under pressure in tournaments throughout his career but, after two wins and lots of other high finishes this season, a quick start by “Kuch” could be on the cards.
It’s no surprise to see Hoffman come in for support in this market this week as he came back to form with a bang at last week’s Valero Texas Open, which is one of his favourite tournaments. He did start slowly there but finished with rounds of 67, 64, and 68 and could be in the mood to go low at Augusta this week.
He’s certainly done it before, leading with an opening 65 in 2017, whilst he also would have landed each-way money in this market in 2015.
Another player that caught the eye in round one last year is Hao-Tong Li and the ever-improving youngster shot six birdies and three bogeys in an opening 69, which was just one shot outside the each-way places.
He’s more than capable of going very low and, with another year of experience under his belt, he could easily cut out those costly mistakes this year.
US Masters First Round Leader
Most bookies are generously betting five or six places on the US Masters First Round Leader market this year, with one or two even betting eight places. That’s why it could be worth backing all six of our selections each-way.