Odds to win The Masters

Here are the odds to win the Masters title this year:

Adam Scott 10/1
Rory McIlroy 10/1
Phil Mickelson 12/1
Jason Day 14/1
Matt Kuchar 18/1
Sergio Garcia 20/1
Dustin Johnson 22/1
Bubba Watson 25/1
Henrik Stenson 25/1
Zach Johnson 28/1

I’m surprised Sergio made it that high as he’s always a lock to choke in big tournaments, but he still has talent.

The Masters won’t be the same without Tiger Woods this year, but let’s hope for a great tournament.

Rory Mcllroy needs more focus

What has happened to Rory Mcllroy? That’s one of the biggest questions in pro golf these days, right along with questions about Tiger Woods and his state of mind. These questions highlight the biggest truism in golf – the importance of the mental aspect of the game. Of course the fundamentals like your swing are critical, but nothing messes with a swing more than a mental or emotional distraction. It’s the sort of thing that will drive you crazy if you’re trying to pick tournament winners with online sports betting.

This latest tidbit of news raises new questions about Rory. He’s getting rid of his old management team and forming his own management company, Rory McIlroy Inc., to handle his business interests. This is the second time in two years that Rory is under new management.

Sometimes, small issues can become big issues, and you have to wonder if the business side of golf, along with dealing with all the fame, have taken their toll on Rory. Celebrity status alone can be a major distraction. Being hailed as the heir to Tiger Woods doesn’t help either. But it’s sometimes smaller things behind the scenes, like issues with your managers and handlers, that can also lead to serious distractions.

With Rory it’s all speculation. It’s not like he’s dealing with a major meltdown like Tiger faced with his divorce and the tabloid fallout from his affairs. Tiger has never been the same player. He went from one of the best clutch putters ever in majors to someone who could blow a round with putting mistakes. That’s the result of mental distractions.

The issue with Rory is much harder to pin down, but it seems like he needs a level of stability in his life off the links and he’s not getting that right now.

All of this serves as a lesson for people who love to pick golf winners. When betting on one individual’s performance, the mental side is critical but also very hard to predict.

It also serves as a well-known but critically important lesson for anyone playing golf. You need to learn how to leave your troubles or anxieties off the golf course. Clear your mind, and enjoy the experience. It will help your game immensely.

Has Tiger lost his ruthlessness?

Tiger Woods Firestone - 1GLB

The questions were inevitable. As Tiger Woods continues to falter in Major championships, particularly with his failing putter, many are focusing on the mental aspect of his game. Tiger was once the most competitive and ruthless golfer out there. Is that still the case? Read the article for more analysis.

Putting key to Phil Mickelson victory at British Open

The importance of putting was driven home again at the 2013 British Open, as Phil Mickelson was on fire and Tiger Woods continued to struggle with his putter. For Mickelson, this victory gave him his first British Open championship and his fifth major. Mickelson may not be the most consistent golfer of his generation, but he’s certainly dominant at times when his game comes together. He birdied four of the last six holes for his come-from-behind victory as Lee Westwood faded as some predicted.

Meanwhile, Woods is naturally being scrutinized from every possible angle. Many writers are focusing on the fact that Woods has never come from behind on Sunday to win a major championship, but that hardly seems like the most important factor. No, his putter has been letting him down, and that’s keeping him from winning the big ones. When Woods was piling up wins, he was one of the best putters in history. And while he’s facing inuries and some of the same struggles golfers face as they get older, his biggest problem seems to be with his putter. He’s still good, but good is a long way from great.

This only highlights the mental aspect of the game, and we all know that Tiger has had more than his share of distractions. One that comes to mind is the drama with his old caddy Steve Williams. The two shook hands after the conclusion of the Open Championship on Sunday at Muirfield after Tiger was paired up with Adam Scott, and it looked like the beginning of the end of a silly feud, but you have to wonder if the unflappable Woods was flapped around a bit having to play with them on Sunday. We’ll never know of course, but we’re well beyond the point where a Woods victory was assumed by the handicappers setting the golf odds for majors.

Tiger has to deal with an adversary in Mickelson who refuses to fade away. Phil still can’t get over the hump at the US Open, but it’s tough to count him out these days, and he’s pushing himself into the conversation regarding golf’s all-time greats. There’s also a slew of younger golfers in the game who aren’t the least bit intimidated by Woods, who hasn’t won a major in five years!

So it’s great for golf that Tiger is in the mix, but the landscape has certainly changed.

Merion Golf Club hosts US Open

USGA executive director Mike Davis takes Gary Williams on a tour of Merion Golf Club in the video above, and you can get a hole-by-hole look at the golf course here.

Decision coming soon for anchored putter ban

With Adam Scott’s win at The Masters, players using anchored putters have won four of the last six majors. That streak may be coming to an end as the much discussed ban may be coming soon.

The U.S. Golf Association said Friday it will make public on Tuesday its final decision in the anchored-putting controversy. Nothing is official yet, but all indications are that the USGA and its international rules-making counterpart, the R&A, will push forward with the rule they proposed last November, to ban anchored putting once and for all time.

As I’ve mentioned before, the global ancient game of golf will be better off with a ban. For years, anchored putting has been a disruptive issue. For all those who embraced the stroke, many more felt it wasn’t a proper way to play the game. With hope, that debate now will be behind us.

A more important reason to support the ban, should it be enacted, is that it plants a flag in the ground that says: “This is golf, and this isn’t.” I don’t want to come across as a blowhard, an oldest-member type pulling up the drawbridge to protect the creaky rituals of another age. Many defenders of anchoring see themselves as part of a movement to rescue golf by making the game easier, less frustrating and more accommodating. I think they’re misguided on this issue, but I get where they’re coming from.

I don’t have a strong opinion on this, but people on both sides tend to be passionate about the issue. If the ban goes through, does it put a blemish on wins like Scott’s at The Masters? It will definitely shake things up for some pros like Scott. Anyone looking for an edge in picking winners will have to monitor guys like him closely before placing their bets on sites like bwin.com/en/golf. When you consider how unpredictable putting can be, that seems like a daunting task. And with such a great player like Scott who is still a young player, the effect this could have on his career could take years to play out.

Every sport goes through rule changes, so anyone fixated on golf’s traditions needs to keep this in mind. Technology and innovation affects every sport, and then frankly we all need to come to a consensus and collectively adjust. So hopefully the rules makers will finally come up with a decision so everyone can move on.

Tiger’s penalty fiasco at The Masters

Should Tiger Woods have been disqualified from The Masters? Does golf etiquette require him to withdraw voluntarily? What would have been the best PR move for Tiger?

These questions will be debated endlessly this weekend and probably for years to come. Here’s a good primer on the issue.

Does golf still need Tiger Woods?

It seems like s silly question. Yes, the pro golf game is doing fine with young guns like Bubba Watson. But Tiger Woods is still the biggest star around.

Bubba Watson discusses The Masters

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Bubba Watson visited Morning Joe to discuss The Masters along with the hovercraft golf cart developed with Oakley.

How to Qualify for the Master’s Tournament

golf clubs with blue sky

The Masters Golf Tournament is one of the largest and most significant of all golf tournaments. The tournament is set to take place during the first week of April each year and it also takes place in the same state annually, August, Georgia. The Masters tournament is considered quite the challenge to get into. If you are interested in qualifying for this particular golf tournament in the future, there are a few things that you should know about ahead of time.

Play like a Champ

Of course, one of the best ways to qualify for the tournament is to play golf like a champ. You would need to compete in amateur golfing events to prove yourself to others. If you are a winning amateur player, you may receive an invitation to compete at the Masters. Practice makes perfect so try practicing as much as you possibly can. If golf is something you are genuinely good at, you can make it to the tournament, and you just have to give it your all. Take every opportunity you can to work at reaching your golfing goals.

Make the World Ranking List

As a golf player, you can receive an invite to compete at the tournament if you are already doing exceptionally well throughout the current golf season. Golfers who are doing well throughout the season are actually placed on a special list, which shows that they are top choices for the tournament. If you are featured on the World Ranking list of golf players for the previous year, you can receive an invitation to compete in the Masters tournament without hesitation.

Focus on the Game

Being invited to the Masters tournament is something for anyone to be proud of, which is why many golf players yearn for the opportunity. However, one problem some golfers have is that they focus too much on trying to get to the tournament instead of on the game they are playing. When you are competing in other golf tournaments and events, focus on how you play the game and simply do your best.

Golf is a game that requires concentration. If you think less about being invited to the Masters and more about the game you are currently playing, your chances of winning will increase. And, if you are winning your competitions, you will likely receive an invite to the tournament, making it a win-win situation.

Win the Masters

If you have already been invited to the Masters tournament once before and have won, you do not have to worry about seeking an invitation. Anyone who has won the Masters tournament at any given point in time will be invited to the tournament for the rest of their lives.
Not just anyone can compete in the Masters golf tournament. There are plenty of people who are good at playing golf, but to be invited to this tournament, you truly have to be exceptional. It will take a lot of hard work, effort, and determination to finally reach such an opportunity. However, if this is a lifelong dream of yours, all of that hard work you put into being the best at golf will surely pay off in the long run when you finally receive that invitation to compete at one of the most exciting and popular golf tournaments.

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