Rob Schumacher, USA Today Sports.
- The 2019 Masters begins on Thursday, April 11 at Augusta National Golf Course.
- Her are our golf experts' eight favorite plays for this weekend's action.
The quest for the Green Jacket is upon us.
The 2019 Masters begins on Thursday (8:30 a.m. ET) with 87 golfers vying for the most important piece of laundry in sports.
While the best golfers in the world are competing to become the next king of Augusta National, golf bettors are gearing up for their favorite weekend on the calendar.
There are so many ways to speculate on the Masters, and here are our golf gurus’ favorite tournament bets:
Bet: Viktor Hovland to be Top Amateur (+200)
Sure, he owns the lowest odds of the half-dozen ams, but there’s a reason for that: He’s really, really good.
A junior at Oklahoma State, Hovland is currently the world’s third-ranked amateur player. He won last year’s U.S. Amateur, won a collegiate event two months ago and was T-40 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
More importantly, though, if you’re placing a bet on him: There’s not as much competition as usual.
Takumi Kanaya, the Asia-Pacific Amateur champion, is ranked seventh in the world. Alvaro Ortiz, brother of PGA Tour member Carlos, intrigues me a bit.
Really, though, this category should be all Hovland.
Don’t be surprised if he’s the lone amateur to make the cut, meaning you get to casually count your winnings on Friday evening.