Golf Crowns Two New Stars at the Masters: Top the 2022 Odds

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:

Few countries love their sports stars more than Japan, and few sports are as loved in Japan as golf. And that has Hideki Matsuyama as the most famous man in the nation this week after he became the first Japanese male to win one of golf’s four majors.

On the heels of an incredible end to his third round, Matsuyama couldn’t sleep on Saturday night. The pressure of a Sunday lead at the Masters eventually led him to head to the course early in the morning in the hopes he could work out his nerves.

His early four-stroke lead ballooned to six, and his nerves seemed to be a distant issue. Then he hit the water on the 15th and the bunker on the 18th, and his margin of error was reduced to one stroke.

Fortunately for Matsuyama, that one stroke was enough. He bogeyed the 18th and held on to win the Masters title.

“I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like, what a thrill and honor it will be for me to take the green jacket back to Japan,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to it.”

With the Olympics in Tokyo this summer, don’t be surprised if Japan’s hero golfer is involved in the Opening Ceremonies and the lighting of the Olympic cauldron.

Runner-Up Zalatoris Emerges as Rising Star

It’s not as if 24-year-old Will Zalatoris hasn’t played great golf on a big stage. Just last year, he finished tied for sixth place at the U.S. Open.

But his second-place finish at the Masters this weekend and the way he played himself into contention won him a legion of new fans, including comedian Adam Sandler.

Noting that Zalatoris bears some resemblance to his caddy in Happy Gilmore, Sandler tweeted out his support of Zalatoris before Sunday’s round: “Have fun today, young man. Mr. Gilmore is watching you and is very proud.”

Zalatoris responded by promising Mr. Gilmore that will be ready to caddy for him anytime he needs him.

Resemblances aside, Zalatoris, who has been playing on conditional PGA status, is now firmly in the conversation as the next great American golfer. He’s a former U.S. Junior Amateur champion, a two-time All-American at Wake Forest, and if you watched him play this weekend, you can see that he is a future Masters champion.

Betting Favorites Come Up Losers

The vast majority of wagers this weekend were placed on five golfers — Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Bryson DeChambeau, Jon Rahm, and Jordan Spieth. There was so much action on that group that many sportsbooks began offering a bet on the five-some that paid +125.

Matsuyama, on the other hand, was paying +4000, and he received just 0.9% of all money that was wagered. Contrast that with 40% of the betting dollars that was placed on the big five.

If you had Spieth to finish in the top five at +225, you were a winner. Otherwise, almost every other bet on a favorite was a loser at Augusta.

Those five golfers still lead the odds board for the 2022 Masters which, of course, you can bet now.

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