Best 2-ball bets for Friday at the Masters: Niemann gets the nod over Oosthuizen
The Masters most definitely did not disappoint on Thursday. There were some low rounds, plenty of big numbers, the leaderboard is bunched up and Tiger Woods is in contention. Yes, you heard that right; Tiger Woods is in contention. It’s already shaping up to be a fun weekend in Augusta, but before that we have to get through Friday.
With that, it’s time to dive into some of the best 2-ball bets for Day 2 of the season’s first major.
Joaquin Niemann (-120) over Louis Oosthuizen
It’s true that I have a futures play on Oosthuizen to finish as the top South African, but this matchup sets up great for Niemann. Tiger’s playing partners went in completely opposite directions on Day 1 of this tournament. Niemann fired a 3-under 69, while Oosthuizen stumbled to a 4-over 76. Yes, the Chilean was aided by a hole-out for eagle from the fairway on hole 9 and obviously that can’t be expected to happen again, but aside from that shot he played well from start to finish. But this play really has more to do with Oosthuizen than with Niemann. The former British Open champion looked less than 100% physically because of an apparent back injury. Colder weather on Friday won’t help matters.
Xander Schauffele (-105) over Viktor Hovland
Hovland is in decent shape at even par, but the way he went about getting his 72 is a bit unsettling. The Norwegian made 5 birdies and still could not finish in red numbers. Such inconsistency could be even more of a factor on Friday. I think the wind will probably hurt Hovland more than Schauffele, because if Hovland can’t consistently hit greens in regulation his underwhelming short game will be exposed. Meanwhile, Schauffele’s 74 was mediocre at best but he did it while making only 2 bogeys. Mistake-free golf should be enough to beat Hovland in round 2.
Corey Conners (-120) over Bubba Watson
Conners went into this Masters with much higher expectations than Watson and the Canadian unsurprisingly won this head-to-head matchup by 3 strokes on Thursday. Conners fired a 2-under 70, while Watson came in at a solid but unspectacular 1-over 73. The left-hander’s stock is inflated at Augusta National because he is a 2-time champion. Sure, it’s well-deserved, and Watson certainly knows his way around this golf course. But he isn’t the same player now as he was when he donned the famous Green Jacket in 2012 and 2014, and I’ll put more faith in current form than experience. Conners is playing superior golf, and don’t forget that he finished in the top 10 in each of the past 2 Masters.
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