Steve Palmer's golf betting tips: Masters specials betting
Jon Rahm could be set to lead the European challenge after Sunday baby boost
Golf tips, best specials bets and player analysis for The Masters at Augusta National, Georgia.
Where to watch
Sky Sports Main Event & Golf, 2pm Thursday
Jon Rahm top European
2pts 4-1 BoyleSports
Will Zalatoris top debutant
2pts 5-4 BoyleSports, Hills
Phil Mickelson top senior
2pts 5-6 general
Jon Rahm's baby had the potential to be a seriously disruptive influence on his Masters - if he had come on tournament-eve, Rahm would probably not have started the event, while any birth during the action would have meant a rapid departure - but little Kepa has timed his run to Earth perfectly to help his dad have a crack at the Green Jacket.
Rahm is well worth considering at 12-1 for outright glory, but perhaps the best way to support the cheerful Spaniard is in the top European market. The safe arrival of Kepa means Rahm has headed to Augusta with happiness and relief coursing through his veins. His temperament can often let him down - and he has been particularly irritable this year - but the breakthrough in his personal life seems likely to deliver a much calmer mindset in Georgia.
Danny Willett won the Masters just a few days after becoming a father and there seems every chance that Rahm goes close to doing likewise. Defeating Willett, Rory McIlroy, Tyrrell Hatton and others seems well within Rahm's compass in the top Euro market.
Rahm boasts form figures of 4-9-7 from the last three Masters and his ball-striking this year has been full of authority. He has played in seven tournaments, only once finishing outside the top 15.
McIlroy has just started working with a new coach - Pete Cowen - and it will probably take time for their partnership to bear fruit. Hatton has a terrible Masters record, Viktor Hovland is making only his second Augusta appearance, while Justin Rose has been struggling with a back injury. Paul Casey may prove the biggest threat to Rahm backers in this section.
Will Zalatoris for top debutant and Phil Mickelson for top senior are of interest at shorter prices. Zalatoris has made a barnstorming start to life on the PGA Tour, having dominated on the Korn Ferry Tour, and the greens-in-regulation machine should handle his first trip to the Cathedral of Pines better than the other Augusta virgins.
Zalatoris finished sixth in the US Open last year is more confident than ever having forced his way into the world's top 50.
The fact that 63-year-old Bernhard Langer is second in the top senior betting speaks volumes about the task facing Mickelson. Lefty has destroyed roundbelly opposition when dropping down to the Champions Tour this year - he is a much younger and much better player.
Get Steve Palmer's tips on each day of The Masters, only on Racing Post Sport. Check out his Masters outright tips, specials betting for the tournament, an in-depth player guide and course guide for the biggest golf Major of the year.
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