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‘Should be banned’ – Major champ roasted for ‘painful’ AimPoint routine over 4-foot putt

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Ask a non-golf fan why they don’t follow the sport, and they’ll almost certainly say it’s too slow.

Take that as you will, but many of the current crop of players do seem to have strange and elongated pre-shot routines. Witness Brian Stuard’s constant gripping and re-gripping during the third round of the Honda Classic, and more recently, the bizarre putting routine by Keegan Bradley.

In yesterday’s first round-robin match against Jordan Spieth, the former PGA Championship winner was looking at a four-foot putt that deserved much attention.

However, what followed was a bizarre routine.

Using his version of AimPoint, a method of feeling the slope on the green, and then measuring the ’tilt’ with your fingers, Bradley placed his ball down ready to putt, before questioning himself and showcasing this routine:

Reaction on social media was nothing less than hostile.

Golf pundit Paige Spiranac called the routine “nightmare fuel”, and when Bradley missed the putt, feeling was summed up by one Twitter poster who posted: “Got all he deserved”, with another simply describing the clip as “painful.”

The method is used by a host of top class players, including Dustin Johnson, Adam Scott and Justin Rose, whilst it wasn’t long ago that Spieth himself asked caddie, Michael Greller, to study the method in his search of finding ‘an edge’.

Whether or not the incident affected Bradley or Spieth was hard to spot but having led 1-up for the front nine, Bradley lost three holes down the back to be defeated by two.

In what has turned into a blockbuster group, Bradley plays Rose today, with Spieth aiming to beat another major champ in Adam Scott.

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19th Hole

Vincenzi: The 8 best prop bets for the 2024 Masters

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We’ve finally reached The Masters and excitement is at an all-time high. The world of golf has been fractured for the better part of two years, but for a week at Augusta National, all of the outside noise will disappear. All of the best players in the world will be together seeking to make history.

In addition to betting on The Masters champion. This is one of the few weeks of the year where there are so many more markets to explore, with value to be had in plenty of different categories.

Throughout this article, I’ll discuss all of my favorite props and players for the 2024 Masters.

Placement Bets:

Tony Finau Top 5 +750 (DraftKings):

I badly wanted to include Tony Finau in my outright betting selections, but I simply ran out of room on my card. Additionally, it’s slightly difficult to see him hitting the putts necessary to win the Masters on back nine on Sunday. However, I do strongly believe he will play great golf this week at Augusta National.

In his past 24 rounds, Finau ranks 4th in Strokes Gained: Approach is always amongst the best drivers of the golf ball in the game. Back in 2019, Finau had a great chance to win The Masters. I expect him to be hanging around over the weekend once again in 2024.

Gary Woodland Top 20 +550 (DraftKings), Gary Woodland to make the cut -110 (DraftKings):

Last season, Gary Woodland had his best ever finish at The Masters in his eleven tries. The 39-year-old finished T14 and played incredibly steady across all four rounds.

In Woodland’s most recent start at the Texas Children’s Houston Open, he struck the ball incredibly well. He led the field in Strokes Gained: Approach (+8.8) and Strokes Gained: Ball Striking (+10.0).

Gary has been working with Butch Harmon and absolutely flushing the ball both in tournaments and during practice.

Woodland appears to be healthy once again and in a great place physically and mentally. If he can build off his impressive performance at Augusta last year, he can place inside the top ten in 2024.

Additionally, the make the cut number on Woodland seems generous considering the number of players who miss the cut will be relatively small this week. Woodland is striking it well enough to make the cut even if he’s hindered by a balky putter once again.

Thorbjorn Olesen Top 20 +400 (FanDuel):

The Thunder Bear, Thorbjorn Olesen, made his Masters debut in 2013 and finished an incredibly impressive T6 for the week. In the two additional starts he’s made at Augusta National since then, the Dane has continued to be incredibly solid, finishing T44 and T21.

This week, Olesen heads into the week playing some good golf. He gained 3.8 strokes on approach and 5.52 strokes around the green at last week’s Valero Texas Open on his way to a strong T14 finish. Back in January, he won the Ras Al Khaimah Championship on the DP World Tour.

Olesen has the skill set to be successful at Augusta and seems primed for a good performance this week.

Top Nationalities:

Sergio Garcia Top Spanish Player +280 (DraftKings):

I believe Sergio Garcia can get into contention this week with the way he’s striking the ball in addition to his good vibes with a refurbished version of the Scotty Cameron that he used at the 1999 PGA Championship at Medinah.

I am slightly concerned about the emotional letdown he may face after losing in a playoff at LIV Miami, but I believe a veteran and former Masters champion should be able to regroup and focus on an event far more meaningful.

This is essentially a tournament head-to-head with Jon Rahm at +280. While Rahm deserves to be respected this week, the history of the lack of success of defending champions at The Masters is difficult to ignore.

Joaquin Niemann Top South American Player -230 (FanDuel):

While I hate paying this much juice, I don’t see a world in which Joaquin Niemann isn’t the top South American this week at The Masters. Joaco comes in playing better golf than anyone in the world not named Scottie Scheffler and has a serious chance to win the green jacket.

He only needs to beat two players: Emiliano Grillo and Camilo Villegas.

Tournament Head-to-Heads:

Justin Thomas -110 over Collin Morikawa

JT isn’t having his best season but is playing a lot better than he is getting credit for at the moment. In the past three months, there are only six players on the PGA Tour who have averaged 1.7 Strokes Gained: Tee to Green or better. Justin Thomas (+1.7) is one of the six and is currently tied with Rory McIlroy (+1.7).

Morikawa, on the other hand, has been extremely poor with his irons, which is incredibly uncharacteristic for him. I can’t help but feel like something is completely off with the two-time major champion.

Tony Finau -110 over Wyndham Clark

I explained in the placement section why I’m so high on Tony Finau this week. With how well he’s striking the ball, it seems as if his floor is extremely high. I’m not sure if he can make the putts to win a green jacket but I believe he will be in the mix similarly to 2019 when Tiger Woods emerged from a crowded pack of contenders.

Clark is a debutant, and while some debutants have had success at The Masters, it certainly poses a challenge. I also don’t believe Augusta National suits Clark as well as some of the other major championship venues.

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19th Hole

Nick Faldo reveals the worst Masters Champions Dinner he’s ever experienced

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While speaking with talkSPORT.com, three-time Masters champion Nick Faldo reflected on one of his former Masters champions dinner choices.

“My fish and chips… That was my best one. It was very successful. Everybody loved that.” Faldo said.

“I flew in the fillets from Harry Ramsden’s with these big chips as well – and mushy peas. They took one look at it, because they’re fluorescent green, aren’t they?”

Despite Faldo’s satisfaction with his choice, he recalls some other players questioning the choice.

“They went, ‘What are these?’ I said, ‘Mushy peas’. They said, ‘Mushy what!?’ So that went down well.”

“I had Sarson’s Vinegar as well. So I deem that one of the top three, honestly.”

Faldo also mentioned which Masters dinner he thought was the worst he’s ever had.

“What was the worst one? Oh, it was Bubba, wasn’t it? When we had Chuck E. Cheese.”

Perhaps the most interesting part of what Sir Nick had to say was the fact that the dinners can get emotional.

“It can get it can get quite emotional,” the golf legend added. “Because some of the old boys are getting on, or you’ve lost somebody and reminisce some old stories and that sort of thing.

“We usually have a good laugh as well. Everybody ribs [each other], especially when Jack [Nicklaus] says, ‘Well, it was pretty easy in 1965’. Everybody nearly beat him up on that one, which was quite fun. ‘So because you won by 10 or whatever?”

This year’s Masters champions dinner will be hosted by Spaniard Jon Rahm on Tuesday night.

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19th Hole

Tiger Woods arrives at 2024 Masters equipped with a putter that may surprise you

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According to Jamie Kennedy of Golf Digest, Tiger Woods arrived at Augusta National on Sunday to practice chipping and putting with his caddie and a handful of clubs. Kennedy zoomed in on the clubs to see what Tiger was practicing with.

“Three wedges, a 9-iron, 8-iron, his Scotty putter… and a Wilson 8802 blade putter!” Kennedy noticed.

It’s certainly noteworthy that Tiger was experimenting with two putters, however it’s still more likely than not that Tiger will have the Scotty in the bag for Thursday’s opening round of The Masters.

Speaking to NBC Sports a few years ago, Tiger explained just why he chooses the Wilson gamer as his preferred putter for practice, saying:

“I really do practice with my 8802 probably the most because I like feeling that toe release and I like putting with my right hand. That’s basically my training aid, and then I went to a longer putter to get more reps in.”

Woods hasn’t teed it up much in 2024, but when he has, he’s putted poorly. At the Hero World Challenge, he lost 1.88 strokes on the green. Through less than two rounds at the Genesis, he lost almost a stroke putting.

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