The Hideki Matsuyama Masters win was a dominant performance for long stretches, and he becomes the first player from Japan to win a major championship in men’s golf. The latest to don the green jacket did so at longshot odds only a couple other Masters champions in recent history can match.
Matsuyama stayed resilient in his final round after a six-shot lead on the back-nine dwindled to just two heading to the 16th tee. Ultimately, he posted a score of 10-under-par to win by one stroke, after a final round 1-over 73.
At the sportsbooks, not many predicted this outcome at the start of the week, but there are certainly some betting lessons and takeaways to learn from the 2021 Masters tournament.
Hideki Matsuyama wins Masters at rare odds
Since 2010, only two players have won the green jacket at pre-tournament odds of 50-1 or longer. Only Danny Willett and Charl Schwartzel are part of that club.
Mastuyama reinforces a strong Masters live betting trend
Since 1998, only Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods have won the Masters after finishing Round 1 outside of the top 10. We noted the top 10 after Thursday’s opening round was complete.
Sure enough, Matsuyama was right there in second behind Justin Rose’s fantastic start.
Since ‘98, only Phil & 🐅 won #TheMasters after finishing Round 1 outside top 10.
-3: Hideki(12-1), Harman(22-1)
-2: Webb & Reed(12-1), Zalatoris(20-1), Bezuidenhout(50-1)
-1: Spieth(8-1), Hatton(22-1), Kokrak(40-1), Lowry(55-1), Kim(60-1)https://t.co/eoqH4Mvotv
— TheLines (@TheLinesUS) April 9, 2021
Zalatoris again proves Masters rookies can contend
Will Zalatoris’ Masters debut made clear what a lot of sharp golf bettors already knew. This kid can play. He will turn 25 in August, and the Masters marks back-to-back top-10 finishes at majors after a T6 finish in September’s U.S. Open.
He joins Jason Day (2011) and Jordan Spieth (2014) as the third debutant to finish top five at Augusta in the past 11 years.
Don’t hate the player because he’s a Masters rookie. Hate the game. And there was nothing to hate about Zaltoris coming into Masters week, with six T25 or better finishes in his last seven stroke-play events. That included at T7 at Torrey Pines, site of the 2021 U.S. Open in June.
Fuzzy Zoeller may still be the only Masters rookie to win the green jacket in 1979 (outside of the first two years of the event), but Zalatoris reminded bettors to focus on the numbers and not the narrative, despite finishing solo second.
Rookies at #TheMasters can still contend.
— Stephen Andress (@StephenAndress1) April 8, 2021
Scrambling matters more than putting at the Masters
The Hideki Matsuyama Masters win aligned with past champion performances around the green. Matsuyama is now the 12th winner in the past 13 years to finish top 10 for the week in scrambling.
Matsuyama posted a scrambling percentage better than 80% around Augusta en route to victory.
Matsuyama’s game fit the bill coming into the week, ranking 18th on the PGA TOUR in Strokes Gained: Around the Green. That despite ranking just 170th at the start of the week in Strokes Gained: Putting.
A Hideki Matsuyama Masters win further proved driving accuracy doesn’t matter
Matsuyama ranked 149th last year in driving accuracy and only 86th this season. It doesn’t really matter at Augusta National Golf Club.
Only one of the past 21 Masters winners now finished in the top 50 for driving accuracy during the previous season’s PGA TOUR.
Dominating the Par 5s is the surest path to a Masters victory
Hideki Matsuyama played the four Par-5s at Augusta at 11-under-par, including three eagles, despite finding the water and bogeying No. 15 on his final par-5 Sunday.
Every Masters champion in history has played the par-5s under par. They are typically the four easiest holes at Augusta National, and that was again the case at the 2021 Masters.