Masters Top 5 Picks: Can Shane Lowry Finish in the Top 5?

Top 5 bets are a good way to spread your stakes and ensure that you get a payout if your player goes close, but doesn't get over the line. Tom Jacobs breaks down his top 5 picks for the Masters.
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Masters Top 5 Picks: Can Shane Lowry Finish in the Top 5?

How often does an outsider finish inside the top-5 at the Masters? This will be the golden question on everyone's lips, as we look for some value in this market, as we do not want to take odds that are too short at the head of the market.

Let's look at the last 10 Masters and try and ascertain who reached the top of the leaderboard, when they perhaps weren't expected to, and identify their outright odds that week.

2021 - Will Zalatoris (2nd) was 125/1 outright

2020 - Dylan Frittelli (T5) was 250/1 outright, C.T. Pan (T7) was 500/1 and Corey Conners (T10) was 150/1

2019 - Webb Simpson (T5) was 100/1 outright

2018 - Cameron Smith (T5) - Was 150/1 outright

2017 - Kevin Chappell (T7) - Was 250/1 outright, Ryan Moore (T9) was 120/1

2016 - Lee Westwood (T2) - Was 175/1 outright, J.B. Holmes (T4) - Was 100/1 outright, Matt Fitzpatrick (T7) - was 175/1, Soren Kjeldsen (T7) - was 500/1

2015 - Charley Hoffman (T9) - Was 200/1 outright

2014 - Jonas Blixt (T2) - Was 200/1 outright, Miguel Angel Jimenez (4th) - Was 150/1, Thomas Bjorn (T8) was 150/1 outright, John Senden (T8) was 150/1 outright, Kevin Stadler (T8) was 200/1 outright and Bernhard Langer (T8) was 500/1 outright

2013 - Runner-up Angel Cabrera was 80/1 outright, Marc Leishman (T4) was 300/1 and Thorbjorn Olesen who was T6 was 150/1

2012 - Runner-up Louis Oosthuizen was 100/1 outright, Peter Hanson (T3) was 125/1 outright, Ian Poulter (7th) was 100/1

From the above list, we can see that at least one outsider infiltrates the top-5 of this leaderboard most years, with the odd exception where we have had a couple closer to 10th. This gives us a rough idea of how common it is for outsiders to contend here, and now it is about identifying who can do it this time around.

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Masters To Finish Top 5 Picks

Shane Lowry +800 To Finish Inside The Top 5 (Bet $100 to Win $800)

I didn't include Shane Lowry in my outright selections, giving Will Zalatoris the nod instead, but as more weather reports come out suggesting some tough winds, we look further into Lowry's recent form and Strokes-Gained numbers, it makes perfect sense for him to be a contender here.

One of the trends I spoke about in my outright article was the need for any winner here to have finished first or second in a major previously in thier career. Nine of the last 10 winners of this event have a first or a second in a major before winning here, with Danny Willett the lone exception, who had a sixth at the Open, and was second there thru 36 holes.

Shane Lowry has already won the Open Championship in his home country and finished second in a U.S. Open, on top of his fourth-place finish at last year's PGA Championship, so his major experience is rock-solid.

His course form here isn't the best, never finishing better than his T21 finish here last year, but I also spoke about the fact that of the last 10 winners, the average amount of starts before a player got their first Green Jacket here, was 6.1. Lowry will be playing his seventh Masters this week, and that additional experience along with some challenging weather and excellent lead-in form leads me to believe he can contend here for the first time.

He has made three of five cuts here, and when making the cut he has shot at least one sub-70 round in each, which is a great sign. He was second after round 1 in 2016 and 8th after 36 holes there, and last year when 21st he was eighth after round 1, before sitting 21st at the end of each subsequent round.

Lowry has played six stroke-play events since the start of the year, finishing outside the top-14 just once (24th Dubai Desert Classic) and he had a great chance to win at the Honda Classic.

He was disappointing at the Match Play losing to Brooks Koepka and Harold Varner in his group, but he's only ever won two matches out of the 15 he's played there, so it clearly doesn't suit him.

Instead, I think we should focus on his Strokes-Gained numbers as he ranks 1st in this field in both SG Approach and SG Tee-to-Green since the start of 2022, which is incredible considering the company he's in this week.

8/1 to finish inside the top 5 and post a career-finish at Augusta looks a good bet, and this price is a standout, so ensure you are using the Oddschecker's Masters grid to get the best value.

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Robert MacIntyre +2000 To Finish Inside The Top 5 (Bet $100 to Win $2000)

Robert MacIntyre finished 12th on his debut here last year, sitting 10th at the 54-hole stage and while he came up four shots shy of this target 12 months ago, I think he can take a step forward.

MacIntyre made more birdies than anyone else at last year's Masters with 21, and he was the only player in the field to eclipse 20 birdies.

He struggled for the latter part of 2021, as he tried desperately to push for a PGA Tour card via the Korn Ferry Tour, and that debilitated his game somewhat.

Since refocusing in 2022 though, MacIntyre has shown some of the promises that had everyone excited about this left-hander last year, and we know the history of the southpaw at Augusta.

After missing his first two cuts of the year on the DP World Tour, MacIntyre finished T13 and T9 in back-to-back weeks at the Ras Al Khaimah events, and then stepped up in far stronger company, finishing T15 at Riviera. He was disappointing at the Match Play winning just one of his group matches, but he lost to Collin Morikawa and Jason Kokrak which is hardly alarming.

He was 35th last week in Texas but was inside the top-10 after 36-holes, before blowing up with a 76 on Saturday, so there is at least some nice stuff as he heads to Augusta.

Given his clear ability to score around this course, as displayed with his 21 birdies last year, I think MacIntyre a year later can eliminate some of the mistakes as he has another go around. He opened with a 74 last year, before posting back-to-back 70s and maybe he tried too hard on Sunday which led to the 72, but he proved as the week went on, that even in four rounds he was learning. If he can break 70 this time around, he can finish inside the top-5 and better his two top-8 finishes in the Open Championship.

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Cameron Young +2000 To Finish Inside The Top 5 (Bet $100 to Win $2000)

We always hear about debutants at this event, and how it is near impossible for them to win, but we have seen some standout performances in recent years from Augusta rookies, including Will Zalatoris (2nd 2021), C.T. Pan (7th in 2020), Thomas Pieters (T4 in 2017), Jordan Spieth and Jonas Blixt (both T2 in 2014) and Thorbjorn Olesen (T6 in 2013). There are more examples of this as well, but that's enough evidence to suggest one of these talented debutants can break through here, without necessarily getting a win.

Aside from Sam Burns who is among the world's elite right now, Cameron Young is probably the most likely candidate for a run at the top 5 among the debutants, and he is more than double the price of the former.

Why do I think Cameron Young can perform well here? Well, it is rather simple really. He has been absolutely superb in his rookie season on the PGA Tour, after winning twice in back-to-back starts on the Korn Ferry Tour last season, and his game really suits this test.

A long driver of the ball, Young is more than capable of putting on a ball-striking clinic, and while he is not as consistent as his fellow Wake Forest alum, Will Zalatoris, he is a better putter and has had just as many real opportunities to win at the PGA Tour level.

Young was second to the brilliant Joaquin Niemann at Riviera and made the Chilean work right up until the very end for the victory, sitting second after every round. Niemann went wire-to-wire, and Young stalked him all week in second, and with Riviera being a huge pointer to Augusta, that could be relevant.

On top of his second at Riviera, he was second to the aforementioned Burns at the Sanderson Farms back in October, where he shot rounds of 67-65-67-68 to put the pressure on. Burns beat him by a shot, as the pair went into the final round tied behind Theegala, but Burns hit 67 to Young's 68, to win by the finest of margins.

Aside from his two second-place finishes, Young finished T20 at Torrey, T26 in Phoenix, T16 at the Honda where he closed with a 65 and T13 at Bay Hill were just a bad Saturday that prevented a better finish.

He has all the tools to succeed at this course and it would be no surprise to me to see him in and around the top 5 over the weekend.

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Tom Jacobs is the host of the Lost Fore Words golf podcast and has been writing betting articles on golf for the past decade. Tom also co-host the DP World Tour Picks & Bets show on the Mayo Media Network, so has his finger on the pulse on the tours on both sides of the pond. A long-suffering Nottingham Forest fan, Tom also enjoys watching Soccer at the weekend, but his main passion remains golf, and every year he holds onto the hope of Lee Westwood winning his first major championship.

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