April 04, 2007

The Odds of a "Masters"-ful Hole In One

Ready. Set. Go!

At precisely 7:40 tomorrow morning, the Masters, the first major of the PGA Tour season, will get started when Arnold Palmer, this year's Honorary Starter, ceremoniously strikes a ball from the tee of hole number one. 97 of the best players in the world will then follow Mr. Palmer's lead, thus marking the start of the 2007 Masters. Reigning Masters Champion, Phil Mickelson begins his round at 10:56, while world #1, and four-time green jacket winner, Tiger Woods, tees off at 1:52.

For all of you Ace Weekly readers out there wondering about this tournament's hole in one opportunities, Augusta National will not disappoint. Over the years, participants have recorded 18 holes in one during tournament play beginning with Ross Somerville's ace at hole 16 in 1934. "What club did he use?" you may ask. A mashie niblick, believe it or not.

Furthermore, the Masters has witnessed an astonishing 3 double eagles, including Gene Sarazen's "Shot Heard Round the World" at number 15 in 1935 that vaulted The Squire into a share of the lead that he would not relinquish.

Augusta National's four par 3 holes (4, 6, 12, 16) have all been aced over the years. Jeff Sluman is the only golfer to hole out on number 4, while number 16 has been aced most often with 10 competitors having made an elusive hole in one there. Holes 6 and 12 have been conquered four and three times respectively.

Not surprisingly, oddsmakers in Ireland allow wagering on an hole in one being made at the Masters. One group has set the odds of an ace being made this week at 6-5, with the odds for none being set at 4-6. And if you're really ready to go out on a limb, you can even place a bet for the first hole to be aced this week. Hole 4 is set at 18-1; hole 6 is at 9-1; hole 12 is currently 8-1; and hole 16 is the favorite at 7-2. Best of luck to all of you brave souls out there betting on a hole in one being made on the PGA Tour this week!

Sources: The Official Site of the Masters Tournament
The Belfast Telegraph