The Masters is on the horizon, with the iconic Augusta National in full bloom for golf’s most prestigious event on 6-9 April. The first major of the year, the Masters boasts the smallest field of golf’s big four events — with no more than 100 of the best players in the world ascending on the hallowed turf in Georgia.
It is also the first time this season that PGA players will clash with those who controversially broke away to the newly formed Saudi-backed rival LIV Golf. It would make massive headlines if one of those invitees were to win the coveted Green Jacket, but it’s also an added incentive to stop that from happening for those who stuck by their guns on the PGA Tour.
It certainly adds an extra layer to what is already a thrilling four days of action, so let’s take a look at the favourites in the odds on the US Masters 2023.
Scottie Scheffler – 15/2
Just three Masters winners have ever defended their title — Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo and Tiger Woods. So, Scottie Scheffler would be in elite company if he can withstand the pressure 12 months on from his maiden major success and find himself being fitted for a second Green Jacket on April 9.
The current World No.1 has played in nine PGA events so far this campaign, winning his first tournament of the year on the defence of his Phoenix Open title and he landed The Players more recently — carding a final score of -17 to beat Tyrrell Hatton by five strokes.
Form is everything in a sole sport like golf, and a T4 finish at the Arnold Palmer prior to The Players win will have Scheffler and his backers feeling confident heading to Augusta.
Rory McIlroy – 15/2
Another player available at a general price of 15/2, this season marks nine years since Rory McIlroy last won a major — his second PGA Championship. That win at Valhalla followed on from lifting The Open earlier in the summer and marked his fourth success at one of golf’s big four events in just three years. Who would have guessed that nine years later, McIlroy would be stuck in this rut?
He’s still amongst the favourites every time a major rolls around, more on the basis of his capabilities than anything else. The current World No.3 has played just six tour events at the time of writing, winning The CJ Cup in South Carolina back in October, but finished far down the leader board on his next two outings.
A tie for second in the Arnold Palmer was a hint that he might be finding his game at the right time, but then he missed the cut at The Players. A run to the semi-finals of the Match Play was another uptick in form and the Northern Irishman needs the Masters to complete the career Grand Slam, but you just don’t know what to expect from him ahead of these tournaments.
Jon Rahm – 8/1
For those who regularly check the golf odds before the four majors, it will come as no surprise to see Jon Rahm available at around 8/1. The Spaniard has been there or thereabouts at the fore of the betting for the last couple of seasons now, and this year will be no different — especially on current form.
The current World No.2 has taken part in nine PGA Tour events so far this season at the time of writing, winning three — The Genesis Invitational, The American Express and the Sentry Tournament of Champions — while registering top 10 finishes in six of those competitions.
His form did tail off a bit in March, finishing tied for 39th in the Arnold Palmer Invitational before withdrawing from The Players due to illness and being knocked out of the Match Play by Billy Horschel. Rahm will be hoping he can rediscover his best game before teeing off on April 6.
Jordan Spieth is next in line at 16/1, with Australian Cameron Smith the most favoured of the LIV Golf players at the same price.