Masters 2024: Clash of the Titans

Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta GA

Every year The Masters kicks off a new golf season, and the 2024 edition is shaping up to be one
for the ages. It seems like forever since Jon Rahm lifted the 2023 championship trophy, while his
departure from the PGA Tour to join LIV at the end of the season brought on a seismic shift in
the landscape of professional golf.

Jon Rahm: Reigning Masters Champion

In addition to his Masters victory, Rahm recorded 9 Top-10’s in 2023 including 3
more Tour wins, a T2 at the Open Championship and a T10 at the U.S. Open. Since joining LIV,
Jon has played 5 events with 3 Top-5’s and 2 Top-10’s—so he’s primed and ready to defend his
Masters title this weekend.

Scottie Scheffler, the 2022 Masters Champion, will be standing in his way, however—and when
you look at the way Scheffler finished the 2023 season along with the incredible year he’s had
thus far in 24’, Mr. Rahm will need every bit of his A game if he hopes to repeat at Augusta.

Scottie Scheffler: Current World Number 1

In his last 11 starts of 2023, Scottie recorded 9 Top 10’s including a T2 at The PGA and 3rd at the
U.S. Open (for the year he made 23 of 23 cuts with 17 Top-10’s and 2 wins). Scottie’s 2024
season has been even more remarkable, with 7 Top-10’s in eight starts and 2 more wins
including The Players Championship.

Let’s get ready to rumble!

Supporting Cast

Rory McIlroy has had a dismal season, but showed signs of life last week when he closed with a
66 to record his first Top 10 of the year. If Rory is on his game and making a few putts, even
Scheffler and Rahm will have their hands full trying to hold him off—and he wants nothing more
than to add a Green Jacket to his major championship profile page.

Rory McIlroy: Four Time Major Winner

After such a tough loss at The Players, Xander Schauffele has to be laser focused on landing that
first major championship. Xander has 6 Top 10’s in 8 starts without missing a cut (42 in a row
going all the way back to 2022)—so he is definitely due.

Xander Shauffele

Hideki Matsuyama had a forgettable 2023 season where he was making cuts (22 of 26), but
recorded only 2 Top 10’s. That was last year—in only 9 starts so far this year Hideki has 3 Top
10’s including a win at The Genesis in LA and T6 at The Players. Keep in mind that Matsuyama
already owns a Green Jacket (2021 Champ) and he’s coming off a strong showing (T7) at the
Valero last week—look for him among the leaders heading into Sunday.

Hideki Matsuyama

Another player to keep an eye on is Wyndam Clark (reigning U.S. Open Champ). Wyndam
recorded a win at Pebble Beach in the AT&T back in February, and had back-to-back runner-up
finishes in March (Palmer Invitational and The Players). Clark crushes it, so if he’s dialed in this
week listen for some pretty loud noise around the leaderboard come the weekend.

Wyndam Clark

Young Guns

Ludvig Aberg

This year’s Masters field will include perhaps the most talented group of young players ever
assembled at Augusta National. Nick Dunlap (20), Akshay Bhatia (22), Ludvig Aberg (24), and.
Sahith Theegala (26).

Akshay Bhatia

At only 20 years old, Nick Dunlap became the first amateur to win a Tour event since Phil when
he held off a strong field including Scottie Scheffler and Xander Schauffele at the American Express in January. At 22, Akshay Bhatia has already won twice on Tour, including a gutsy win
at the Valero last week—and with his power you can look for a ton of wedges at Augusta.
Ludvig Aberg, by way of Sweden and Texas Tech, picked up his first Tour win at the RSM last
Fall, and with his power and ball striking the wins will pile up fast when the putter comes

Sahith Theegala

A 3-time All-American at Pepperdine, Sahith Theegala has already recorded 17 Top-10’s
including a win and a T-9 at the ’23 Masters—he’ll break out at a major more sooner than later,
and Augusta suits his eye.
Check out the current top 75 players on GolfDay’s 2024 Power Rankings.

The LIV Contingent

Brooks Koepka: 5 Major Championships

LIV will be sending 13 players to the Masters this year, and Jon Rahm is not the only one with a
solid chance to don the Green Jacket on Sunday. Joaquin Niemann leads the LIV Power Rankings after winning 2 of the 5 events played thus far in 2024—and that is with Jon Rahm
barking at his heels.
Of the top 5 finishers at the 2023 Masters, 4 are currently playing on LIV—so it’s a pretty good
bet that a few will be lurking among the leaders on Sunday. Remember that before he won the
PGA last year, Brooks Koepka was lapping the field at Augusta through 3 rounds until Rahm
chased him down.
Don’t forget about DJ either—he recorded a LIV win earlier this year. And as long as Cameron
Smith has a putter in his hands, he’s extremely dangerous—particularly on the immaculate
greens at Augusta National.
Probably not likely that Phil has another rabbit hidden under his hat like the one he pulled last
year to finish runner up, but you never know.
In any event, there’s no doubt the LIV group will make their presence felt.

Betting Odds

According to FanDuel Sportsbook, Scottie Scheffler is the man to beat at (+400 to win)—but a
few names of interest are included below (as of Wednesday evening).

  • Rory McIlroy +1000.
  • Jon Rahm +1100
  • Xander Schauffele at +1400
  • Brooks Koepka +1800
  • Hideki Matsuyama +2000
  • Jordan Spieth+2200
  • Joaquin Neimann +2800
  • Ludvig Oberg+3300
  • Wyndham Clark +4000
  • Patrick Cantlay+4000
  • Cameron Smith +5000
  • Sahith Theegala +5000
  • Max Homa +7500
  • Akshay Bhatia +11000.
  • Tiger Woods +15000
  • Phil Mickelson +27000


Augusta National has provided some of the greatest moments in golf history—from Jack’s
magical victory at 46 years old in ’86, to Tiger’s win in ’01 that completed the “Tiger Slam.”
And of course, who can forget Greg Norman’s monumental collapse at the ’96 Masters, or when
Fred Couples’ tee shot on 12 miraculously defied gravity, clinging to the slope above Rae’s
Creek as he went on to win.
And then there was Phil’s leap, following his birdie on 18 to win his first major, and the amazing
approach on 13 from the pine straw when he took home his third green jacket in 2010.

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