Rory McIlroy starts the 2023 Masters as joint-favourite alongside defending champion Scottie Scheffler at odds of 7-1.

The Northern Irishman pushed Scheffler all the way last year, shooting a memorable bogey-free 64 on Sunday which included an eagle and six birdies, the last coming from a greenside bunker on the 18th.

The world No 1 proved too strong in the end after an imperious start over the first two days but McIlroy’s electric final round and his top-10s in 2022’s three other majors mean bookmakers are struggling to split the pair this time around.

Jon Rahm is third-favourite (8-1) as he bids to win his second major. The Spaniard arrives at Augusta in fine form having won three tournaments already this season and is one of our five tips to win this week.

“Since only three players have won back-to-back Masters since the inaugural event in 1934, the stats discount 2022 winner Scheffler from emulating Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo and Tiger Woods,” i‘s resident golf expert Kevin Garside writes in his 2023 Masters predictions.

“And since McIlroy seems destined never to win here the way is clear for Rahm to smash it in that inimitable way of his.”

Next in the betting come three Americans in Jordan Spieth (16-1), Patrick Cantlay and Justin Thomas (both 20-1).

Spieth and Thomas have pedigree in major championships, winning five between them, while Cantlay has an underwhelming record in golf’s biggest tournaments despite sitting at No 4 in the world rankings.

Masters odds 2023

  • Scottie Scheffler 7-1
  • Rory McIlroy 7-1
  • Jon Rahm 9-1
  • Jordan Spieth 16-1
  • Patrick Cantlay 20-1
  • Justin Thomas 20-1
  • Cameron Smith 22-1
  • Xander Schauffele 25-1
  • Collin Morikawa 25-1
  • Tony Finau 25-1
  • Jason Day 25-1
  • Dustin Johnson 25-1
  • Cameron Young 28-1
  • Max Homa 30-1
  • Sam Burns 40-1
  • Viktor Hovland 40-1
  • Sungjae Im 40-1
  • Brooks Koepka 40-1
  • Matt Fitzpatrick 45-1
  • Will Zalatoris 45-1
  • Hideki Matsuyama 45-1

50-1 bar. Odds via Oddschecker and correct as of 3 April

The leading contender among the LIV Golf contingent is Cameron Smith (22-1). The Aussie finished third at Augusta last year before going on to win the Open Championship on a memorable Sunday at St Andrew’s. Whether that form holds up following his defection to the Saudi-backed breakaway tour will be one of the fascinating storylines to watch this week.

Another LIV golfer with high hopes at Augusta is four-time major champion Brooks Koepka (40-1). The 32-year-old revealed in a recent interview with i that playing through injury at last year’s Masters was a mistake. But he has bounced back since then and feels rejuvenated by life on the LIV tour.

“Augusta is Augusta, and for the first time in two years I’m actually ready to play the thing,” he said. “I have everything under control. I just have to minimise my mistakes.”

One note of caution around the LIV golfers is that Koepka believes he could have done with more tournaments in the build-up to the Masters. “Being honest, I wish there was more front loading to get ready for Augusta, but that’s part of the learning curve. This is all so new,” he added.

  • Jon Rahm 9-1
  • Cameron Smith 22-1
  • Cameron Young 28-1
  • Brooks Koepka 40-1
  • Tommy Fleetwood 66-1

Read Kevin’s full list of predictions here

One youngster to keep an eye on is Cameron Young (28-1). “The 25-year-old proved too hot for McIlroy in the WGC Match Play semi-finals in Texas, just as he did at the Open last year, where he overcame a four-shot deficit on the final day to pip the Northern Irishman to second,” Garside adds in his Masters predictions. “Though he missed the cut on debut at the Masters, he added a tie for third to his major contribution at the PGA Championship and with a world ranking of 14 looks ready to win for the first time.”

If there’s one man the bookies don’t fancy to win it this year it is the great Tiger Woods (80-1). The 15-time major champion made his comeback from a horrific car crash in last year’s Masters. While he made the cut after a promising start, he faded badly over the weekend as the hilly course at Augusta took its toll on his leg injury.

By admin